Tuesday, March 21, 2023

New friends…

We started off the day by taking the special needs adults bowling. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Q6kfX3C5HVW_PQ-iiiXfB51y8GO51U8_
After bowling we walked them to the States diner while holding their hands and ate together. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1RRifM1TVCkMDT8q7NjKKqCNp6yIRnLnT
Finally, we helped rebuild and restore the San Martin Center for them. We helped restore it by adding new coats of paint and clearing out sticks, logs, and leaves. 
After the experience I had today I’ve noticed how much we have impacted their lives just by little things like hanging out with them and giving them a hug or a high five. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1C9pVCGPx_QfMnlX5H1ISw0OzJfNr3dlB
They’ve also impacted my life in different ways by showing me that even though they might be suffering mentally, physically, or economically that they can still find happiness in hard times.
- Alex McMillan

Mè amigo Carlos
So yesterday as we entered the Bowling Alley on Monday the 20th I never knew that one person who barely knew English could change my perspective on God and this world. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CwSJBKvXhoyevfwi8y3GyEybA_DqUFpI
For the first few minutes I just knew Carlos as a special-ed El Salvadoran who was above average at bowling. But as he started to get tired he made his way over to the arcade which lasted a total of 5 minutes. 
We soon made our way over to the bar where Carlos saw a blue Powerade, and he knew he had to have it. So as Carlos was going around asking for a 1$ coin I was just a dog on his leash. Mrs Laura generously gave Carlos the 1$ coin he was looking for. So we headed back to the bar to get his long awaited blue Powerade that he soon downed in a total of 30 seconds. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1pFZl3zSL6-xB2QtRJbMAAXntoIci2H_b
So, Carlos now full of Powerade decided to hit the bowling alley again, but this time Weslyn joined us. As we bowled for about 15 more minutes I figured out that despite all of Carlos’s challenges he was a very intelligent man. So as we finished up our second round of bowling  Carlos wanted to take a break so we sat down, 
Carlos, Weslyn, and I. This is is where I found out Carlos was just like me and he had the same feelings. He started talking very fluent Spanish so I called my friend Steven over to translate for us. At first Steven told us he wasn’t making sense of what he was saying. A little while longer Steven figured out what he was trying to say. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1RInn8Xut8aBcQERQlA5tpcx1PkdOqbOe
Carlos told Weslyn and I that he felt bad because he sometimes says bad words or does bad things but he knows people are less fortunate than him and he needs to be grateful for what he has. To know that was coming from someone with special-needs living in a third world country was very heart warming. Knowing that Carlos himself had very little but he still knew that he was fortunate to have what he did have. This trip has shown us all how fortunate we all are.

The Impact Monday morning we went bowling with the special needs adults. It was so refreshing to see people so happy and grateful. Even though there was a language and intellect barrier, I still feel I was able to connect with the people on a personal level. A genuine smile can say so much. We are lucky enough to get lunch with them after the bowling. The man we sat with was so happy to have a nice meal. He kept saying how amazing it was and you could read it in his facial expressions. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1htdXIPBqg_zHBiDbVw0CCEZt-A9Cx8Ad
Later in the night I went to go feed the homeless. That was the most impactful night of my life. Over half the people we said didn’t have shoes. We handed out bags of food and bottles of sweet tea. We also handed out lollipops. Handing out the lollipops really touched my heart because it showed that we not only care that they are fed, but that they cannot have a source of happiness and satisfaction. There was one woman in particular who living under a trash bag. She was around 65 and and very sickly. I asked if I could pray for her, and she said yes. I kneeled in the street, held her hand, and prayed for her well-being. When I opened my eyes her face looked like it had hope which was something it lacked previously. I don’t think I will ever forget that woman’s face. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vWMUTpNuOJXiwvaYb1VXUDiQ1Tx2a0PO
There was another man who had no shoes. Not even a piece of cardboard to lay on. Literally no posssessions but his torn shirt and jeans. When we gave him a reusable cup, his eyes lit up like nothing I’ve ever seen. He threw his hands up and started saying, “God bless you! God bless you!” After figuring out we were from the U.S., he told us he was from Canada and farmed rice. He spoke perfect English, and it was so devastating to see someone who once had an entire life, now have absolutely nothing. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1E5YWQN4cPaNoyBrWZZn9DMhAuK4-lJrQ
On our way back to the truck, every single time without fail we would be followed and screamed at with complete and utter desperation. We also saw many little girls living on the street. It really impacted my friend, Christian in particular. She was able to speak to one of the girls. The little girl was five and had only a filthy pink shirt and shorts that were falling apart. Christian gave the girl her jacket. I think it’s beautiful that I’ve gotten to see so many of my friends, true character. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vIBlq0kMFBUkex8oT15mXvSBmLXEgwCe
The ride home with very quiet. You could sense the gratitude among the group. I’ve never in my life seen poverty like this, but I am incredibly grateful that I am in the position to help as much as I can. Overall I must say I’m grateful beyond words for my position in life, for Laura, for this trip, and for the entire group. This trip has made me realize just how real proverty can be. Although that sounds close minded, it’s not easy to grasp a concept until you can see it. This trip has shown me just how big the world really is. 
This has motivated me to become more involved in my own community at home and I will seek service opportunities at home. Thank you to any parents reading this for sending your kids on this trip. I’m so grateful for our group and the size of it. I want to say I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I will never take some thing like a bed for granted ever again. -Ava Russell

No comments:

Post a Comment