A Last Full Day or Ministry
by Andi Redmond
Wow! What a great day! It started off with Sarah, Ben and Andi heading over early to a local school in a developing community. They taught an English as a second language class (ESL) to a class of pre-schoolers, then the rest of the team arrived to continue the day's activities. Part of the group delivered food and prayers to the families in the area, the medical team went on home visits, and the rest of us continued the ESL classes.
We taught 5 different ESL classes over 4 straight hours and were very impressed with the kids' interest in learning English. Sarah was in her element and is a wonderful teacher! Remember "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"?! We gave that song a workout today!
Meanwhile, the medical team actually re-visited those they had seen on their first visits. They were able to deliver medicines and supplies that were identified as needs from the first pass. The people were all so grateful for the time, attention and compassion shown to them, including taking time to play catch with the kids! We also met a lady who seems to have healthy living down to an art: she was celebrating her 108th Birthday!
Continuing to Build Bridges with Local Leaders
After lunch we went to the city hall of Nueva Cuscatian - an area in San Salvador. We had been invited by the Mayor to tour the area with her. At the city hall building, a group of women were making paper flower arrangements and other handicrafts. They were being trained in a program that taught skills to women over 35 to help them earn an income.
The Mayor is also making many physical improvements to the area - she took us to a brand new park that will have it's grand opening next week. It is a beautiful, modern area that will have a playground and concert/stage area for community gatherings. We then walked a few blocks to the medical clinic. Our medical team was really impressed with the facility: it is clean, bright, well-stocked and completely free to all the people of the city.
Looking back at what Christ Has Done
At the end of the afternoon, we led one more ESL class–this time for adults–breaking out into one-on-one groups for individual attention. We ended with a prayer and words of encouragement for all those in that group.
After a wonderful farewell dinner at a local restaurant, our Sports Outreach Leader, Umberto, told us all how much it had meant to him and his people that we had given our time to serve the people of El Salvador. We all came up with a word that described the trip for us, which seems an appropriate way to end this amazing journey. Compassion, humbling, smiles, heartfelt, authentic and–perhaps the one that summed it up best of all–Jesus.