We knew when we started out that this time, how ever long, here in El Salvador would be something that would stay with them for a life time. But we didn't quite realize how much their world would be shook. Their world view had been shattered, and a new one, a better one, wider one, grander, has replaced it. Children in the United States grow up in such a bubble. I am so thankful that my kids have this opportunity to have their eyes really, truly opened. I think their hearts have grown 3 sizes, they understand poverty like never before. They have an understanding and willing hearts to sacrifice of themselves, serve and give to others.
So this post is devoted to my kids. You've seen my perspective, so now you get to share in some of the experiences that have popped up in between doing ministry. Please do not go away from reading this thinking that we are on some sort of long term vacation. Because we ABSOLUTELY 100% are not! When you all sacrifice of your paychecks to give us support money to do ministry, it goes 100% to doing just that.
Tomorrow's post will show you some of the fruits of our work, but this one is about the little blessings that have popped up for our kids. Because they gave up a lot moving from the U.S., God has proven himself faithful to my kids.
When you live in a place that is home to ancient civilizations, that is near the equator, you naturally have access to all kinds of new adventures in the down time! Every once in a while I take a step back and marvel that they are having these crazy awesome experiences!!
We had to leave the country to renew our visas, and it coincided with my cousin's wedding at the YWAM base in Belize. My littlest daughter and son literally spent 3 days playing with sand. No buckets, toys etc. Just sand. Sand.
What can only be described as a middle of nowhere-jungle/swamp hotel-opening scene in a horror film where idiot family wanders deep into the jungle in search of a hotel.... where everyone watching is yelling "STOP! How can you be so dumb! Go back!!!!!!!"
Spoiler alert- it turned out okay and we did not disappear forever in Guatamala like I feared would happen if we went down the above pictured bridge. I will tell you the story someday.
We were on our way back from Belize when we happened upon this particular life event. And in so doing, discovered that there was a for real castle near by. It was build by Spanish conquistadors, in order to fend off pirates who might want to steal the gold that they were stealing from the Mayans! How cool is that?! Well, probably more cool for us than for the Mayans.
I also learned something important about myself.... apparently I have a thing for doorways and windows...
Then there was that time we went on a hike with only 3 water bottles because it was billed as a 3 km hike to a beautiful waterfall.....
6 hours, and a police escort later we emerged from our "relaxing" hike to a local La Libertad waterfall, a little dazed and confused.
There have been armadillos...
Volcano hikes... minus police ....
Magnificent Colonial time cathedrals and Mayan ruins, watching giant waves crash, times with friends, swimming and finding blue and purple coral reefs, but none of that holds a candle to yesterday.
Visiting the home of two of our girls. Nothing holds a candle to seeing my children in that setting. Overlooking the stark, destitute house of this family. The distended bellies didn't matter to them, the bare feet or the naked little ones. They ran and played, and rode a bike, held hands, held on laps.... just loved.
We have tears. And hard days. Sometimes we want to come running back to the U.S. Some days my kids want their old lives back. So do I. But this is the great big "Why" of it all. Its so my kids can be Jesus with skin on. So I can hug a mom and become friends, like you do when you share a moment in your home. So we could look past everything they didn't have and just see them. So that Alex could chat with a man fighting for the survival of his family. That's the why.
These beautiful moments.