Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Well, another day is behind us and it has been a very full one again.  Up early, (perhaps all of us not quite awake) to breakfast and then back on the truck to go to the job site.  The ride there is not quite as scary as the first time,  and the fact that I am now driving in the cab with Basillio and his crew makes it even easier.

I can't believe how shy the children are here.  Our interpreter Walter, mentioned that it is because the children are not used to any love or attention being shown to them in their own homes!!  How sad is that!!  Joan has been amazing with the kids.   Sitting and colouring with them, drawing pictures for them, and just drawing them out of their shells.  They are starting to smile and are not quite as anxious to approach us now.  Besides, the little gifts that we are giving to them are certainly helping as well.  It is amazing how quickly a small gathering grows when "Canada" bracelets are being given away!!

I have not done a lot as far as helping to build the homes.  There are men and woman who are much better at that sort of stuff than I am.  BUT I have enjoyed just watching the local people interact with our team and today just having fun with the kids.

I am just amazed at how much the people here can get accomplished with the little that they have.  The "laser thingie" went missing and the crew managed to get the house level using a hose with water in it.  PLEASE don't ask me how they did that, but it worked.  I watched the men mix cement by hand and improvising by making a trowel out of wood.  I watched the ladies cooking outside in their "kitchens" and am amazed!!  I see the women hang clothes on the bushes to dry after they have washed them by hand. I am so spoiled with my washing machine and dishwasher!!

I have been stretched beyond belief!!!  Hiking is not one of my strong points, but I have done my fair share of that this week.  Driving on roads that are barely wide enough for one vehicle and then being passed by a big truck have made even my short hair stand on end.  But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has BIG plans for the people of El Salvador, and I am very thankful to Him for allowing me to be a very, very small part of it.

Off to bed.

Needless to say today has been another challenge working in the heat and then the rain which brings the mud.  We did complete the third house and half of the fourth house.   I have to say that El Salvador is a very beautiful country and it is blessing to be here to help needy families.  The sense of community where we are building the homes is incredible.  The local men work very hard and help each other in preparing for the new homes as well as helping to build them.

God is good and I thank him for giving me and Coby the opportunity to be here.  But He can turn the taps off any time.



Unbelievably beautiful.  The smell of green moist soil.  The sun,  the rain.  The waterfalls that flow down the mountain in the pouring rain. The sounds, the winding mountain path, the clouds floating by at eye level between the rising mountains. The heat, the flat open space in the morning, a house in the afternoon. Working hard, being able to work hard. Being alive, health and life. Unbelievably beautiful!

The Big Guy

When you are the by far the tallest guy in the room, on the truck, or at the work site, you see things from a slightly different perspective.  Like, I'm always the first guy to get whacked in the face with a tree branch when we're careening down the mountain roads. Like I'm always the guy who has to stretch up and drill the roof without a ladder.  Like I'm the only one whose feet hang over the bunk bed mattress. Oh the inconveniences of a tall guy in a tiny country.


Thanks Amanda for making my post, now you are forcing me to make my own which I will attempt to do.

The real Pim
Tuesday morning arrives.........roosters crowing....4:30 town alarm (someone banging a pot)............ 5:15 bus to take people into the city arrives ......... 5:20 the clown horn goes all around town selling bread.  A new a different way to wake up....... but you can still see the mountain.  If you go up to the second floor or down to the end of the street there it is, standing beautifully.  This morning it is in the clouds.

The country side it beautiful.  This morning I watched people walk up the street.  They walk up doing switch backs (they also drive the truck up the hills like that).  That will tell you how steep the hills are.

God has created such a beautiful country.  Keep praying God will build relationships and help us to show His love to the people here.


A Walk in the Clouds

There is so much I'd like to share, but I'm just not sure where to begin or what should be said at this point. There's a video that I'm hoping you'll get to see. Golan took it from the back of our "cattle truck" ride into the worksite this morning.  The air was cool, the sun was shining as we made our way, carefully up and down the steep twisting rocky road to our work site. On the left side of our truck is the mountainside, with trees and bushes that necessitate the need to, from time to time, duck our heads down.  On the right side is one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. The mountain range between the El Salvador and Honduras border is a spectacular sight at the end of the rainy season. Everything is various shades of deep green. Yes, it's true that for the most part it is a 1.5 lane road that drops off dramatically, steeply, to our right. However, today on our ride in, the valley below us and the other valleys for as far as we could see were filled with clouds. Only the peaks of the mountain range were above the clouds. Awe-inspiring, majestic and humbled are all words that come to mind when we consider our Creator God who gave this unique glimpse of his handiwork...I love Him more!

On a completely different note, one of my favourite El Salvador moments ever happened as we were working on one of the houses. Our friends Basilio, Noe, Miguel, Roberto and Freddie drove up from San Felipe to meet us and to lead us in the building. It was an exciting way to start the day. At one point in the day, Noe and I  were trying to yell instructions to each other across the worksite. Earlier we had decided that he was going to teach me some more spanish and I was going to teach him some more english. Which works well as long as we're side by side.  At this one point we were separate and were trying to communicate with each other. He starts shouting out his instructions in english and I start questioning him in spanish. Neither of us could understand the other. I'm not sure what that says about our own individual capacity to handle our respective first languages, but it made for a very funny and memorable moment for both of us. We realized then how our relationship has developed over these four years, how easy it is to work with each other, and how much we enjoy the time we have together.

Another friendship that reminds me of the unique privilege the Lord has given to our church family over the years to connect with people who love Jesus and are willing to sacrificially and joyfully serve His purposes so that others may enjoy the New Life in Christ that we so treasure!