Saturday, October 13, 2018


Rain, rain go away! Finally sunshine after days of downpours and just in time for our day out in a community. The two hour trip could have easily extended due to the washed out roads but luckily we didn’t get stuck. We didn’t waste anytime once we got there. Face painting, balloon animals, piƱatas and snacks made for a fun day for all. Of course it wouldn’t have been party without dancing! Before we left we passed out a new shirt, treat bag and bible to each kid. Looking around was like many movie scenes of poverty stricken areas, but it is their reality. Up until this point we had been in the city and orphanages which are more developed. 

Tonight’s special treat for the girls in transition house was going to the movies. It’s been a privilege to give them each a night to show them how truly special they are. We take so much for granted and the smallest gestures can make an impact. We tell them each night that it is not us but God that has provided the ability to take them.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


(For the privacy & protection of the children in the facilities visited today, no photos could be taken.)

This morning we woke up to more rain. Classes were canceled in many of the schools, and some people even had the day off from work. Since our team landed here in El Salvador, it has RAINED. It’s grey, cloudy, and unseasonably cool. Even the mood in the centers we visit has been affected. Everywhere we go, people are talking about the weather. One of the kids that used to be in the transition program said to one of our group “please pray for the people of my country that do not have houses. They are really suffering right now.” This was a good reminder how very fortunate we are to have a warm and dry place to sleep.

After a pancake breakfast with our team, we headed out to our first center. We sat and made necklaces with the girls there. After, we had a chance to talk about our favorite bible verses and why we like them. It was great to share, but even better to hear from Sus Hijos staff and the other missionaries. 

We had lunch at States Diner. It’s so nice to have a good meal cooked and served by a great staff. We went shopping after lunch, and bought some treats for the second center. In the second center, the children are very well cared for. They are clean, organized, and they make their beds each morning. Each child is her accountable for their studies. At this center, we heard the dreams of the teenage girls there. Each one shared her goals for her life, and we were continually encouraged by their words. Nearly every girl spoke of how she wanted to keep moving forward so that she could help others: her family, other orphans, her community. We then talked with them about how grand of plans that God has for them. We love their hearts to help others, but if they take the hand of God and keep moving forward they will accomplish things they can’t even imagine now.

Part of our team went outside with one of the caretakers. Someone inquired about the plant she was cooking, and her face lit up! She wanted to show us the garden. We went outside and she pointed out coffee, cocoa, coconuts, bananas, plantains, cinnamon, and dozens of other fruits and vegetables that we don’t have in the United States. She was so kind and enthusiastic with showing the plants and explaining how she prepares the food for the girls. Before we left, we shared treats for her children and the children of her assistant.

For dinner, we went out to eat with two of the transition house girls. We ate Mexican food and just spent time chatting. We went back to the mission house to spend more time with them, and we planned to divide our team. Some were going to pack and get ready for our ministry tomorrow, and the other spend time with the girls making crafts and just hanging out. Instead, the girls offered to help us. They were such great help and had a great attitude. It was fun to spend time with them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Celebration Monday 

I’ve been to El Salvador many times. Monday is always my favorite day because that’s the day that we work with the most peipywirg special needs.

We are a very small team this week, and we invited another team that’s in El Salvador to join us. They are with the World Race. They have been in like 7 countries in the last 9 months, and will visit 2 more before heading home to their prospective homes in the US. They are a great group of 7 people and we work well together. 

This was a typical Monday, except for the rain. It seemed never ending. Our outdoor dance party was confined to a small, dark breezeway, but even the rain could not dampen our spirits, nor that of our friends! 

While we were waiting for our friends to make their way to the alternate dance party site, we asked to go visit the "kids at the houses where their disabilities are so severe that the party would not even be possible. 

The people in the more severe areas seem to rarely gett visitors. We held hands with them and sang to them. Some of these precious ones live behind bars because they are dangerous to themselves or others. Some are tied to chairs or windows because they run off otherwise, and some have their arms tied to their wheel chairs for a variety of reasons.

