El Salvador

El Salvador

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The End

Today we are heading for the beach and flying back home tomorrow. All good things must come to an end. It's been an incredible week with the people in El Salvador. The teenagers have been asking me if I can leave them her. I would but I am sure their mom's would kill me.

God is doing a mighty work here. Many people are coming to know Christ as their Savior. In the end that is why we are here and the most important thing. I am so thankful that Bethany has a chapter in the book that is being written here of God's powerful work.

See you in Canada!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food and Celebration

Today was an emotional day. We went to the village of San Antonio where EMCC has started to build homes. There is such poverty there. My heart breaks for the conditions that the people are living in. I don't think I will ever get numb to seeing poverty. At least I pray I never do. We handed out food to the many families living there. We also were asked to pray for various sick children and adults in the village. One of the babies we prayed for had a fever and trouble breathing. A man we prayed for was having severe pain in his kidneys. My heart grieves for these people who have to suffer in such desperate conditions.

This afternoon we went to celebrate the completion of the homes with the key giving ceremony in San Felipe. We give all glory to God who has provided these amazing people with homes and the team strength to build them. Lots of tears shed as we had to say goodbye to all our friends. Until March we told them. I am counting the days.

Tonight we are going to the mayor's for dinner.
Yesterday we FINISHED our seventh and final house! We finished the house in 2 hours and 5 min!! That is a new record! Our team just worked so well together! IT WAS AWESOME!

We then had lunch and headed out to the orphanage. It was just indescribable. When we first got there it seemed like the director might not even let us see the kids...it seemed like Satan was trying to put up a barrier. But Valerie talked to him and prayed and about 5 min later, the director came out and told us we could hand out the care packages and play with the kids for an hour. The children were so beautiful. I braided hair, painted nails, gave piggy back rides, cheered on some team members as they played basketball (which the girls from the orphanage totally kicked our Canadian butts!). The hour went by so fast. There was one girl I really connected with, I painted her nails and then she asked if she could paint mine. When it was time to leave I went to hug her and she held me so tight, like she never wanted to let go. She asked me about the ring I was wearing and said it was bonita...beautiful, I told her it was from my Mom and Dad, it really hit me hard then that these children have no parents, no parents that can braid their hair, or play cars with them, or lift them up on their shoulders. Man, what an eye opener.

Well we headed for dinner after the orphanage, and of course Maritza, as always, had an amazing meal of steak, rice and tortillas ready for us. Iḿ coming to see how much I love the people here in El Salvador. I´ve grown such a bond with our interpreter Carla, two of the guys who worked with us Carlos and Victor. I don´t know how Iḿ going to leave.

Thank you again for your prayers! Today we head to San Antonio to hand out bags of food to the families still living in tents since the mudslide last year. We will then have the key giving ceremony in the afternoon. I can´t believe we built 7 houses. What a blessing that God is using us in this way.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2 hours and 5 minutes

That is how long it took the team to complete house #7. Can you beleive it? We were all at the worksite today and we all came together to get the job done. Pastor Jorge and a group of men were up until midnight last night to deliver the building supplies. When we began the job Basilio said we could build the house in two hours with this team. I spread the word and we were up for the challenge. We missed the mark by 5 minutes. We are leaving here with 7 families having a home. A place to shelter them from the rains and scorching sun. A cement floor to walk on instead of dirt. Door's and windows that lock for safety. What a blessing God has given these amazing familes.

After we completed the last home we visited the orphanage in San Vicente. We brought them bags of much needed towels, sheets, and facecloths. We also made up "care packages" that we handed out to each child. Team members bought skipping ropes and basketballs to give away. We were able to visit and play with the children for a couple of hours. Some team members played a game of basketball where the girls played circles around our Canadian team. Noelle, Dayna and Jenn set up a corner "spa" where they painted girls nails. Stephan played cars with some young boys. Otheres skipped ropes with the girls. After lots of piggy back rides and laughs it was time to go. What an amazing time we had with the children. They are well cared for there surrounded by a beautiful El Salvadorian landscape and manicured lawns but my heart breaks for these children who do not have a mom and dad to come home to at night.

