Saturday, January 24, 2009

Donde esta’ el bano? (Friday, January 24th)

Praise report! Lisa woke up feeling pretty good and was able to go with the team. While Donna was still a bit under the weather and did not make the trip today, she was feeling a lot better when we arrived home. Thanks for the prayers! On the flip side, a good portion of team went through an “oh wow I don’t feel very good all of a sudden” time this morning at the clinic. We still don’t know if it was part of the virus or the Cipro we all downed to help us fight off the virus, but we are all good now!

Today was another great day! The trip up North to Awachapan was once again filled beautiful El Salvador scenery, including some inactive volcanoes. We even drove past a field full of black ash & lava that had hardened over the years. When we arrived in the village, there were 5 camouflaged military looking guards with big shotguns. We still can’t figure out why they were there. The stone cold looks on their face made us feel a bit uneasy. However, as we drove past one, a few of us smiled and waved. It appeared as if he thought for ½ a second how to respond…then smiled and waved right back!

We were already on guard a bit ourselves for this village. Lorraine had been there twice before in the last year or two and the exchange between the missionary groups and the village was not always great. We aren’t talking about anything too crazy, just not following rules in regards to the clinic, etc. The morning seemed to be quite interesting with some of us under the weather. Also, the church was rather small, and the patients getting diagnosed were in the same room as the pharmacy as well the shoes/clothes distribution. A few children stopped by on a break from school and we had them start spreading the word about jerseys giveaways and soccer activities in the afternoon when school let out (it seems as if only the older teens go to school all day, while the children go home around lunch time). The patients were continuing to come out of the woodworks, and we didn’t even get a chance to break for a quick lunch until about 2pm.

In the afternoon, the children’s ministry got into full gear. Jerseys and shorts were passed out to all the children and some adults. With both the shoes/baby clothes and jerseys/shorts, there was a steady flow but not a madhouse like in the previous days. This gave the children the opportunity to actually PICK what type of items the received. The first thing that crossed our mind was that they will get whichever color and style we give them…but luckily we quickly reversed that mindset and realized they might never have the opportunity to pick out what they like…AKA shopping. Three sisters giggled happily as they all picked shoes that were close in style. Two amigos slapped high 5’s and immediately threw on their matching soccer jerseys, turning around for each other so they could see their entire new uniform.

Back in the clinic, patients were still trickling in, bringing the total count to a bit over 100 for the day. There was even time to minister a bit to the pastor, as he did not want to pray for a woman because she was catholic. He eventually prayed with her, but still turned down a chance to pray with another ailing man because the ailing man was a Pastor and “would be ok.” This ailing Pastor leads a church close by so there could have also been a little rivalry/jealously.
Right before leaving, we noticed that our front left tire of the bus was flat. In fact, it appeared that there would be no tools to get the tire off. When you’ve been working all day in a hot El Salvadorian village, this isn’t the greatest thing to hear! The Pastor was convinced that we were going to have to spend the night in the village. While all this was going on, it gave the children’s ministry team more time to evangelize. After a VERY long game of soccer on a field spotted with large piles of cow dung, we were able to share the message. Francisco did a fantastic job using the evangicube (a big cube with pictures that tells the story of salvation with every turn). We also did an object lesson as well as sang a really fun children’s Christian song in English that has crazy movements and dances. The kids loved it! Juaritza did a wonderful job translating. In fact, we have forgotten to tell you about our new friend! Juaritza is a 15-year-old El Salvadorian girl. She was born in LA, but moved to El Salvador when she was 5. She is such a sweet spirit with a great outgoing personality. We have all grown very attached to her, as her smile and laughter can brighten up a room!

Ok, so back to the tire…just think…if the tire didn’t go flat, we wouldn’t have had the extra time for a more in depth time to teach the story of Christ. Praise God for using the flat tire for His glory, and for making the day a huge success in His name!

After our long ride home, Brian gave a great devotion about patience (1 Corinthians). We also spent some time debriefing the day and sharing some stories about how we feel we have been changed on this short trip. The dialogue was wonderful, and it was very eye opening for some of our team members.

Tomorrow, we are attempting to go to a volcanic lake. While we still aren’t quite sure what it is, we have heard that it is one of the “Wonders of El Salvador.” After that, we will head back to downtown San Salvador where we will feed the homeless. We have recently learned that El Salvador has the highest gang rate in the world (might be gang/population), almost two times more than the second highest. With that being said, we have felt extremely safe the whole time, especially since there are armed guards with shotguns in front of restaurants and stores. We tell you this not to freak you out, but we imagine there might be former gang members we will be feeding tomorrow night. Please pray that we will be able to minister to them and that God will would prevail.

Hasta Luego!


  1. It's wonderful that all these people are getting help, love, God's words. It gives me joy and inspiration reading about it. I hope everyone has fun tomorrow after all your hard work and that God will keep you safe and reach out to the homeless.

  2. I don't know - it sounds like you guys are the true gang to watch out for. Nothing seems to stop you. When you can turn flat tires into evangelism you are a force to be reckoned with. We will all pray for God's great protection over your safety, your ministries and your stomachs. Thanks for the blog. We all miss you! Gloria a Dios!

  3. In all things there are blessings, a flat tire into sharing God's word! You still have lives to touch!
    Thank you for sharing your daily work with us. We will pray for your safe return home and that each of you are feeling better!
    Jackie & Michael, please let us know you made it home safely. Hugs & Kisses and lots of loving from your family! We all miss you! Shelly