Today was a day of remembrance for the family at our work site. Three years ago on March 10th Carlos, Elison and Katy lost their mother due to a brain aneurysm. Silvia, Carlos’ girlfriend shared this detail with us in a conversation earlier in the week. She also shared that her own mother had died a year and a half ago.
We decided that our team would say a special prayer at lunch to honor Angela. We gathered in a circle and all held hands. The family joined us along with our masons. I led the prayer in Spanish, as our Habitat interpreter Alejandra translated to English for our team. I truly felt the Holy Spirit with us in that moment. Angela’s father Don Antonio called out her name and lifted his eyes to heaven. On the anniversary of Angela’s death we thanked God for her life on earth. We asked God to watch over this family as they move into their new home. We thanked God for the many blessings he has shared, and for the reassurance that they will be united again with Angela in heaven.
Elison, the oldest son, spoke about his mother. He told us that she was a woman with a strong faith in God. That faith continued even to the last days of her life. He reminded his family of the lessons that she had taught to her children. She had always shared her love for God, and hoped that her children would follow Jesus’ teachings in their lives. He spoke these beautiful words of tribute through tears. We finished our service by singing Our God is an Awesome God and sharing hugs with all of the family members.
I am certain that we were placed at this house, on this particular week, for a reason. God’s hand was guiding us. He was preparing the path for our team to share in the intimate details of the lives of this family. Silvia told me on Tuesday, that she could not imagine before meeting our group, that she could become friends with someone from another country. Habitat is about building homes, but it is also about building hope. The friendships that we form with our Habitat partners changes our lives.
I will close with a story about Don Antonio, the 95 year old grandfather. Yes I did say 95 years old. He is pictured in the photo. Don Antonio spends his days with his machete in hand, chopping wood and stacking it in the yard. We noticed that he had his arm wrapped in a bandage. His grandson told us that he had a accident with a piece of metal on a fence, and cut his arm. JoNella shared new bandages and medication with Don Antonio to help him feel better. He raised his hand to the sky and said, “May God bless you.” JoNella replied, “I have already been blessed!” This is how each of us feel about our mission work here in El Salvador. There is no greater reward that the smiles that we are greeted with each morning when we return to our work site. These relationships go beyond our time together this week. When we return to Lincoln, we will carry our friends home with us, in our hearts.
Written by Nila Jacobson, March 2016 Habitat Global Village/El Salvador Team Member