For their final day in El Salvador, the team took children from an orphanage to a beach resort! While living just a short drive away, many of these children have never even seen the beach, let alone visited a resort. They had a great time swimming with our teens and playing in the sand.
Eli Hudspeth - Today was easily my easiest favorite day of the week. As I walked into the Pacific Paradise resort, I felt that I was going to enjoy today a little more than the other days. Being able to just relax and play with the kids was so refreshing at the end of the labor intensive week. I connected more intentionally with this young girl named Stephanie. I was able to chase her around and make her laugh and smile as much as I could. With every smile and laugh I saw, it brought the same amount of joy to me. To her, I was probably seen as a stupid American that continued screaming “ladder” and “cockroach” for no reason, but, to me, she was the person who made the whole trip worth it. Stephanie had one of the most adorable laughs and smiles that I have ever seen or heard and I’m certain I’ll continually look back at the pictures and videos I have of her to reminisce on these beautiful memories I’ve made. I’m so appreciative of Starfish Orphan Ministry for allowing me and my fellow classmates the opportunity to visit with these sweet kids along with the many other people I’ve come in contact with. This trip has been so impactful on my life and the amount of lives Starfish is changing through experiences like this is astonishing.
Hope Hodges -
No one could argue that this week was a long one for all of us. So we were all excited to hear we would be going to the beach with orphans from “Nuestros pequeños hermanos”! The resort we attended, Hotel Pacific Paradise, was extremely beautiful. In the kid’s eyes, you could definitely see they were very excited. Although the language barrier has been something new for me to navigate this week, I’ve noticed it doesn’t bother the kids whatsoever. Many of them find it very amusing, us gringos trying to speak Spanish. It is also gives the other children a chance to practice English which they very much enjoy. Today I had the opportunity to collect shells and write in the sand with a group of young girls. Although the actions were things I had done many times before, they meant so much more today. Every time I write in the sand from now on, I’ll think of how Zenaida and I wrote “Jesus loves you” in the sand today. I know God really revealed a lot to me this week. Despite all the unfortunate circumstances here, God’s love is visible everywhere. Seeing the pure joy in the children’s faces when they get to play with us and do things they haven’t done before fills my heart so much it might as well burst. Starfish is really making a difference in El Salvador. I know that I will forever be grateful that I got to be a part of it