Back But Not The Same

This post was originally written in October 2011:

I returned home from El Salvador late last night so ready to see Steve and to sleep in my own bed.

What a trip it was!  On the way there, I mentioned to Jenny, the other married lady traveling alone, that I have been on several trips (Alaska and Africa) that I expected to change my life and even though I loved them both and want to return one day to both places, I couldn’t really say that they had and I wondered if this trip would be the same.

It is hard to say what exactly what the change was and to pin point specifically when it happened.  I think it might have been little tiny layers of unconditional, completely self-giving love in such a short period of time.

We arrived late Thursday night as the children were returning from an evening church service and headed to bed. We aren’t really supposed to see them after 7 pm because they have so much to do to get ready for the next day and don’t need excitement from us to mess up their schedule.  The two ladies, Katie and her mom Susie, who had been there before had hugs from the kids who recognized them and the as we were introduced, the kids shook our hands and then they were gone while we tried to settle ourselves.

These kids get up at 4:00 am to get ready for the day, do their chores, have breakfast, then do the dishes before heading to class at 7 am .  As they are kids, there has to be some complaining here and there but we never saw it.  They are just so grateful for all they have which a safe place to live with the family God has given them, clothes, food, they get to attend a private school that wealthy families send their children to and they have their hermanas (house mothers) who keep them in line and love of them the best they can.

The next morning, which was just a week ago, I went ahead to the breakfast area that is set aside for us.  Unless we are eating the same thing, the visitors don’t get to eat with the kids as it sounds like the visitors whom are paying $25 / day for room and board and the opportunity to help the home plus get love and to love on the kids get different foods for our more demanding tastes.  As our group of 8 was small, it was easy set up for us each day versus the groups of 20 or 30 which takes longer to set tables etc.

As I was early, I was waiting outside and enjoying the magnificent light and cursing for not bring a camera to lunch.

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It was amazing how popular the pipe cleaners I found at Dollar Tree were…
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Sue with the little ones (not the wee ones)…
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Skip to today – January 18, 2014

Yes, this was one of those posts that never was completed.  In fact, now that I think about it I have yet to really scrapbook or finish a directory of this special trip in 2011.  And oddly what jumps to my mind about this now, 2 plus years later is that when I returned from El Salvador, God dropped in to my lap the introduction of International Student Foundation (ISF) which led me to meet Ryan and Alex.

Katie and Bobby had their daughter and I don’t think any of their family has returned.  Jenny and I found a special bond through that trip and we now enjoy special hugs whenever we see each other at St. Laurence.  Megan Mecca (who recently became a mom herself) has made more recent trips to El Salvador but we haven’t had any additional formal trips there again.

And now that I have a job, I should start sponsoring a Shalom Home youth like some of our church members do…

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