Long Day, Longer Night!

         Today the guys finished Amparo’s House! Those last holes drilled and j-hooks tightened ended a five-day project. Nothing feels better than being able to confidently say that Amparo’s home is now structurally sound. She no longer has to worry about the roof falling in on her kids or leaking during storms. I am so incredibly proud of the guys for sticking it out and driving through all the difficulties they faced during the process, it’s finished! These means phase one (alleviating pressing needs) of the May You Find Rest campaign is finished and we will be planning the next steps when we get home!

         As the guys completed the house, the ladies went to serve at Mission to El Salvador, an amazing organization that gives aid the homeless here.  They prepared for a day of free haircuts and showers, lunch, some karaoke, birthday celebrations, and more! The guys showed up in time to take orders from the girls and hopped into the mix. It was such a blessing to be able to lend helping hands to the amazing people who put on this on every Tuesday and Thursday. In addition to bringing homeless people in for a meal during the day, another part of Mission to El Salvador is going out to feed the homeless at night. The team loaded up into the back of a pick-up with 150 bagged meals to hand out. I think that I can speak for the entire team in saying that tonight was a head and heart check like no other. We drove around with flashlights to grab the attention of those on the street, yelling “comida” (“food”). The first stop we made was for a kid about 11 or 12 years old, he was sitting on a pile of trash and plastic bottles alone at 10 PM… He ran to the back of the truck and lit up with excitement because he got to eat tonight. I broke, I think we all did, we drove around for about an hour calling people off the street to give food. It’s hard to explain the experience. There’s no true way to capture what we felt tonight in words, all I can say is that the back of that truck was completely silent. Ask anyone on the team and I’m sure they could tell you a particular encounter from tonight that hit home. For me it was one guy in particular that we were not able to serve.. We drove away because we were quickly running out of food in one of the locations, a man ran after the truck in desperation for this one meal and I had one in my hand. I was told not to throw it from the truck and it took everything in my power not to, but I trusted our guides viewpoint on the situation considering they have been doing this for four years. The image of this man running is burned into my mind and is accompanied by an inability to comprehend the emotion that is still coursing through me. Our team has been humbled tonight by what we experienced in a way that I don’t think any of us were expecting. I’m praying for these people tonight, especially the young boys. Praying that a gang doesn’t swoop them up.  We are so blessed, and yet we are blind. Thank you God for opening our eyes and allowing us to be your hands and feet.

We got back around 10:30 and starting preparing for VBS, 500 water balloons filled, roles assigned, and 5 AM alarms set! Its 1:30AM, goodnight!

spotty wifi = late post

Humbled Silence
— ITN Team