Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who Says?

El Salvador is beautiful.
The land is beautiful.
The mountains are beautiful.
The ocean is perfect.
The flowers are perfect.
I could write up a big long post about what we did.  And so I don't get accused of being a "poverty tourist" (a horrible person's word for "missionary"), I will give a quick rundown in the next post of what we did.  But mainly, I want you to see what I saw.  A beautiful country, that could only be the work of the Divine Creator.  More than that, it is a country of beautiful people. 
They are strong.  And resilient.  And loving.  They persevere in extreme circumstances.
They are Moms and Dads who love their kids.  They are aunts and uncles who take care of their relatives.  They are grandmas, and grandpas and husbands and wives. Sons and Daughters.  Brothers and sisters.  Neighbors.  Community at its best.
Who says they aren't perfect just the way they are?
Would money and infrastructure improve their lives?  Yes.  But it will not improve WHO they are.  They are stronger than you and I. 
Last Spring our power went out for 8 hours.  We had no lights, t.v., computer, microwave, and oh dear did we bellyache about it.  My neighbors and I stood outside and talked for the first time in weeks, about whether they had power or not, did they call the power company, when do we think it will come back on?  Because with electricity we can hole up in our homes and ignore each other some more.  We think we have it better?  This is better?
Last year I came away loving the people, but wishing that their livelihoods could be better, their falling down buildings could be rebuilt, and for goodness sake put in some clothes washers and toilets that flush toilet paper.  How ignorant I was.  Machines and air conditioning are nice, but in many ways the people of El Salvador are far superior to us very blessed, very spoiled Americans.
We are different for sure.  The beauty of it all is that, we are exactly the same.  We both have a deep, core need for God.  There is no life, no hope, apart from God.  For any of us.  They might make $5 a week, and we may spend $5 on a cup of coffee, but we are exactly the same.  We all rock our babies, and cook for our families, and go to work to provide a home.  And we all need God.

El Salvador 2011 from Mari Marks on Vimeo.

The song in the video is by Anthem Lights. Check them out, they are fantastic!

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