Friday, November 29, 2019

My One Thing (kind of)

The week is over, it was filled with laughter, smiles, tears and a lot of hand gestures. At debrief we had to come up with one thing that we really liked, enjoyed, or inspired us. It could be a person, conversation, or a moment. I struggled to come up with just one thing. There were just so many fun and fulfilling moments.
 The first day we were building at the site the kids at the start were very shy and were kind of scared. We were the first team to ever build in the community so they didn’t know what was really going on. We got out colouring and stickers. I sat beside a little boy and with my amazing hand gestures I asked him if he wanted to colour. He shook his head. So I started colouring the page by myself. I could see he was fascinated by it and wanted to do it. He was just a little nervous. Fast forward about 10 minutes and there were 5 kids all colouring. They were laughing and smiling as taijah and I put stickers on them. As all good things have to come to an end the day was over. So we packed up everything and waited for the truck. The next day we pulled up into the community. Instantly the kids were smiling and laughing. That right there was what i really liked. This moment filled my heart with joy to see the kids glowing with excitement and happiness.


I Can’t

As the week has come to an end I have compiled a list of all the things I’ve been told not to do during my time in El Salvador, some people see them as big no no’s. I see them as mere suggestions (I actually do listen to and respect the actual big no no’s just putting that out there) 

I can’t drink the water from the community 
I can’t eat the food from the community 
I can’t flush my toilet paper 
I can’t say no to accepting food that I also can’t eat because it will offend someone 
I can’t climb the trees because it’s “dangerous” 
I can’t get a good wifi connection 
I can’t ask the police to hold their guns 
I can’t go to the bathroom alone 
I can’t go anywhere alone 
I can’t leave the hotel at night or in the morning unless we all are
I can’t understand people I’m working beside 
I can’t speak Spanish 
I can’t hold back tears when hearing an emotional story 
I can’t hold back laughter 
I can’t get away from the sun 
I can’t keep up with the locals on the builds at all 
I can’t not sweat through my shirts 
I can’t always find the right words to say 

So there’s a list of some things I can’t do on this trip but here’s what I can do 

I can show up 
I can wake up 5 minutes before breakfast and still beat some people there maybe not Jason but some people
I can step out of my comfort zone 
I can bless others because I have been blessed
I can encourage people 
I can pray for someone 
I can be the hands and feet of Jesus 
I can come to El Salvador and be proof that God has not forgotten these people, to pray over them and work alongside them (at a much slower pace) and build a relationship with them blessing them with a house but more importantly letting them know that there is a church family that has been supporting our team to be in the beautiful country and has been praying for them. 
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me 

I want to thank everyone who has supported me and this team, I thank you for your prayers and I ask that you continue to pray for the families we built for. If you have never been to El Salvador and have the opportunity or ability and think that you can’t go because you aren’t young enough or strong enough or whatever your reason is, I strongly encourage you to forget those reasons and go because I guarantee it will open your eyes to what you can do through our all mighty God. 



I have been wondering what to blog about all week. The first story that comes to mind and has stuck with me all week is Delmy’s story. She was brave enough to share her pain, her fears and her uncertain future with us. I admire her authentic openness no matter the cost. This was our first time meeting these people and a first for this village. I think from past experiences here that they are told to give us the best example and impression of the El Salvadian people and culture. So for her to share her story with honesty and emotion was precious to me.
Delmy giving thanks on behalf of a group of families, at the key ceremony. 
We first heard she was a single mom with one child but as we were doing the introductions there was a very cute little girl with soft brown eyes sitting beside us.  She interrupted and said (through translation) that she was going to the United States tomorrow.

We all kind of smiled and the home owner went on to tell us her father went to the USA last year but didn’t make it stayed in Mexico and started a new family. The Mother also left when she found out he was not coming back so their 3 children are orphans being raised by their grandmother. Her beautiful eyes then began to tear up and she told us her husband had left for the USA the day before while we were meeting the families.  She expressed how fearful she was that he may do the same as the other man, or die trying to get there or hurt or killed. She was afraid she may never see him again. Her pain was so clear but yet so was her strength. How beautiful she was sharing so openly and honestly.  We were able to share the hope of Jesus with her how it was not a coincidence that her husband left yesterday and today she will have a house. That God is taking care of her He had not forgotten her and he loves her dearly.  I will never forget her.  Her authentic honesty and courage to share her pain was heartbreaking, beautiful and inspiring all at the same time.