Greetings from the El Salvador Mission Team!
We arrived safely after an overnight stay in Atlanta due to a missed flight connection.
Day one of the build:
We are working right outside Santa Ana in a small community. We have joyful hearts, hardworking hands and are surrounded by loving, humble Salvadorans. We work side by side, hand in hand with our brothers and sisters. We are starting the build, meaning we are digging the footings or trenches by hand. We have shovels, pick axes, wheel barrows and some kind of tool to straighten our crooked edges. It was warm and sunny. Our hands are tired. Our hearts our full.
By Jonella Eisentrager
Day two of the build:
This morning after the delicious buffet breakfast, we rode in the van to the job site. After we stowed our backpacks and grabbed our water bottles, we continued digging 14” wide x 18” deep footings for the house. The trenches are now about 2/3 complete. The heat didn’t seem quite so hot today or maybe we’re getting acclimated. A brother of our homeowner has worked for two days removing a large tree stump with only an axe and shovels. The team was awed by his determination. A cheer went up when he succeeded. The Salvadoran family and friends we meet graciously share food and fellowship. They treat us like honored guests. It is very humbling.
By Jim Simeck
Day three of the build:
We completed digging the footings this morning, with the help of the masons to make sure we were on grade. We played ball and blew bubbles with two of the children, although the sun was hot. We worked, played and bonded with our masons and mason helpers. The team is strong, happy and our hearts are full of the wonders that the glory of god has put before us. We visited a prior habitat home built by part of this team and we got to visit with the families. We are very blessed to be apart of this build and apart of this community.
By Jonella Eisentrager & Roger Anderson
Day four of the build:
The team was elated to see, upon arrival at the work site, that the footings had been completed. Today we made up a dirt and cement mixture to pour in the bottom of the trenches we had dug. Everyone did their part: scooping materials, bringing water, mixing the materials, adding water, filling buckets, pouring buckets, etc. Working together with the masons, we were able to get it all done in one day. We even had time to chat and play more with our new friends. Bubbles were a hit again with the two little ones at lunch time.
After work we cleaned up very quickly and headed over to Cristo Rey church for a short devotional. We got to see many of our friends we’ve met in previous years, both young and old. The women’s group recently brought in a teacher and learned how to make wine that they will sell to make extra money. They shared a small sample from their first batch with us. We were all very grateful that everyone took the time to come see us since we had missed church on Sunday. It reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
By Koren Plummer
Day five of the build:
Today was a hard day for all of us because we had to say good bye to our El Salvadorian family. We left them in pretty good shape because we got all the rebar in over the concrete that had been put in yesterday in the footings. They can start laying block on Tuesday and the house can begin taking shape. Our team over the years, in different forms, has worked on around sixteen houses and Cristo Rey Church. Our family was very special in that they are renting a house and are overwhelmed that they are going to have their own house where they can enjoy the pleasure of home ownership with all their family members.
By Gary King and Sten Eisentrager