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Published: September 10th 2015
After one week in El Salvador I couldn’t be happier that God has called me here. Reality is now beginning to hit, and even though I’m on a mission trip, I am also living here for nine months. El Salvador is my home, and it is really starting to feel that way too.
The team gets along, and it’s been a pleasure to share testimonies of what God’s done in our lives. Also we’ve spent this week going out together on excursions to see the country. We’ve been to two volcanoes so far. One called Coatepeque had a lake in the crater that we went swimming in, and we managed to get some sweet pictures from the top too.
Besides seeing the country we also began attending Vida Nueva services. My favorite so far has been the youth service we attended. It was a cool experience interacting with the locals and conveniently many of them spoke English. It’s tempting to give up and speak English with them, but I still have the urge to speak to these wonderful people in their own language. I can’t wait to see what God will do after nine months of Spanish classes, and it’s the goal of our team to be able to disciple locals in their own language.
Learning Spanish would also make life a lot easier too. I have already struggled with locals to understand each other through the barrier. Jordan and I accidently ordered twice as much food at a pizza hut earlier this week. I really didn’t mind getting four pizzas on accident cause we’ll eat ‘em but man they were expensive!
I also struggled with the mail man. The poor man just gave up and agreed to come later. But perhaps the people I feel sorry for the most are the poor waiters at the restaurants we go to. I can’t imagine the excitement they may feel when a crowd of American kids walks through their door. And I can’t imagine what it must be like when that excitement turns into frustration as they struggle to get all our orders.
In all honesty I can barely understand the menus, but all we get if possible is papusas. For those of you who don’t know papusas are like a Salvadorian miracle. The best way to describe it is like a tortilla stuffed with refried beans, cheese and whatever meat you choose. You can stick jalapeños in them too. Either way though papusas are awesome, and I’m pretty sure that’s what God’s gonna be serving us heaven, they’re so amazing!
Besides papusas we’ve had many other delicacies most of which have been prepared by our sweet cook Abuelita Patty. These of course are delicacies you won’t find in the U.S. like lasagna, spaghetti, Enchiladas, fried plantains and more. Oh and pretty much every meal is eaten with refried beans, so using the bathroom is also a fun experience.
Besides all the amazing experiences I had some humbling ones too. We visited a couple Churches and a memorial at the University too. All told the story of brave leaders in the Church who spoke against the corruption in the government during the time of the Civil War in El Sal. Many priests died as martyrs during that time, and their legacy is still fresh in the minds of Salvadorians, as the 22 year long war only ended 23 years ago.
The war is primarily to blame for the instability in the government, and for the gangs that seem to have taken significant control of the government. In recent times the struggle between the government and the gangs continues.
It’s been quite the learning experience to see the good and bad sides of this country. It’s easy to fall in love with a country on a mission trip, and just compare all the good things there with all the bad at home. But it is important to remember that there is a good side and a bad side to each society; but God can still work wonders either way.
I am excited to see what the Lord continues to do. I urgently await the chance to start ministry and Spanish classes. Next week we’ll officially begin, and I can’t wait to see who God brings my way. I just want to continue to ask all of you to pray for these ministries, and for those God may bring my way to impact for His glory. Also pray for me and the team to as we prepare for classes at the University and for other doors that may open while we serve here in El Sal.
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