Tomorrow we will be going to San Antonio to hand out the food we purchased. EMCC have started to build homes in this village. I have never been there and am excited to see the "new village" where the teams have been building. We will also be holding the key giving ceremony at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Team members will be giving the families the keys to their new homes. This is the day where I shed lots of tears and my heart breaks that I have to say goodbye to all my amigo's and amiga's. I only have to wait 4 more months until I return. The team members are impacted and are coming back changed. God is alive and working in El Salvador and the Bethany teams are so blessed to be a part of it.

Church Last Night

When we arrived at the church yesterday and I walked in it was amazing to see so many people from San Flippee that our team connected with and also that we were building houses for. For me one of the highlights happened when I walked in and thier was a little five year old boy and his family that I meet on Tuesday and he just ran into my arms and it meet so much to me because I knew I had made a difference. Then he asked his family if he could come sit with me and he sat most of the church service with me and it was so much fun to sit with him and also sit with two other girls that I had meet over the week. At the end of the service the translator from the US team that was there helped me speak to them and they were thanking me on how much I made her grandsons day. Also she said on how much I influenced her thourgh the church service which was so nice and when I gave them hugs they just would not let go. I hope to see them today and it was so nice to see them last night. Also Dusty and I gav our testemoies last night and it was amazing because I did not realize at the time that we are from the same town and we were the only two doing it that night. For me it was hard but I was able to pull through because I knew that god was telling me I had to do this and I could make a difference in this country. Before the testemoies there was singing and it was amazing some team members were singing the english version and our translater the spanish at the same time. Last night we got to meet a team from the world race they are from the US and they are doing 11 countries in 11 months for a mission. I got to talk with 2 of the team members and it was amazing to hear them talk and what they were doing and that they tought what we were doing was also important. Then there was a great nigth talking at dinner and at TEXICO which was amazing and thanks for the great night to the whole team.

6 Houses Done!

Wow, God has been so good. Last night we came back from church and debriefed on the day (as we do each night) and I looked around the room at all the faces of our team and was just so thankful for the family we´ve become. Each person is so talented and such a blessing to the team.

Last night we went to church. Dustin and Kari gave their testimonies and it was absolutely amazing to hear this translated into Spanish, knowing all the people understood what was being said was so inspiring and motivating. Jurgen, Erin, Dustin and I sang three songs in English for worship while Carlita, our translater sang the Spanish at the same time. The congregation knew all the songs. We sand Here I am To Worship, How Great is Our God and How Great Thou Art. What a powerful way to share the peace we share in Christ. Carlita, who is Pastor Jorgeś daughter went on to preach the sermon. It was so inspiring to see a 24 year old (same age as me!) speak with such enthusiasm and knowledge. She spoke about the paralytic that Jesus heals in Mark 2 after his friend lower him into the house through the roof. Carlita mentioned how we had children climbing under the walls in the homes to get to Valerie and Karen who were handing out blankets and shoes. She went on to talk about how no matter what kind of home you have, no matter if you have shoes, running water, whatever, if you do not have Jesus your life is empty and dark. The power of her message could be felt in the room and itś so inspiring to see how in tune she is with the message these people need to hear. I pray that I can speak with the kind of knowledge and energy that she does.

