TRIPS + EXPERIENCES
El Salvador 2015
In July 2015, seven Upper Room community members traveled together to El Salvador. They spent time learning about the culture and customs of that country, helped build a house through Habitat for Humanity alongside the family that will live there, and they made many new friends along the way. Through video and written word, here are some of their thoughts and reflections from the trip.
We arrived in El Salvador, on Saturday, July 25, and started working on our Habitat home the following Monday, early in the morning. On Wednesday, July 29th we were doing our regular jobs on the home. It was 100 degrees and the humidity was at least 75%. The sun was so hot and after 15 minutes of applying sunscreen, it had evaporated off your body! I was sifting cement rock with Deidre and became really overheated. I told Juan Bueno I was pretty warm and my head was throbbing. He told me to sit down in the shade and drink lots of water and Powerade. I have a hard time taking orders and didn’t take that direction very well, but finally did it and decide I needed to pray about it . When I started my prayer, I asked God for strength so I could continue with the work that needed to be done. Well, I got a whole different answer. A different direction that I wasn’t expecting. I started to cry so hard; right there in front of everyone. God let me know what he wanted for me was “humility.” I always think I can do anything, when in fact, I can nothing without my Savior. He is my strength and my leader. I recalled something our fantastic interpreter had said earlier in the trip, “We are the ministers, not the Messiah.” I thank my Heavenly Father for making me humble enough so my heart was open to His teaching. Amen.
God is love and love was EVERYWHERE in El Salvador. Love was shared, accepted, given, received, and expressed between families, neighbors, volunteers, community members, and strangers. It was beautiful. I think God used this experience to remind me that love is actionable and can be, and should be, expressed to the people that matter to you (including those you are close to or those you have just met). I am forever changed because I’ve witnessed God’s love in action.
I loved speaking with Angel, the father, today. He told us that his daughters and their children will live in the home we are building. He and his wife Maria will continue to live in their current home. So sweet, kind, and generous as a father; to take care of his own. To give the best to his family. Reminds me of God and how He goes to great lengths to provide for his beloved children.