Teammate Jocelyn arrived last night. On top of the passport issues-this was her first time flying...so she ended up being by herself flying internationally! Thankfully the trip went great and she made it through customs and immigration without a hitch!
2. We spent the afternoon tie-dying t-shirts with the kids! It was really fun, slightly chaotic and they will all get a really fun t-shirt out of the process. Pictures to come after we're state side.
3. A few months ago an oven and mixer were donated to Shalom. They were able to send one of the kids to baking school and tonight we got to watch him teach several other kids how to make bread. It's really amazing how many opportunities the kids are given because they are here. Tomorrow we are going on an excursion and will get to see a more real picture of what poverty in El Salvador looks like.
4. Some of our team led a devotional with the younger kids last night using the resurrection eggs...even though it looked like a really bad version of a game show it seemed like the kids really enjoyed the story and learned from it...even through all the broken Spanish.
5. One thing to pray for: we've been told there is a new international law that states that it's better for kids to be raised by their parents instead of in an orphanage even if the parents are on drugs, living in slums, physically incapable of caring for others, etc etc.
We haven't been able to find the actual written law (so it could be the El Salvadorean governments version to orphanages, or misinterpreted- we are going to continue to research what that means) but several kids here are back and forth to court to determine if they will stay at the orphanage or go back to their parents. This is really heartbreaking for the staff to fight to keep these kids where they can make sure they get meals, go to school, are taught Christian principles, have clothes- when in most cases the other option is SO dire. And as far as we can tell from conversations with different kids, most of them want to be here. Pray that God's sovereignty reigns and if kids are sent back to their parents, they leave with truth in their hearts.
6. Pray for our team as we are starting to feel worn down. The guys are sore and achy from moving bricks and others are sore from being in the sun and humidity painting (tedious detail painting on swirly wrought iron gates and fences). And while we have all learned how to communicate more effectively through the language barrier, and some have had more of their high school Spanish come back to them, it's mentally draining to have to try to boil everything down to the most simple phrase and then try to remember how to say that in Spanish:).
7. We are really thankful for how our team has come together! I (Lynette) have led so many short term missions teams through group development programs that I had high expectations for how I know a group can come together. And it's really been fun to see walls come down and people really open up...especially considering the demographics of our group!