Today we head off to the orphanage and build our 7th and final home. Our 7th home!! Can you believe it? I''ve fallen in love with the people here in El Salvador and can´t wait to meet more of them today. Thank you all for your prayers, they are truly being felt in more ways that you could know. Buenes Dias!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Three

Well for me I blew out my knee on day 1 so I could not do anything but the whole team said it be okay because I was hurt even though I wanted to help. Today was a great day we have 6 houses done out of seven and the 7th house arrives tmo at 10 and we build in the afternoon and visit the orphange tmo morning. Today I really was touched because I was writing my testemony to give tonight and some children came over and watched me write and it was amazing they were trying to say the words. Then a boy who was a teenager came over to me and wanted me to teach him english. For me this was amazing because he wanted to be able to understand me and communicate with me. I was teaching him english and he was teaching me some spanish but he piced up on the english ten times faster and it was amazing and he wants me to teach him tomorrow. This was something that touched me because it proved how much they liked us being there and that god put us here for a reason even though I was injurged it touched me. Thank you to the DIG TEAM which consisted of three very funny men who made me laugh even though I was hurt. Thank you to Kevin, Todd, and Phil for giving me the nickname THE GIMPSTER because I knew they were joking but it was so funny how they said it and by the end of the day I did not feel left out. Thank you Kevin who was my PHARMACY who saved me these last couple of days. THanks to Todd and Phil for helping me get around it has been great. Also thank you everyone for being so caring and stuff when I was not able to walk fast to trying to help and FALLING IN HOLES. This has been a great week and so looking forward to the reast and tonight where I give my testemony at the church.

Prayers

Karie

Teenagers!

Just wanted to post how AMAZING the youth of Bethany are! They continue to show such compassion for the people here and I see such leadership qualities in each of them. It makes me excited about the future and how God is going to use them to impact the world for Him. It is truly an honor to serve with them on the missions field.
I thought the teenagers would be blogging more! I have even threatened them with NO Texaco if they don't start blogging but to no avail. I will have to update everyone on the team news. We have completed 6 homes!!!! We would have been able to complete the 7th but we are still waiting for the supplies to be brought from Galvanessa homes. They have promised us it will be at the worksite at 10 am tommorrow. I am praying that is true. It would be a HUGE disappointment if we can't build the 7th home.
We have also handed out all the shoes, knapsacks and handmade quilts. It is such a blessing to see the childrens faces when you hand them a quilt and a new pair of shoes.. Nothing is better or more rewarding than serving on the missions field.

Tomorrow we will visit the orphanage in the morning. We have bags full of towels, sheets, as well as basketballs and care packages for each child. Then we will set off to San Felipe to build the 7th house.

Tonight is church. We have rented a truck to bring our friends from San Felipe to church. What an amazing night it will be when we will be in church together praising our God. It is a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

The people of El Salvador are truly amazing! I am so blessed that God has called me to this little country to serve Him. They continue to teach me so many life lessons. Community, thankfulness while living in poverty, joy in the midst of daily trials and suffering and most importantly an amazing faith in our Savior.
Day 3! We have completed 3 homes and are now working on house 4, 5 and 6 today. We had started them yesterday and should complete all the homes by Thursday morning. We are waiting on house #7 to be delivered. The team is amazing and God's hand continues to be on us as we work as we have been kept safe as we build. Th last few days have been emotional ones as we work alongside some of the poorest people in this world. I am so thankful that God has proveded 7 homes for these families. Church tonight. I am praying that many families from San Felipe will attend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Worshipping in different tongues, but having the same heart...

WOW! Todayś our first day to work at the sites! Yesterday was such an amazing day! We visited the sites yesterday and met all the people we will be building homes for. The poverty was unbelievable. I´ve never experience poverty like that. But at the same time, the love and happiness of these people is overwhelming. We went to church after visiting the sites and Pastor asked us all to stand and they thanked us for being here. I couldn´t help thinking how thankful I am just to be here, and what an honor it is to be doing God´s work. Itś an amazing blessing that God has hand-picked each one of us with our different talents and abilities and he will use them all to bless the people of El Salvador. It was neat to see how we all connect a little differently with the people. It was so cool to hear the congregation sing songs that we sing at church but in Spanish, and the songs mean the same things and touch them in the same way, so cool! At dinner after church the worship leader and I spent like half an hour of him singing songs in Spanish, me trying to figure out what they were, and then singing together in our two languages! It was so fun! Well weŕe heading off soon for breakfast and then to work! Thank you for your prayers, it is such a blessing to be here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Church

