Saturday, October 13, 2012

WOW.................once again!!!

What an amazing day we had yesterday!!  The day started with our last ride up the mountain.  I'm not afraid to admit that I (Coby) am happy to not have to do that again!!!!  We had the key ceremony at which we gave each of the new home owners the key to their home along with a bin filled with items just for their family as well as two milk mats for each of them.    It is just awesome to see the joy on their faces now that they have their own safe home, with a door that locks and away from the elements.  We also presented approximately 100 families with a bag of food.  It contained rice, sardines, spaghetti noodles, cooking oil, and sugar.  It is crazy to think that people would get so excited about this.  But many of them don't get enough to eat so this is an amazing gift to them and it will likely feed their family for one week!!     It was sad when the time came for us to leave to see everyone lined on the side of the road waving goodbye.  We had been with these people for the last 4 days and had definately grown to love them.

We left Victoria almost on schedule and were heading to the orphanage.  We were scheduled to arrive there at 1:00pm and got there a little before 5:30pm!!  That is what you call El Salvador time. :) :)   We detoured for lunch at "Pollo Campollo" (the El Salvador version of KFC), then went to the market and finally made our way to the Orphanage.

Pulling into their property was an awesome experience.  The children were lining the road and every one of us got a warm welcome.  The kids were so excited to see us and before we knew it there were frisbees being thrown all over the lawn and inside the pavilion there were loads of kids colouring, as well as girls getting their nails painted and then to have them paint ours.  They had been waiting for us and the air was just charged with energy.  They were not at all shy and loved hugs.  One of our team commented that this is what our welcome to heaven might look like, lots of excitement, laughter, and hugs.  Pastor Deve arrived with pizza and donuts, and after they were devoured it was time for us to leave.

The events of this day are actually very hard to put into words.  We have pictures in our heads and in our hearts that will never be erased.

Today (Saturday) we had a wonderful peaceful day at a beautiful beach.  It was so nice just to kick back and not do anything!!  We played in the waves, walked on the beach, laid in the hammocks and just hung around.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to be part of this amazing adventure.

Pim and Coby

Coming Down from the Mountain

Sometimes it's difficult to find the right words to artfully describe all the things we see, hear and smell here in El Salvador each day. The sights are awe-inspiring. The sounds are often other worldly. The smells are over-powering (to put it mildly). But I know that God has brought it all together in a perfect package that only He could create so beautifully.
The people here still surprise me in both lovely and haunting ways. To see villagers fighting (truly fighting) over a cardboard box this morning was heart breaking. To see unfettered joy on the faces of little children at the orphanage this evening was heart expanding.  Knowing we brought food to so many families this morning was so fulfilling but knowing we couldn't provide for all who were needy is unacceptable.
 I think it all came together for me this afternoon as I sat in a Wendy's/Pizza Hut parking lot in San Salvador. (Yes, they really have those here. I was even in a Wal-Mart today.)  I realized that I had come down off the mountain, quite literally. "Those people" were back there. And I was now back in the "real world".  It occurred to me that I had told a lovely man named Lazarus (father and husband of the family of house #2) that even though he had come there to hide with his family, God had not forgotten him there in the mountains of Victoria. Would I forget him?  I pray that I don't...

I lift my eyes up to the mountains,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from Him,
Maker of heaven,
Creator of the Earth...