Friday, October 16, 2009


Today 61 one people piled into our truck. 61. Men, women, children. I was smiling and enjoying the ride! My fear has been tucked away in the Lord's capable hands. Saying goodbye was heartbreaking. We are leaving behind many friends; young and old, with hopes of seeing them again.
The Lord is good, and his grace shines on the people of El Salvador as it does us. We are brothers and sisters in his name. We've sweat together, cried together, and laughed together. One day we'll kneel before our King, and worship together.


Thanks for praying for us. We have been experiencing things we never have before. I can see God's protection on us all of the time. People here appreciate their new houses and the food we gave out today. Red beans, corn, rice and powder milk were all in the bags we handed out. I look forward to seeing everyone when we get home.


Wow! The work is done. Seems so hard to believe. Since we arrived it has been work, work, work and then suddenly, finished. Just like that. No slow time of winding down. No big fanfare. Instead, the truck was being unpacked for one last time and we were driving out of the tiny village of San Filipe. For the most part, all the totes have been emptied. A few are being left behind with goodies for Pastor Jorge to use in his ministry. A few are being sent off to our new friends at Teen Challenge El Salvador. I know it means trouble when Deve makes new friends in exciting ministries!! Several things are being left with our fabulous translator and all-round great guy, Migel. And, of course, we're taking a few gifts to the mayor as he has us over for dinner tonight. Our rooms look so empty. Things have been stacked everywhere all week and know they've all gone to those in need. Each family receiving the keys to their house today, also received a tote full of goodies - just for them. Items, you folks back home so generously provided. Oh, if you could have seen the face of one litle girl as she hugged her little hand-knit doll close to her heart. Those eyes said it all. Their was gratitude shining there. And there was hope. Next week 5 more homes will be built. 5 more families will realize the love of God through the hands of another team from Canada. May the Lord change these families for His glory.


I finally got someone to show me how to blog. Mary and Mom I got your comments, Thanks. Today was the final day and it seems unreal to know that the week is over. God has been so good to all of us. He has stretched us all and taken us out of our comfort zone. Yes Don I think I left my personal space back in Canada. Yesterday I was able to be part of the glasses ministry and it was really exciting to see the expression on people faces once we found glass and their vision was clear again. The hardest part was the older people whose vision had started to blur and we were not able to help them. Probably cataracs. The peorson who was translating for us was able to find glasses also. He was happy about that too. I know that we are all excited to get back in Canada to see our loved ones that we left behind. Only two more days and we will be home. Hang in there.


Feeling so victorious, not because Team SEMC Canada BEAT team El Salvador 4 to 3 with Pastor Deve scoring the winning goal when the Mayor of San Vincente had a corner kick and it went off his shoulder and in the net, but because God has blessed us by allowing us to complete the physical part of our mission.

4 houses ..................................$14,400.00
3900 lbs food..........................$1500.00
200 eyes glasses....................Donated
blood, sweat and tears..........Gladly

Serving a wonderful people in Gods name...................Priceless

Tonight is the last time I punish my roommates with the removal of my stincky boots. I love the thought of sandals or bare feet being the hardest decision I will have to make tomorrow. We are all so physically drained, but all so happy to hand over the keys to the families. We can try so hard to explain everything but the pictures taken will tell all.

We all miss you (our family and friends} so much, it was nice to sit and share what our families mean to us. By the way, Les, Julia lost her personal space when we go here and still hasn't found it, she hopes to locate it by the time she gets back.

As a closing note for now I like to mention just how much Percy has been a blessing to not only the people of El Salvador but also to ther team. We were stopped at house 2 to do a final check and most of the team were in the back of the truck waiting, Percy has been riding in the front with Pastor Jorge. Without a word, Percy gets out of the truck and washes the windshield, this surprised no one because that's Percy, serving everyone all the time.


There has been soooo much happening it has been difficult to gather my thoughts (or even one of them) to add to this blog. I may add the details of some of these later. Like being invited to meet the mayor of this area and the president of El Salvador. Or the privilege (and surprise) of preaching on two occasions at our host church. Or the intrigue of finding a new friendship bond with someone I'm only beginning to know.

Tonight, I thought I needed to talk about corn. Yes, corn. When we first arrived we noticed that there was corn stalks on the mountainsides, in the valleys and even on the tiny plots of land where the villagers live. However this corn was different. To us, it looked dry and useless. Perhaps they were stalks that were just left to whither because the locals lacked the time, money, or equipment to take it off the land. But that isn't true at all.

We also noticed that each morning on our drive to the village where we are building that there are men who put out various types of grain, including the dried corn, along the paved shoulders of the highway. It's part of the drying process, allowing the corn to be pounded by the heat. The workers spread the corn out loosely and make their way along almost a football field in length along the highway, spreading it out. Once they get to the end, they retrace their path while turning the corn over. When we return home after our day, we often see them gathering the dried and now wind-filtered corn into burlap bags. And they do it all with the most primitive looking tools. That corn is then sold to families in great abundance and is a major staple of the El Salvadorian diet. And to think I thought it was old and useless. That isn't true at all. In fact it's just the is vital, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.

It is true that we came here to build houses, and we rejoicingly say that we have. We also came to conduct eye tests and give out glasses, and we have done that as well. Tomorrow (Friday) we will have the opportunity to play soccer with the children that we've come to love this week and to hand out food to nearly 200 families. What a unique privilege. But it does come with a cost.

None of this has been easy. The physical, mental and spiritual battles have been consistent. Many of us have at one time or another expressed their feelings of being spent, used, ineffective and unproductive. Some of us, including me, have felt as though the heat of these battles have left us being turned aimlessly on a hot tarmac with the sun dialed up to "really hot". Living and working together on this mission has required exposing the vulnerable areas of our life. My prayer for our team (including the part of the team in Sarnia) is that God will gather us, and use us as vital, life-giving and life-sustaining agents of His love and mercy for these people.

Dried corn has sooo much more value than I ever thought it could, and so does this team ... I am being blessed as a part of it and may God be glorified through it.

Good night,