Going to church was amazing to just see the love that building homes here in El Salvador has brought people to love Christ. When just sitting in church you can see the love that they feel for the Canadian Teams that come down here. Even though its hard to communicate with them you find a way in writing or just in facial expressions. Being down here has brought me so much joy and has made me realize how much I have at home and the love of Christ. We are waking up at 5 tomorrow and its all going to be worth it and we are all here for our reasons and we all have different things that brought us here. Also the culture is so different down here and I have realized the difference already like for instance children can play with a ball for hours just kicking it and throwing it when some people at home we last 5min. Also just the smile on all of their faces when the truck showed up they all came running. This is going to be a great week and I would like to thank all of the team for a great day and can't wait for what God has in store of us.

Prayers Karie
We have visited the families who we will be building the homes for. The people of El Salvador are just amazing. Pastor Jorge and I went to deliver medical supplies (donated by a medical team from EMCC) to a women who is the village midwife. She had delivered two baby girls that morning. She was showing me a scar that she had that spread across her entire abdomen. She has had surgery 4 times to remove a growth that continues to grow back. I could see it and felt it. It is huge. She is so selfless. She said that she prays that God will continue to allow her to live so she can continue to help the people in San Felipe. She suffers in pain everyday and her only prayer is to be able to continue to serve. She has taught me an incerdible lesson today.

Starting the work tomorrow. Off to church now!
Luckily some of my clothes fit tim, at least we dont have to share everything he had some personal items in his carry on. Today was very humbling seeing how the people live and still they are happy. Breakfast of rice and beans started the day off right. Looking forward to church this afternoon and greasy chicken tonight. Hope you are all safe and healthy. See ya , Jurgen

Day One

We left to eat breakfast this morning and then we went to visit the families that we are building houses for. The ride there on the truck was amazing I was on the front and we were going fast and got splatted in the face by a lot of things. When we got there we went and visited all the families and it was so nice to see how happy everyone who is a part of the house building was so happy. We saw many families and interacted with them and I loved how happy they were to get a house they has the land already prepared for us to build there homes. What touched me is some of the people receiving the homes were sleeping right by there stuff so it would not get stolen. Then we went to eat lunch and we went and interacted with many of the children. We played games and learned all their names and they new my name better then I could remember theirs. They were teaching us games and even though there was a barrier it did not matter we know that they loved interacting and playing with us. I meet many young girls and we were playing games that I still have to learn, we were playing something like tackle football and just having fun the kids loving our sunglasses and us just playing with them and them wanting us to play with them. We got there and there are already children following us around and they will be around all week with us interacting and helping us along the way. They were so cute and the best part is that its their summer time down here and they will be with us through the day cheering us on. I can not wait to see what God has in store for us this week for our team and I know I'm down here or a reason. I love it here and its such nice weather and I con not believe that it was finally here and I can just see what it is like and be able to help as much as I can down here.

God Bless everyone and we are heading to church at 3 which is when it starts which it will be 4 your time.

Prayers

Karie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We have just had dinner at the hotel and are about to start our first team debriefing. We have made it here safely. A few of the bags are still in Toronto but we are told that we will be receiving them Mnday. Tim and I do not have our personal bags. We are begging and borrowing clothes from other team members to tie us over until Monday. We are going to San Felipe tomorrow to visit the 7 families we are going to build the homes for. I am so excited to be returning to a place I love. Not because of the place but because of the amazing people who live there.
Wow what a team God has put together for this trip. So excited to see the lives that will be changed this week. Not just the lives of the amazing people of El Salvador but the lives of the team members. There is no one here by mistake. God has chosen each one to gloify His name through their amazing gifts and talents. Each one has been handpicked. May His name be glorified this week. And people come to know Him as their Savior.

Keep praying for us.

