The journey has begun! Our team of 10 is safely in El Salvador and we’re already building relationships with the local people, learning more about one another and understanding how we can serve them while we’re here. After a smooth flight from Atlanta, Rachel and Mandy from the Love & Hope (L&H) leadership team picked us up at the airport. Some of the children were there to greet us as well, Irene, Cheyo and Jeremiah! Never afraid to dig right in to a new language, I busted out my Spanish phrases cheat sheet and started asking the children questions. I got more laughs from them than answers, but I'm glad I made the effort and several people on our team are helping me get the accent down! :)
We had a late lunch at our guesthouse and then the L&H team covered our itinerary for the week. While I enjoyed hearing more details about our plans, the best part was learning the background of the family we are building the house for in Usulutan. We all prayed for Kevin, Lilly and Freddie, and it was at that moment that God reminded me that when I take the focus off myself and listen to someone else’s story, a deeper understanding of my purpose is revealed. I’m excited to listen to many other stories of people we encounter so I can quickly subdue any selfishness and serve others first with a pure motive.
Our night was capped off with a great meal with the children of L&H. We had a traditional El Salvadoran dish called papusas, which are a thick corn or rice flour tortilla filled with your choice of pork, beans, cheese, squash & garlic. Very delicious! To work off the meal, we headed back to the L&H home to play soccer and other games with the kids and to learn more about them. There is already a special bond forming, and it’s always fun for me to realize that no matter where someone lives, what language they speak or who they are, every person just wants to be loved. What a privilege it is to share our Lord’s love with these children during this trip.
- Brandon Beeken
El Salvador - Nov 2016