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El Salvador Days 1 & 2

There aren’t enough words to express what we’ve experienced here in the last 2 days.  The travel to El Salvador was pretty exhausting, and once we landed we went to lunch by the beach, which was amazing and very hot!

Selah at beach

I’ve never had egg in a club sandwich before, and it was pretty great.  We had a long bus ride to the hotel because we would be going to the west side of El Salvador, which not many people get to visit on Compassion trips.  During the long drive we got to know our hosts very well.  Rocio, Deanna, Carlos and Jorge.  My camera batteries died, so I’ll have to get pics of them later.

Day two was definitely a day to remember.

Nothing can prepare you for the poverty you see.

Nothing can prepare you for the heart breaking stories you will hear.

Nothing can prepare you for the joy you will experience with these children.

Today we experienced a rollercoaster of emotion, from extreme anger to compassion, to joy.  As we drove up to Project 820, which is at the church (whose name I cannot remember all of to write it L sorry) we were met with beautiful children, waving pompoms, decorations put up for us and special dances and songs performed for us.  The tutors and children made us feel so welcome; they hugged us, and tried to talk with us, but our Spanish stinks, so there was just a whole bunch of, “como se dice…?” Which means, “how do you say?”

We served them snacks & we learned how to make pupusas, which are pretty much the most amazing food on the earth!  We visited classrooms, and handed out presents.  But I would say the two most impactful things to me were these:

  1. The children had a devotion service for us.  A young girl about 11 years old led the service; a group of 6-8 year olds led us in “Open the Eyes of my Heart”; 12-14 children put on a couple of  “human videos” for us; a young boy about 10 years old led a devotion of his favorite verse; another young boy closed in prayer. It was so amazing to see these young people taking leadership roles in a church service.  They were so beautiful.
  2. The home visit.  Selah was taken to the home of Jefferson. Jefferson is 10 years old and is battling cancer.  He has a mother, Esperanza and a sister, Jeanette.  His father is in the United States working to send money home.  We found out today, right before we went in, that his chemotherapy is not working.  We were told that he might be down, and not very happy because of this.  Well, we found quite the opposite when we went in.  Jefferson is amazing.  He’s smart, talented and absolutely a ray of sunshine.  He wants to be an artist when he grows up, and I really believe he has the talent to do it.  His mother broke down when we got inside. She was overwhelmed by his recent diagnosis and the fact that her husband is not at home. But she had such hope because of Compassion International.  It was amazing to hear what this organization had done for her family.  Her daughter, Jeanette, will be sponsored soon, and can I just say, that she is delicious!  She kept holding my hand, and hugging me, and rattling off who knows what to me in Spanish.  I truly fell in love today with this sweet, hopeful family.

Jeanette

Allan and Jefferson

A lot of people told me I would be angry today; angry at the poverty; angry that we can’t do more.  But I have to say, more than angry I’m impressed.

I’m impressed with the love the tutors have for the children.

I’m impressed with the way Compassion takes care of every aspect of the child’s need.

I’m impressed that the children exude love and joy in the midst of extreme poverty and need.

I’m impressed and overwhelmed and in love with El Salvador.

Amy

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