As some of you know, we were only planning to stay in the small country of El Salvador four or five weeks. Spend a little time with our friend Kara Wilson, see what she was doing, “help” her with what we could, and then move on. Two months have passed since we arrived and we finally, out of reluctance, bought bus tickets to Guatemala. Two months of meeting, growing closer, and serving alongside people that have forever made an impression on us. Families opened their homes, hearts, refrigerators, and even their connections with basketball courts (much appreciated by me). These are among the most hospitable people we know, and our memories of them will last a lifetime.
One of the ministries in which we have been involved, World Vision, has their act together down here. Not a big surprise, right? The national director of world vision made a comment at a meeting we attended; “It is almost impossible to fight poverty with poverty.” If you are reading this blog, you more than likely embody this quote. During this season of life, we are on the receiving end of your ministry and proud to say “THANK YOU” for selflessly giving. Seeing the effects first hand has been our privilege. A piece of you will forever be in El Salvador (as you will see in the photos).
Of all the memories, pictures, and stories we have from El Salvador, I hope to leave you with a lasting mental image. One that is on the other side of the tracks, beyond the paved AND dirt roads, and below the poverty line of even the developing world. Their stories are about as different from mine as I can imagine in terms of day-to-day life.
One room homes, beds in all four corners, a hammock for the babies, and a bathroom out back servicing the whole block. As we would enter inside their world, our eyes had to adjust to a single light hanging by its electrical cord from the corrugated tin-roof, so that we could see, amongst other impressionable images, the less-than-FDA-approved toothbrushes on every window seal. How are their smiles so beautiful, their teeth so straight? How did we find these places and the people that live here, wherever “here” is?
Short answer; the Church. Those who give their gifts through finances and those who give their time equal a major motion picture of the bride of Christ. She has her flaws, but they were forgotten in these moments of beauty. One of the great joys of this journey so far was to tag along with Kara’s team as they went to provide beds, clothes, food, and hope. As some of the psychologists would give counseling to the reluctant legal guardians, we would take the kids outside to sing songs in Spanish, walk them through the good news of Jesus, and pray over them. Worshipping with a young child for the first time in a different language is unbeatable. That, and I still love picture bibles for kids. Jesus is actually NOT white in the Spanish version. And because of you, the Church, we were able to give to her work.
We love you, miss our families, and have been overwhelmed with joy. Thanks for reading. Now, it’s on to Guatemala for more stories and fun. Enjoy the video!