We are here

Just to let everyone know we are here safe and sound. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel because of all the cows on the road. 6 pieces of luggage got left in Toronto because it did not get loaded on the plane. It will be here on the next flight which is on Monday. Valerie and Tims personal suitcases did not arrive here but they are handling it with grace. Note to Elaine can Tim cut his new jeans off???

Had a great dinner tonight and visiting the families we will be building houses for tomorrow. Most of us are headed to bed early!!!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Countdown!

Two weeks today! 14 days before we leave for El Salvador. The team of 19 people are pumped and ready to go. After many team meetings, fundraisers and of course immunizations we are well prepared. There are many team members who are returning to El Salvador and for others this is their first time. I am really excited to see how God is going to use each of us to impact the amazing people of El Salvador for His kingdom.

We have 7 homes to build, thousands of pounds of food to hand out, 160 handmade quilts to give away, 120 care packages for the orphanage as well as a few hundred children's sandals. Wow!
We have a full week with lots of work to be done. I know that there will be lots of "God moments" and that each of us will be impacted and changed.

The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

March 2010 Team


Monday, March 22, 2010

A Wonderful Missions Trip

When our family came to Bethany 5 years ago, it wasn't long before we had a clear understanding of the many missions trips that Bethany is involved in annually. I thought that this was great and was encouraged by how quickly these trips filled up. I thought that it was equally great that people were using their talents for God, but never gave much thought to the possibility of going on a trip myself. After all, what could I contribute to a construction team? I sit at a desk for a reason and didn't consider that I might have a role to play on one of the teams. Boy, was I wrong!

A few people said to me over the years " all you need is a willing heart". I'd smile politely and think to myself " if you only knew how inept I am with tools". In a way, I convinced myself that I couldn't contribute and left it at that. Then Kevin came to me and expressed a desire to go on the El Salvador Missions Trip. He asked me if I would go with him. As a father, this was really a no-brainer. How many teens invite their parents to serve God together in a foreign land? I immediately said yes and the rest is history.

I am so grateful for all of you who served on this team. This group was not assembled randomly but rather was hand picked by God. After all that we have been through together in the last week, I am convinced of that all the more. It was clear that satan did not want our team in El Salvador and he did not want us anywhere near the people who we were privileged to serve. He tried to put many obstacles in our path, but God simply blew those obstacles away. What an honour to be in the midst of that. I was so encouraged by the team's response to each hurdle. Our circle of prayer would assemble quickly and the issue would be committed to God immediately. We saw a number of miracles occur and I thank God for the things that he did.

You are an amazing group of people. From Dig Team to Prayer Team to Childrens' Team to Construction Team, God's choices for this trip were bang on ( as always). It was simply awesome to get to know each of you more fully. It is clear that you all have unique gifts that perhaps God revealed to you for the first time this week. I encourage you to use them from this day forward for His glory.

I'm sure that we all have our bag of highlights for the week, but for me, a few stand out. Mine included working with and getting to know you all and the local Salvadoran guys, building Avillio Marino's house (the guy who was raising his children alone), and singing old gospel songs with Linda and others(Joanna, Maritza, Valerie, Kevin W...) who joined in. There was a ton of emotional experiences this week as well and for me, that was really awesome. Being the neighbourhood dad was also very special to me--hope I didn't nag you guys too much (make sure your homework is done tonight before you watch TV). Aside form the many more things that I could list, I just want to say what a privilege it was to serve with Kevin on this trip. As a father, I can't fully explain the joy of carrying out this labour of love with my son. I can't even adequately put it into words. I just want to praise God for it.

To our brothers Jose and Miguel, I want to thank them for the impact that they had on our teens. My prayer is that our gang grows in their love for God's people and also grows in their faith because of this experience.

I'd also like to thank Pastor, Maritza and their family for their awesome hospitality. They poured themselves into us with servant hearts and they will never fully know that impact that this has had

Finally, I would like to say a huge "thank you" to Dennis and Valerie for leading our team. Your patience and graciousness was felt by all of us and your love for the El Salvadoran people is obvious. God used you both mightily this week and I want to express my appreciation and gratitude for your tireless efforts.

