El Salvador

El Salvador

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Market & Beach

It's our day of rest. We are being picked up to go to the local market here in San Vicente and then on to the beach. It has been an incredible week filled with a lot of different emotions. One thing for sure it has been life changing for all of us. God is moving in incredible ways in El Salvador and what an amazing gift to have witnessed it this week.

See you soon in Canada!

Valerie

Friday, March 18, 2011

Poverty

Today was a different day. We slept in a little. We were able to sleep until 7 am instead of 5:30. We did not build homes but instead we handed out food in the village of San Antonio. San Antonio is a village where families who were displaced after the civil war and the earthquakes of 2000 and 2001 have settled. They are having to live beside abandoned railroad tracks. They are living in extreme poverty. Their houses consist of sticks and plastic. It is sometimes very hard to see and emotionally take it all in. As I walked in the village I question why we in Canada continue to live in such luxury and work so hard to continue buying and accumulating "things". Then we work just as hard to pay off and insure all the things we bought. If we listen to financial advisers we should have 6 months to a year saved in case of an emergency. We are taught that if we are wise we could and should have a couple of million in RRSP to be able to retire comfortably. I seen men, women and children living in shacks without proper food or provision. Isn't that an emergency? These people will never have emergency funds or RRSP or even three meals a day. Most do not have one meal a day. Our North American lifestyle that we have bought into isn't what Jesus taught. It is not the message he gave us. He commanded us to look after the poor and suffering in this world. To look after the widows and orphans. He called us to live like him. May we listen to His command and live differently in Canada to have more resources to help the poor living in extreme poverty.

Incredible day!

We had an incredible day yesterday. We completed the 8th home and held the key giving ceremony. As always it is bittersweet. We celebrate because 8 families now have shelter to protect them from the elements and doors that lock. They no longer have to sweep a dirt floor but will have a clean, cold concrete floor. How faithful is our God to his children.
The bitter part is where we have to say goodbye to our amazing friends. The people of San Felipe are so welcoming, so full of love for God and their community. They welcome us always with open arms and hearts. We need to learn from them and practice this at home in our own community. The energy that comes from love is incredible and we felt it full blown yesterday in the key giving ceremony.

Today we are handing out food in the village of San Antonio as well as visiting the orphanage. May we continue to see these amazing people through the eyes of Christ and may we never grow weary from serving the poor and sharing the gospel. After all that is what Christ commanded us to do.

Valerie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Faithful

God is so faithful. After such a discouraging day Monday we had an incredible day yesterday. We continued dealing with the rocks from site #1 but with the Lord's help we completed 3 homes. Praise God! We are planning on completing house #5 and #6 today. We have to leave the work siites early as we have church tonight.
Yesterday I shared in the morning devotion 1 Corithians 12:12-31. Paul speaks here of the body being many parts and how God uses each of the parts. If one is missing it is not a complete body. I see this everyday as we are working at the jobsite. We are each a part but working together we are a whole body. He also says in verse 26 that if one part suffers , every part suffers with it: if one part is honoured every part rejoices with it. I am so thankful that I see this evident in our team. Once again Dennis and I are truly hnoured to serve among this amazing group of people from Bethany.

Valerie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rocks

Today we arrived at site # 1 with an incredible amount of enthusiasm to begin the building. We had planned and fundraised for 6 months. Finally after all the planning and preperation the day had arrived where we could start.

We were not prepared for what was waiting. Rocks! Not little ones. Were talking huge boulders. After 2.5 hours of digging we were exhausted and just a little frustrated. We talked to Pastor Jorge and he knew a man who had the tools to drill into the boulders. We hired him to use his tools to remove them. We then went to site two and three. Site #2 was the same where we hit the rocks. Very frustrating. It was a LONG day! The dig team as well as some local men prepared and leveled the 2 sites. We got the house completed on site 2. Yeeeeh. We are rejoicing that with all the obstacles we faced we were able to complete one house and get two sites levelled. "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us" Even in the midst of these frustrations we still had some amazing God moments interacting with the amazing people of El Salvador.

Chelsey made bracelets with children and visited with the local women in the village. The teen guys had water fights with the local people who helped us on the worksite. Myself, Linda, Jean and Polly visited some of my amigo's families. After many visits to San Felipe I was able to fulfill a wish and visit my friends homes and meet their families. One of my friends in the village is Henri. His mom and dad live in the U.S and his grandparents raise him. When we visited him his grandfather told me his grandmother was in the hospital. He was so upset and crying. We all gathered around and prayed for them and that God would touch her as she layed in the hospital and heal her. We are planning to go back in the morning to visit with Henri and his grandfather. Erin knows Spanish so she is able to comunicate with the local people. She is amazing with the people. Kristen and and Katie set up a "spa" and painted girls nails. The men worked like tanks to get the 1st house completed. We all have gifts and talents and God is using each of them to impact the people of El Salvador for His kingdom.

Tomorrow is a new day. We don't know what it will hold but God does.... Will we face more giant boulders? Work in exteme heat like today (Yes)? Encounter more obstacles? Whatever it holds we will face it as a team and with the Lord's strength. I will keep you posted. In everything we do may God be glorified and people come to know His saving grace.

Goood night friends.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blessings from God


We went to San Felipe today. This is a home that a family is living in. They are a wonderful couple who have 2 sons. Aged 1 and 4. By the end of the week God will have provided them with the blessing of a new home. It truly is a blessing to have the priveledge to work alongide this amazing family. God is so good and so faithful!
Valerie

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Safe arrival

The team arrived safely and we have just finished an amazing meal at the hotel. It took awhile to get through customs. All the team members bags arrived.
Tomorrow we are going to the village of San Felipe to visit the 8 families we will be building homes for. At 3 is church.

Gotta run as we are soon to start our first team debreifing!

Valerie