On Monday we took a break from the construction and spent the day with kids from Tia Ana's orphanage. Tia Ana is an amazing woman of faith who is instilling incredible values into the kids she cares for. She has single-handedly taken on the challenge to care for kids who come from various difficult backgrounds and has dedicated her life to assure that these kids have a normal life.
After just a short time with them, the team was able to see that despite the language barrier, they were able to give the kids what they desired - a lot of love and a day full of fun. We played soccer, used jump ropes, and flew kites. The joy that the kids had when flying the kites was contagious and I couldn't stop watching their smiling faces as they ran and looked up at the kite fluttering behind them. The kids were fun to be around and it was great to get to know their quirks while enjoying some pizza alongside them. Soon, they will be moving to a house that God has provided for them that sits on a large piece of land with fruit trees and a river flowing through it. Tia Ana sees this as a blessing from the Lord, as she has been praying for this for 20 years. Keep them in your prayers as they transition to the new area and that God's hand will guide and protect them.
Yesterday we had the privilege of sponsoring a meal for Proyecto el Faro (The Lighthouse Project), a biweekly program of Mission to El Salvador. Our goal was to serve them wherever they needed and during this time the local homeless can take showers, have a meal, get haircuts if they desire, play games together, and hear a devotional. In the morning we helped organize donations of clothing and toiletries as well as repaint the front gate to the mission. During the afternoon program our team was hands on in preparing the meal for the homeless, playing games, cutting hair, and handing out clean clothes.
At night, we came together to make over 400 bagged lunches and loaded up in the back of a pick-up truck to go out and feed those living on the streets of San Salvador. Upon leaving, we prayed that God would not only feed their physical bodies, but that he would provide for their spiritual needs as well. We encountered people from all walks of life - young and old, entire families, prostitutes. To say that it was an eye opening night doesn't do it justice. When we came to the last stop, there were about 25 bags of food left but way more people in line to recieve one. Unfortunately, we had to leave without feeding them all; it broke the hearts of the team members who experienced this. The only help we could be was to say a prayer that God would provide their needs in another way. This opened our eyes to see the need not only in foreign countries but at home, too. There are people in need everywhere and we have the ability to do more to reach out and help them, not only physically but spiritually, too.
Please keep those that we've encountered so far in your prayers. We appreciate all the support that you've given us so far. Today we're headed out to conquer Volcán Ilamatepec.