I love you guys and I feel very honoured to have had the opportunity to share the past week with you in this labour of love. Let's never forget what we've seen and experienced and let's remember to pray without ceasing for our brothers and sisters in El Salvador. They have taught us many lessons this week.

In Christ,

Dave (dad, papa, pops, pappy...)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A day of rest

After an incredible week with lots of "God moments" we are headed for the beach.
We have 17 people who are coming back to Canada changed. How can you not? We came here not only to build 6 homes but to be Christ hand extended and to impact the people of El Salvador.The wonderful people of El Salvador have shown us compassion, love, generousity,kindness and acceptence. They have taught us so much.

Once again I pray that it won't be long until God opens the door for me to return. When I go back to Canada my heart always remains here.


Valerie

i cannot think of a title for this

Mom if you read this, i think i lost the camera


-jonathan

Friday, March 19, 2010

Miguel

One more time I felt the God´s love in my life, I been enjoyed all my time with you guys, thank you for learn me new words and for you patience when I commit mistakes. Ha ha ha ha!

I want to tell you that all of you are so deep in my heart, and I will never forget this awesome week with Bethany team 2010

:)

OH MY GOSHHHHHH! i cant even begin to explain how amazing this trip has been... its been an emotional rollercoaster, and i have learned SOO so so much!! i can honestly say that my life has been impacted and changed, and i cannot wait to see what God has in store for me and His plans for my future. I KNOW that i am going to be coming back to El Salvador!
Today we went to a natural spring lagoon waterfall place and it was beautiful! im extremelly excited to go to the beach tomorrow, but i have to say that i am NOT looking forward to coming home.
it was tough today to say goodbye to all our new friends here, but i am certain i will see them again and i´m SO excited!!!
alrighty, well tonight we are eating dinner at the mayor´s house. kinda scared....

Friday

Because we worked so hard yesterday in completing 2 houses in one day, we didn't need to do any building today. This morning we had the key giving ceremony and the mayor of Apastapeque -San Felipe is in this region- came along to give his support and gave a bit of speech. The people recieving the homes were so gracious. It was also a little sad today because we had to say goodbye to our wonderful San Felipe friends. That's always the hard part. We develop such amazing relationships with the men, woman and children and it's not easy saying goodbye. I feel at home here, it is incredible to see how God is working through us and the people of San Felipe.

This afternoon we spent some time at a natrual springs lagoon and that was pretty neat.... I got sunburnt today though... I even put on sunscreen :(

This evening all of us are invited to have dinner with the mayor. That'll be pretty interesting!

Take Care and we thank everyone for their prayers!
Hasta Luego
Joanna

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finished!!!!

The Bethany team has completed 6 houses in 4 days. I think this is a record! I have been truly blessed serving along side my brothers and sisters in Christ as we have built these homes for some really amazing families.
Each family has shared their life journeys and what they have had to endure. Earthquakes, mudslides, loss of beloved children and husbands as well as abandonment from spouses. Yet they still continue to glorify God in the midst of their suffering. It was an incredible honour to meet these special people and be a small part of the amazing things that God is doing here.
We not only completed all the houses but were able to deliver the food packages to the poorest people of San Vicente.. Many lost everything including family members from the mud slides. In February when I was visiting the tent cities I met a precious little baby girl who was saved from being washed away when the mud and debri washed through homes at 2 in the morning this past November. Someone through a rope around her waist and dragged her out of the water. When I was haning out food in the tent cities I seen her again sitting and playing in a bucket of water. She truly is a "miracle" and I know that she gives hope to the people who have been affeced by this tragedy.
Tomorrow is bittersweet as we are holding the key giving ceremony in San Felipe. We have completed the homes and we rejoice in that but we have to say "adios" to our new found friends.

I here all the time that El Salvador is a "small country with a big heart" and I must agree.. I am going back to Canada but my heart will remain here.

