(Photos and videos will be uploaded later. Sorry! Limited Internet!)
The adventures of El Salvador 2.0 – day 6
Today has seemed pretty stripped down so far, as we are all only working a half day. We started off the morning by splitting into two groups and each building another Eco stove. The group I was with completed another stove! The best part of the morning wasn’t the stove, though. We had the privilege of meeting a lady named Theresa, her daughters Isabella and Beatrice, and her grand kids, Mariana (5), Isabella (1.5), and Louis (7). Pretty soon after we arrived, Mariana realized that we are easy entertainment. Danae spent the whole morning hanging out with the kids, playing with bouncy balls, cars, bears, and of course, the kids.
As the morning progressed, Theresa was kind enough to make us a cucumber salad, which was fantastic! She had fresh cucumbers that she peeled, paired with tomatoes, then dressed with some lemon juice and salt. I was so refreshing! Not long after that, she got a neighbor boy to climb one of their trees and pick some fruit called marmon. It has a small, thin outer shell that shelters a slimy pink fruit. If you can get past the texture, the fruit is absolutely fantastic! Jayger bought a bag of them off of Theresa before we left, and we ate them on the truck ride home.
I had a great time walking through the garden with Theresa, as she showed me her produce and told me all about the trees and flowers. It wasn’t much, but it was definitely enough to bond over!
After lunch, it was time for the dedication ceremony for our projects. W all hiked back to Theresa’s house, where Pastor Orlando said a prayer, read some scripture, and we officially cut the ribbon! Each of us now has a piece of this moment in the form of a length of ribbon.
When we arrived back at the church, the pastor and his congregation had prepared a presentation for us. A sister from the congregation opened up in prayer, followed by members of the congregation presenting us each with a rose as a token of their love. In a slight mood change, the rose presentation was followed with a dance performed by some local youth to the song, “King of Majesty,” by Hillsong United. Not only did they perform the dance, but they insisted that they teach it to us. Without words of explanation, they lined us up, turned the song on, and somehow we all danced. We finished doing the motions with them once and were about to sit down when they motioned to do it again. I am not sure if this was because we did so terrible that they wanted to give us another shot out of pity, or because we were so awesome, and they wanted to relive the moment. Either way, we did it twice. The video of our epic performance is below:
VIDEO WILL BE HERE!
After we settled down a bit from dancing mania, our real life karate kid and his dad came for a demonstration. Once again, we were blown away by this kid and his katas! What was almost more impressive was when his father did a routine. He was a picture of control – from precise movement to intentional breathing and expression. According to Serena, they happened to make eye contact for about 30 seconds, and she thought she was about to die.
Up next in the agenda was a very thought out presentation by pastor Orlando. The congregation had created a plaque for us with each of our names on it so that when we return home, we won’t forget them. The pastor then asked our friend Walter to come and speak. Walter thanked our host church, masons, regional coaches, Jayger, and our team for all of the work done this past week. Because of the partnerships between Enlace and churches like willow, communities in El Salvador are being affected in a positive way towards progress and towards Christ. We ended the ceremonies with a large circle of prayer, which was a beautiful picture of how we come from different areas, but are all a part of the Church. What a blessing to be a part of something this impactful!
After this, we said our goodbyes to our new friends in El Progresso, loaded up for a final drive in the open truck, and headed back to pastor Mauricio’s. There, we were able to say goodbye to him, the kids, and the dogs, load up the van, and head back to the hotel to pick up our bags.
Presently, we are in the van heading up into the mountains in preparation for zip lining tomorrow! Party on! All except for about 4 of us are sleeping. We are definitely a tired group, but are so glad that we were able to see God move this week!