Pupusas…lots and lots of pupusas

Both Jorel and Chad ate 10 pupusas on Easter.  Crazy.

Pupusas are to El Salvador what hamburgers are to the USA or Fish & Chips is to the U.K. or Cuy (pictured below) is to Peru…well not exactly that, but close enough.

 

cuy

We had fun making them on Easter evening at Pastor Fabricio’s house.  Great day.  They’re made of rice or flour and are then stuffed with cheese, beans, loroco (a plant) or even fried pork…chicharon.  You can read more on wikipedia…the best source for news 🙂

Here are a few photos of the team, with a nice video for your viewing pleasure.karen making pupusas

chad's pupusasdesnat pupusas

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Good timing…

On our Plan B trip to El Salvador, our first place of ministry was a small village about 30 minutes from San Salvador.  There, we worked with a local pastor who was preparing to start a church at our place of ministry.  The church started Easter Sunday.

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They’ve been working in the area, but without our Plan B, they wouldn’t have been there that day.

While there, we shared food, shoes with those who needed them, and toys for the kids.  Jorel and Bethany also shared about hope and life and a future with Jesus.  After we shared with the people, a woman came to Bethany with the news that when she arrived, she had planned to kill herself in the very near future.  She decided not to that day.  Bethany prayed with her. Hope.

I don’t know the woman’s struggles…I know there’s extreme poverty, violence, drug use, gangs, and more where she pile o' foodlives.  I know that many men have abandoned their families and woman are left with little or nothing.  I don’t know her struggles, but I know they must have been big. Now? Hope.Bethany with a friend

We made sure she met people from the soon to start church.  She said she’d go…and it’s in her village.  I’ll be back soon and will check to see if she made it. The woman in the photo isn’t the one of whom I write…it didn’t seem right to take her photo.  However, this woman’s life changed that day too.

Here’s Bethany sharing the story from her perspective…

Sara’s story

2008-0717-el-salvador-24Today, the Springfield News-Leader covered the story of one of our summer ’08 interns.  Sara Perez worked hard in both El Salvador and Nicaragua.  Her father had dreams of playing basketball in El Salvador but was forced to make the decision to move to the USA during El Salvador’s civil war. 

On a missions trip with Convoy of Hope, Kenton Moody and Rick Ryan, from our staff, saw her skills and encouraged her to come to Evangel to play ball.  It worked out and she’s here with a scholarship.  She returned to do the summer internship and hopes to serve in El Salvador after college.   We were thrilled at the interpreting skills (and laughter and energy and love of coffee and more) she brought to the team.  Kudos to Rick Ryan and Kenton Moody for the impact they’ve  made in her life…

Check out the story here.

This photo of Sara hangs on our intern wall here at Convoy of Hope.200perez1

Sylvia and my grandmother (and Convoy of Hope)

From 1941-45 my grandparents were missionaries in El Salvador. They first served in Santa Ana where they pastored Templo Betel, and then pioneered the Assemblies of God work in San Salvador, the capital.

Grandpa is with Jesus, but Grandma is a strong 87-year-old. Though she hasn’t been to El Salvador in years, she’s been sponsoring Sylvia, an Latin American Child Care student in Santa Ana, a city in which she lived 67 years ago.

The team and I met up with Sylvia. She and her family invited us to her home where she showed us some photos my grandmother sent, some letters she wrote, and shared her amazing personality. To say that she’s thankful for Grandma’s sponsorship is an understatement. Here are her words of thanks.

A few weeks ago, I returned to El Salvador with the team from Oregon. We met up with Sylvia again…wow. We met her father for the first time.

Two things stand out from that night:

1. It was her father’s 45th birthday. We’d asked Sylvia about her favorite restaurant (Pizza Hut). As we ate there with her family, he let me know two things that humbled me, it was his first food of the day, and it was the first time he’d ever eaten out to celebrate his birthday. Wow. We were honored to join him on his special day.

2. I asked about her little brother, Walter. He’s a fun and energetic 9-year-old. In speaking with the familiy and then the school director, I learned that Walter stopped attending school after 1st grade because the family didn’t have money for school supplies, the uniform, or small school fees. A team member decided this should change…Walter will be back in school when the next term begins in January.

Our Convoy of Hope teams have worked in Sylvia’s schools and dozens like them this summer. These are the types of students and families with whom we’ve been working. We loved getting to know Sylvia and her family, learning more about El Salvador and opportunity in this country.

An overview of our interns in 2007

I’m not living in yesterday, but wanted to share a quick overview of our interns in 2007…

 

Convoy of Hope JoshWe launched with two interns this spring. After one went home with a pre-existing sickness, we finished with one. Josh is a great man and I was proud to see him pave the way. He and the field guy, Sean, worked hard in the Gulf doing Katrina relief and then in Uganda helping refugees.

Our summer team grew to eight and they worked very hard in El Salvador doing outreach and building bio-sand water filters at schools across the country. The team also worked in Indianapolis, IN at an outreach that helped 4,500 people.

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P1090107And finally, our fall team of nine is in the midst of incredible ministry. They worked in Charleston, SC, and the Philippines (I just returned), doing outreach and helping meet physical needs with feeding programs, school kits, and more. They returned late last year from N. Asia where they helped rehab a school and a community center, also connecting with local students who are learning English. 

The Dominican Republic was wonderful

On my first international adventure with Convoy of Hope, I worked with Doug Corbett to lead a team to the Dominican Republic.  Wonderful time.  I thought I’d add a photo or two for your viewing pleasure…

 

I had fun with Emmanuel, and was able to pass on some shoes from Convoy of Hope.  He loved these…

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Handing out food overseas was fun…

 

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We even did some Book of Hope distribution in a school…like the old days…

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Families responded well…

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It was fun.  I look forward to next time.