Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Marshall County High School says farewell!!

Whenever we think about going to the beach, some may think about a great Instagram post and a nice tan, and others might think of salt in their eyes and sand in all the wrong places, but to these adults, it was a million times more. 

Whenever the special needs adults from San Martin arrived at the beach house, their entire faces lit up with joy. Not a lot of teams come around this time of year, so they don’t get to go out as much, making today a huge treat. They quickly changed into their bathing suits, so as soon as the lifeguard gave instructions and we prayed, they could start swimming!

The boys loved to go into the ocean and jump on the waves and throw the football, while the girls preferred to stay near the pool and under the pavilion. Although they didn’t love stopping their activities to eat lunch, they did love the food, which consisted of chicken from the States Diner, chips, and cookies. 

After lunch, they stayed by the beach house playing volleyball, soccer, and dancing. Sadly, they had to leave a couple of hours after lunch to go back to San Martin. This goodbye was bittersweet filled with big hugs, lots of pictures, and sad goodbyes. Not only did we touch the hearts of these adults, but they touched ours more than we ever imagined. 

After they had left, we had a bonfire and made s’mores with the translators and the rest of the Sus Hijos team. After watching the sunset over the ocean, we went to La Posadas to eat an El Salvadorian traditional food: papusas. We got to try a variety of different kinds of papusas, along with tamales and quesadilla bread. 

Because it was our last day here, we made the most of every moment and every encounter. It is very important to me to spend time with the special needs adults because I think they tend to get overlooked. Even though they aren’t cute babies or adorable children, they are wonderful people who just want a hug. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Our day began at 7:30 with a group of 12 children from a teen boys orphanage. We drove approximately an hour and a half to an establishment known for their exclusive zip-lining; this is where we met the boys from the Orphanage. We spent around 4 hours zipping across the vast and mountainous, a 14 line course. 

 The boys from the orphanage enjoyed the activity tremendously. Once everyone had completed the course, we tracked back down the mountain and took the whole group to PolloCampero, the  El Salvadorian version of Chick Fil A. Everyone enjoyed eating with children and sharing food and good times with them. 


 We left the restaurant and headed directly to San Vicente de Paul Catholic Orphanage to interact with the kids there through a “Back to School Party.” 

(Photos are not allowed at this facility.) We had snow cones, popcorn, and lots of fun! We played games with the kids, sports, or simply just loved the children through spending time with them. After traveling back to the mission house, we all worked together to prepare the King’s Meal, a meal replicating that of what we would feed the homeless that night, consisting of a hot dog and chips. Once we had assembled the bags for the homeless and everyone had eaten, we boarded the truck and set out to feed the community’s homeless population. We fed several homeless men and women, outfitting them with sheets and pillow cases along the way. Our day was concluded at 11:30!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Marshall County High School, Saturday Part 2

The last place you would expect to find joy is a small community in the mountains with dirt roads and tin huts; yet joy was the only thing you could find. Words can’t even describe the amount of love and happiness piled in one special place. 
When we arrived at the community this morning, we were greeted by a little boy named Emerson with the most precious smile; a smile I will never forget. He lead us to his family which happened to be the family we were building the house for. 
The guys immediately began to break ground on the house while the girls were drawn to the five children that that we were building the house for.

 We danced, and sang, we laughed, and loved. We built the house from dirt, painted the house, furnished the house, and prayed for the house, and the only words I have to describe it are love and chaos. It was crazy, but in the midst of it all there was so much love. The smiles on the kids faces, when we would play tag with them or create a handshake, was unforgettable. 

 When the house was completed we fed and prayed for the community and each family. Many of the family’s even wanted to pray for us. It’s amazing to see how grateful and appreciative these people were. Once everyone was fed, we said our goodbyes. Goodbyes are never easy when you fall in love and meet such amazing people. 

As we headed home, we finished the night with a fantastic spaghetti dinner at the mission house. We fellowshipped and laughed and reflected on our eye opening day.

Today was an absolute blessing. Being able to love on the children and see them giggle was my absolute favorite part about today. If I could love and play with them for the rest of my days, I would. It’s incredible to see how much joy was in a small place with very little material things, and I am so thankful God chose those family for us to build a house for because I believe they blessed us more than we blessed them.

Gabbi Lovett

Marshall County High School, Saturday Part 1

Today we drove to a very underprivileged community to help build a house for a family of seven. Once we arrived, we were greeted by children, grandmas, mothers, dogs, and even chickens.There was one boy in particular who started trying to speak to me first thing after we came off the bus. 
Little did I know, I would grow to be one of his favorites throughout the day, even though we couldn’t understand one bit of each other. 

I noticed the house they were currently living in was very different from the ones we have back home. There were holes in the walls, no mattresses on the bed, no toilet, no sink. That is why I was eager to get started on this new house for them. 

We started the house building process by laying the foundation down, nailing the walls windows, painting the house, then moving the furniture in. 

I am so glad God called us to build in that particular community. After we got done feeding the community, we split into groups and asked each family what they’d like us to pray for in particular. One woman with three boys hesitantly said “my children, I am a single mom and it is very hard.” then started to cry. That immediately had an affect on us and we started to cry as well. While we stood around that family and every other family we prayed for, I felt the spirit of God surround us. It was a very powerful feeling and a very emotional day. 

Emma Smith