Sunday, March 19, 2023

We made it & we’ve been busy!
The team arrived Saturday & got settled in with Sus Hijos before heading to The States Diner for lunch.
Last night the team worked together to pack sandwiches, chips, drinks & T-shirts for the homeless. Then, a portion of the group headed out into San Salvador to feed those in need. Here are a couple of accounts from two of out team members.
Feeding the homeless always starts out with joy ridden expressions and laughter from speaking bad Spanish. But as soon as you start to realize the impact of poverty on people in the city, you are moved to take it more serious. 

In the last three years, I had forgotten the significance of such a memorable experience. Ridding in the back of an old pickup truck with 15 other people, I was struck with the thought of how different our lives are from the people we are helping. From the shoes on our feet to the clothes on our back, I think we take for-granted what we have been given. As we handed out food, I noticed how I viewed the people on the street. It was almost as if I viewed them as less than who they really are and that made me so sad. They are still people with thoughts, families, dreams, and prayers. I felt such a strong compassion to do my best and help in any way I could.

 I think the hardest part of this experience is when you get to the point of the night where you run out of food. No matter how much food we pack, we end up running out. I watched as people pushed and shoved to get in line for a simple sucker or drink of tea because we no longer had enough food bags. These people were so determined to have a cold bologna sandwich and a bag of chips. How often do we take for-granted the food we are given? Or the life we live separate from stricken poverty and despair? Even in their circumstances, these people were always smiling. Their joy and hope is unimaginable. 

I prayed the whole way back to the mission house for the safety of their souls. For even if their bodies are spoiled and sick, their souls may still be saved in Christ. It is by his will that I got to come down to El Salvador again for the first time in three years to do this. And I cannot wait to see what else happens on this trip. 

Tonight, a group of us went to downtown El Salvador to feed the homeless. For me personally, this was very impactful. People in a rough patch in their lives lined the streets—people who didn't have anything. No access to government programs like those in the United States, such as food stamps, to provide the basic needs someone have. 

I held the hand of one woman in particular and we made eye contact. You could tell just how much she was impacted by one need that everyone should have access to: food. Both of our eyes started to fill with tears as I told her just how much I loved her, and even though I didn't say it in Spanish, it's like she knew exactly what I meant. 

These simple tasks meant everything to those people. We take a lot of things for granted, such as wasting food, which I know a lot of us do in America. I also think that we should look at things from a different perspective. What if this was you? 

In the States we drive by multiple homeless people a day on our way to school, work, etc. and we never stop to even say hi or tell them how much they are loved, even in a rough season of their life. These simple tasks could be the encouragement and hope someone needs to keep going and keep fighting. 

Just a simple "Hi! I want to encourage you.” If you are reading this, please consider stopping next time and offering  encouragement & hope to a stranger in need. You never know just how much someone has had to endure in their lifetime. This not only impacted the homeless community tonight but also all of our team. We have now seen this world through a different perspective. ~ Kayleigh Powell

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