While it may sound cruel to tie them up, or to keep innocent handicapped adults behind bars, the workers don’t have much choice, because they often have one worker in a building alone with 7or 8 people with very complicated special needs. We talked when we left about how difficult those workers jobs must be! God must create very special people for their kind of job!

We hated saying "bye" to our friends at San Martin, but our hiosys try to keep us on a schedule ( even though time and traffic signs are mere suggestions here)!

We had lunch at the States Diner, which is the brain child of Kurt Ackermann. The diner was designed and runs for the purposes of giving kids who are fresh out of orphanages, a place to earn money, and even more importantly, learn a trade that will get them a better paying job in the future.

Next we went to a children’s orphanage for kids with special needs and perfectly normal (if there is such a thing) teens who are HIV positive and have Some of the kids are blind, some have Downs Syndrome, some are deaf or are in wheel chairs. Some of the kids have severe mental delays or afflictions. 

We celebrated "Day of the Child" with these children. This is a day that typically parents celebrate their children. Most of these children were either separated from their parents by death or by parents choice, therefore no one to celebrate them. We had a clown, cake, a dancing party (which included wheel chair dancing) and we played lots of games. It was great seeing the two teams come together with so many diverse gifts and quickly find children who needed those gifts that day!

Despite the rain, we had a great day, and those of us visiting (even for the 56th time) learned more and take more away more from today than those who we were here to serve!

Monday, October 8, 2018


Today started at church with the community. None of us were particularly excited about standing up in front of the group to talk but we had the chance to introduce ourselves. After worship we took the children and had class. The kids listened attentively then came the fun of crafts and games. 

This evening we had bible study with the boys and girls transition home along with people in the World Race. Before it began, everyone took their phones from their pockets and purses, and put them in a basket on the coffee table. It was great that everyone was physically present and giving their attention. We all shared what we are doing for God now, and what we hope we will be doing in 5 years. Even with a language barrier our worship time was powerful! 

After bible class we sat together and ate pupusas. We came together to prepare for our next mission after dinner. We started an assembly line to make bags filled with sandwiches, chips, apples, cookies and juice. We all piled into the back of a truck to drive around and pass these out to the homeless. The people would come running to the truck and one little boy tried to trick us by hiding his under his shirt so he could get another. It’s so hard to people desperate for their next meal, and we were so blessed to be able to share with them.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A small team with a big purpose! 

Today we jumped right in to serving! We had no major issues in traveling, and we immediately got to spend time with some of the girls in the transition house.

There are so many things we want to accomplish this week, but our plan is to really take some time to pour into the kids in the transition house program. These are kids who had to leave their orphanage home when they turned 18, and Sus Hijos is able to offer them an option for moving forward. Not only do they get food and shelter, but also help with finding a job, spiritual guidance, and mentors. 

Today we spent time with two of the girls. One of them has been in the program for a while, and one for only a few days. The newest arrival is still in a bit of culture shock. No one is telling her when to eat, what to wear, how to act, or when to sleep. We went to dinner, and were able to visit and chat. Everyone had a good time and we spent time getting to know each other better.

After dinner, we went to browse the mall. The newest girl was staring at the hand dryer in the bathroom. She said “what’s that?” and pointed. The transition house leader responded by explaining the hand dryer and demonstrating how it worked. We waited a little longer for the bathroom, and the same girl spotted a mop that the janitorial staff had left behind. She walked up, grabbed the mop, and started cleaning like it was the most natural thing in the world. She spent so much time in the orphanage cleaning and helping out, she didn’t think twice about it. This same girl also LOVED to play on the escalator and moving sidewalk in the mall. It was really a delight to see how much fun she had, and how much we take for granted.

We got back to the mission house and started planning for tomorrow. We are SO excited to see what God has in store for us this week.