Valerie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3 down and 3 to go

As previously blogged, we arrived safely et al. and it is now late Tuesday night. After watching a video about our Üniverse and our Indescribable God, a tired and sleepy Bethany team headed to bed (actually thought that the all the youth would go right to sleep tonight). Within just a few minutes we experienced our own ¨Big Bang¨as an enormous crack of thunder pulled us all out of our beds. Some chose to wash their hair and play in the ensuing downpour while others just watched from the balconyor tried to sleep. This is my 4th trip to El Salvador and my first rain shower (this one is quite a storm). I am so thrilled to know that tonight three families are dry and sleeping under their new roof. I got to work on the roof on house number three and I do hope that those bolts that missed the beam are not leaking. I guess that we should be sure to include a tube of silicone in the gift baskets that we give to the new homeowners (Val´s special touch). El Salvador has become such a special place in my heart and my life as my family and friends are well aware. I love spending time with Pastor Jorge and his special family and they make each one of us feel so at home. What an amazing servant family and I thank God that our friendship will go on for an eternity. (with no language barrier).
Each time I come to El Salvador God teaches me new truths as I interact with the team and the people of this country. The unity on this Bethany team is truly amazing and it is wonderful to have this time to hang out, work alongside and serve with these brothers and sisters in Christ (most of whom I have never met before). No two days are ever the same and I guess that is part of what I love about it. I thank God for this opportunity and in particular for my precious and generous hubby who never questions or discourages this passion in my life. Continue to keep us in your prayers as we build the houses, distribute food and clothing, play with kids, show Christ´s love to the people and do whatever else needs to be done.
Linda

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3 houses

BETHANY TEAMS ROCK!!!! God is so good! I can't beleive I am writing this but we have completed 3 houses in 2 DAYS! Unbelievable.
Our mornings begin at 5 a.m to be finished breakfast and devotions by 6:30. We arrive at the worksites for 7 am
Today we were able to hold a childrens ministry. Joanna and the youth held a puppet show. The children were so amazed. I loved just being there to see all their faces. They were so happy. There were over a 100 children there as well as parents.
Tomorrow we begin working in the village of San Felipe. We will start building the other 3 homes as well as handing out the food. Pastor Jorge has already decided where we will be going to hand out the food. It will be to some of the poorest people in San Vicente. It's so hard as I see poverty eveywhere I look. With 80% unemployment rate these precious people cannot get on their feet. I see so much that needs to be done that I want to stay longer than a week.
The team has been amazing! Team unity is so strong. The youth are seeing poverty first hand and I know that it is life changing for them.
Tomorrow evening is our church service as well as the key giving ceremony for the first 3 houses.
Friday we will be having the key giving ceremony for the other 3 homes in San Felipe and if we have all the work completed we want to go to some natural springs to swim.
Lives are being changed in El Salvador and on the team. May God be glorified in all we do.

Valerie

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello from El Salvador!!!!!!
I am so happy that we are finially here, it seems almost like its not really happening!
It was a bit of a cultural shock when we arrived, and i was scared about how i was going to take all of the new things I was seeing, but as soon as i met some of the locals, my heart was completely changed. They are so happy all the time, and so welcomming to everyone. It is so crazy how much love there is in this little country. I am excited to grow more as we are here, and learn more about myself, and about what God has in store for El Savador, I think it is great sucess. We went to church today, and it was amazing how much they love God here, everyone was so excited about life, and so happy. Its crazy that here, where people alomost have nothing can be so increadably stoked on God, and in Canada where we have almost everything, we have doubts about Him and don't always beleive. I am so excited for what God has in store for tomorrow, and the rest of the week! I LOVE IT HERE!
kay now a funny story. So me and the girls in my room (Katie, Jesse and Chelsea) were sleeping soundly, when all of a sudden we heard a gun shot! and we were freaking out, and we went outside and we were so scared. And it happened about 3 times during the night, and we thought that it was people shooting dogs, because they had been barking alot, and we were so sad. Then when we woke up early, we went outside and were sitting enjoying the weather and we saw a mango drop from the tree and hit the tin roof. AND IT WAS THE EXACT SAME SOUND AS A GUN SHOT. So we all laughed, and that was the end of it. But it was so funny because we were all so worried about our safety, but it was just very ripe mangos playing tricks on us!
funny stuff :)
anyways, time for bed, its almost 10 and i have to wake up at 5 tomorrow.

