A Day of Reflection, an Earthquake, & A Sobering Moment (January 25th)
Our day started with an Earthquake! Not too big, only 4.7 on the Richter Scale. While all you California transplants out in blog world may be use to things like this, most of us certainly were not! The ground shook, the fridge moved back and forth a bit, and it was over.
On our way to the Volcanic Lake, we stopped by the boys orphange to deliver some more soccer balls. It was great to see the boys again, and they were very excited to see us! Most of them were still wearing the jersyes we had given them on Tuesday. Please keep these boys in your prayers, that they will be cared for and developed into Christian men.
The Lake at Ilopengo was a great time of fellowship and relaxation after an exhausting week. No need to talk too much about it, the pictures speak for themselves!
After a quick dinner, we went out to feed the homeless (sorry we don’t have pictures-while we would LOVE to show you what we experienced, we decided it would be better if we didn’t take pictures tonight). Kameron, a 17-year old American who is the son of a Missionary here, came over to lead the adventure. His family has been in El Salvador for five years, and his father also does clinics along with the homeless ministry. Kameron told us that the people could now recognize the sound of their truck from a few blocks away, and all come running. Our first stop was to a place where there are many teenagers and young adults. A majority of them are addicted to sniffing glue, a huge drug problem in El Salvador. For safety purposes, we all stayed in the van. This made it easier to distribute food, soccer jerseys, shorts, and some shoes, which we did through the windows. When they walked over to us, it almost looked like a scene out of “Night Of The Living Dead,” meaning they all had the look of zombies. It was very evident that many of them had completely killed most of their brain cells, and some smelled of fresh glue. There was even a boy there who couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 years old, without an adult. As we continued to pray and pass everything out, it almost didn’t seem real. While everyone was extremely nice and courteous, there was just a “lost” look in their eyes and we realized they didn’t quite understand what was going on. As we were driving away, we heard one last scream of thanks. A young man had just put on a brand new pair of size 15 New Balance high tops (after a long week of distribution, this was all we had left). Keep in mind that these shoes had to be roughly 2X the size of his foot. He looked like he had just won the lottery.
Our next stop had people of all ages-including young children and babies. Once again, our hearts just broke. One man came back for more food and shorts, which is not uncommon. We were prepared to tell him that he had already received his gifts, but he told us he was getting some for his friend who was passed out on the sidewalk. We watched with delight as he walked back over to his friend, laid the shorts on his chest and placed the food under his tiny blanket. For a homeless man who lives day to day hoping for scraps of food and any type of clothes he can find, this selfless act was inspiring. While delivering everything was extremely fulfilling, it was also very frustrating and sobering. We wish we could have had 10 more vans with 10X more food and 10X more clothes to give out. It makes you really think about your own priorities in life. Please pray that the Lord will lay his hand on these individuals. Pray that they can be cured of their addictions, and that will be able to change their lives, and that the will turn to God.
So, tomorrow is the last day we will awake to a cool breeze coming through the windows with birds singing sounds of joy in the trees outside. It is the last day we will sit outside on the back porch and sip delicious El Salvadorian coffee. It is also the last day we have to put our toilet paper in the trashcan instead of the toilet :) While leaving El Salvador will be bitter sweet, our memories will last forever. Whether it was the boys in the orphanage, the patients and children in the remote villages or even the homeless teens addicted to sniffing glue, our lives have been touched. It is our prayer that we return to the United States as different people. That when we are stuck in traffic or frustrated at work, we thank God that we have a car to drive and a place of employment. We will think back to the boys in the orphanage who only have a tiny ½ size locker with barely any possessions, and to the tiny children and babies who were living on the street. The grown men and women celebrating over receiving a pair of soccer shorts, and the patients sigh of relief when receiving medicine for some ailments that have been going on for months. We will continue to thank the Lord for the blessings he has bestowed upon us, and we will continue to deliver the message of His son Jesus Christ.
We THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this journey with us, and for the continued support and prayer. Maybe one day we can share an expedition with you…