Goodnight, ill try not to let the bedbugs bight.. or the little lizards in our room.
hahah but im serious.

-Emily

Official Full Day!

Hello People reading this!
Wow! We have made it through an entire day! This is amazing! So this morning me and the roomies (Jessie, Emily & Chelsey) woke up at 2 AM! HOKEY DINAH! we woke up cause we thought we heard gunshots! So we ran out of the room screaming and were scared to go back to sleep. real smart eh? Hear a gunshot and run outside haha. were not the brightest .. but were learning! So this morning we woke up first and went outside and a mango fell out of the tree and landed on the tin roof, and it made the same noise. so I´m sure you can imagine how intelligablñe we felt when it was a mango actually, and not a gun. we woke people up for nothing with all that screaming. haha!
So today what we did was went around to all the places where we would be building, and met the families.. seriously, the people pf El Salvador are my favourite people in the world now.. they are so gracious, and even with nothing they praise the lord, and are all so insanely happy because they have such love. Thats something I really want to learn this week, is to be gracious with what I have and love with everything. Being in El Salvador makes me so happy, it´s beautiful (theres palm trees! yay!) and it gives me such a sense of peace just by walking outside.. maybe i won´t be coming back haha .

Love & Prayers,
Katie

Ps, I´m also so happy about making friends already.. we have these 2 translators Hose and Miguel, they are wonderful, and such servants to the Lord it makes me happy, and Pastor Jorge and his family are such servants tp the Lord, they are the most giving people I´ve ever met, I want to be like them , they¨ve inspired me.

P.P.S.. This blog is keeping me awake, silly writing haha.. I should be in bed right now, but i´m not tired. so i´m writing this, what a rebel! but i´m going to get this rebel bum to bed, and sleep! well maybe not, because i´m in the same room as the Duldner. just kidding, she´s sitting behind me.

Anyways, this time i´m actually leaving
Goodnight!

WOW

We had a pretty cool day today!! - actually, it was really HOT! We travelled to all 6 of the work sites where we will be building the new homes for the families. Even though I was here last year, it is still quite unbelievable seeing what kind of living conditions they have. I´m very excited to build these houses! It´s awesome interacting with the kids. As soon as they see our truck pull in, they just herd around us. It was great seeing some of our old friends in San Felipe where we built 5 houses last year. This year we are building 3 houses in san Felipe and 3 in the city of San Vicente. Please keep praying for health and safety! Also, the locations of the work sites are farther apart from each other than we hoped. Please pray that the logistics of this will be ironed out as we travel to and from and inbetween the work sites to get these 6 houses complete!

Dios te bendiga!

Joanna

We've arrived!

We have arrived at the hotel. Yesterday we visited the family and seen where we will be building house #1. It is a blessing to know that by the end of this week they will have a new home. They are a family with 5 children. She was expressing to the team how happy she was as God has provided her with a home. To God be the glory.
Today we are going to be visiting the other 5 work sites and meeting the families whom we will be building along side this week. We will also be starting the food distribution. Church is at 3:30 this afternoon. Pastor Jorge and Maritza has said that the attendance at their church has exploded. Many people are coming to know Christ as their Saviour. God is so good.
Tomorrow the work begins. Pray for us as we need to complete 6 houses!

Valerie

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Puppet Practice
























Team packing day

5 days and were leaving for El Salvador. Getting the 18 bags packed. Around 900 pounds of items to donate!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

El Salvador Team Pictures 2010

Trying to get the team together for a photo!








We're a crazy team.









Finally. Smile everyone.