God takes my breath away every day... and it's my job to capture those moments for everyone to see.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

El Salvador: day 6

Day 6: French toast, white bread and watermelon for breakfast; chicken spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch; rice, veggies, some sort of meat, and a plantain pudding for supper.

Again, Rachel didn’t come with us to the VBSs today. Hectors sister was here with her family, and lots of purses to sell… and just like last year, I bought a beautiful one. ;)

We still did 4 beads per bracelet today, and did VBS at one of the parks we were at last year. We recognized a few people, but mainly new, adorable faces. 230+ adorable faces… not counting parents. CRAZY.

When we arrived, the principal of the school brought us into a classroom and told us thank you for coming. They do not usually have the funds to provide for big events like this, so he was very grateful we were here.

Almost as soon as we arrived, a young girl became glued to my side. Leslie (8) was one of many girls here who attached themselves to me… makes one feel VERY loved, even when we don’t speak the same language.

Jessica and I led a group of girls (probably like 25 girls) some of whom were: Jenifer, Alaney (11, her English speaking friend from Belize… YAY ENGLISH.), Susannah, Calita (8), and Dania (13).

Got a picture of the ONLY red-head I’ve seen so far (Diego) with another red-head on our team - Jonah. Everyone was wanting their picture taken with the “gigante” aka Jeremy, especially after he got his head painted with a huge eyeball on it. ;) I signed my “autograph” on many little girls’ VBS papers, per their request… I felt famous! :P

It was a joy to finally get to see Celina (14) again from last year! She and her friend (Adriana, 13) hung out with us all day (and tomorrow too!) . Jonathan’s daughter, Rebecca, spent a lot of time with us today while Jonathan worked in construction and evangelism. (side trivia note, Stephany is Jonathan’s sister… such a lovely family. :))

After lunch at the construction site (in Ciudad Real), we headed to yet another park we had been at last year. The band from a nearby school played for about 45 minutes for us – so cool!! Emma, Amber, Jessica, Laura C. and I played ring-around-the-rosy with a bunch of the little kids while listening to the music. More pictures were taken with Jeremy after he traded his eyeball for a gigantic tree painted on his head. A beautiful girl, Maryory (17) took pictures with EVERYONE too.

When we got back to the church, Mom and I walked with Celina to Mrs. Sofy’s and K-tty’s and Kevin’s house. Mom had her little spanish dictionary so we had an interesting time trying to have a conversation with everyone. ;)

When we arrived at their adorable house, Mrs. Sofy showed us all of the crafts she had made. And before we left she just picked things off of her wall to give to us (and for Lauren B. – who EVERYONE remembers from last year… I love that girl. ;)). Mom got a beautiful paper vase (handmade) and I got a little hat and doll. Their generosity and love is simply overwhelming.

Celina and I walked hand-in-hand and arms wrapped around each other’s waists both ways. Their culture is definitely a touchy-feely culture – and I LOVE that.

During the gospel meeting Celina and I sat next to Glorhy’s aunt and her little baby – whom I tried to hold and then immediately burst into tears… alas, babies just don’t like me. :P Mom also got to see Mireya from last year, and it was very sweet to see that reunion.

Glorhy gave mom and I these GORGEOUS flower bracelets and her little sisters gave us notes and drawings and little crafts (like the clay inchworm from the nighttime VBS).

Super short group devo back at the hotel and a HOT shower afterwards (YAY warm water!!). Bed around 10:30.


That’s Leslie on the far left… isn’t she adorable??



HORRID photo of me, but Leslie was so cute. ;)

Jeremy’s “eyeball”

Diego and Jonah(: 



Celina and my family




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Me and Celina(:

when I converted this photo to black and white, I actually gasped. she is such a beautiful little girl!!


some of Laura’s artwork… she is fantastical.


mommy and Mireya


my family and Glorhy’s family

to be continued…

day 1
day 2
day 3
day 4
day 5

Sunday, July 29, 2012

El Salvador: day 5

Day 5: (FRI) Breakfast of French toast; tortillas, roast, potatoes, carrots, and rice & corn for lunch; flour tortillas with beans and cheese for supper.

Rachel didn’t come with us to VBS again today, but she had some jewelry to sell from Hector’s sister, so I bought a ring. We were in El Refugio again today, at the El Rosaria school. Probably my favorite place we went to last year. Only 4 beads per bracelet today, we were starting to worry about running out of supplies… crazy! God was awesome blessing us with so many kids. As we arrived, all of the kids swarmed to the gate and waved at us until we got out of our bus. There was a light-brown haired girl, around the age of 8, standing at the gate who told me hello. Throughout the rest of the morning, Alison would come up and shy around me all day. She was one of three brown-haired girls down there – everyone has beautiful, dark hair.

But back to the VBS. Instead of dividing into 10 groups of 10 kids that we had originally planned (which NEVER happened the entire week), each grade went back to their classrooms. All of the kids seemed much more subdued when they were in their classrooms with their teachers… a nice little blessing. Not saying that they were loud and rambunctious though! The kids (with the exception of a few groups over the whole week) are very calm and quiet when listening to instructions. Great kids. I want one. ;)

For lunch, we went back to the lady’s house from yesterday. We had a little issue with not having any water bottles for us to drink, but we all still had the bottles in our bags – so no biggie.

I got the great pleasure to braid Amy’s hair during our bathroom stop at the church in El Refugio… SO beautiful!

Alejandro came and joined us for the second VBS at El Rosaria. I love that kid too. GOSH. The kids here are so beautiful… And speaking of beautiful children, Amber and I did the kindergarten group for crafts… OHMYGOSH. The girls in our group were Lady (age 6), Michelle (6), Natalie (5), Andrea (6), and Gabrielle (5. During the skits and the singing, I played with a young boy (he couldn’t have been older than 5) who at first would not say a WORD to us. By the end he was babbling and playing hide-and-seek behind me and was SO adorable. He wouldn’t take a photo with me, but I managed to get a couple of him. ;)

After we all loaded into the bus, we spent about 15 minutes waving goodbye to everyone… they were so sweet! I would love to be a teacher there…

After we returned to the church in El Refugio (where the gospel meeting was at), mom and dad walked with me to the park from last night and bought some fresh papas fritas (remember, those are French fries with cheese on top). Definitely hit the spot. :)

I helped with the night VBS tonight. Only about 20~ kids, but they all seemed to love it. People were just walking down the street and we invited the children (Gabriella and Hosy) to come in – and they did! The culture here is so welcoming compared to USA. But back to the night VBS. There was a girl standing off to the side eating some sort of chocolate and nut brittle, and me being the food-crazy person that I am, made some sort of smile about the food. She immediately broke me off a piece and handed it to me… and let me tell you – SO DELICIOUS. I of course asked her name (Odalis, age 12) and her (who I soon found-out to be neighbor) Osiris. Through our wonderful translator Stephany, I found out that Osiris was turning 17 tomorrow (the 21st). She is 6 months and 5 days younger than me… so cool. ;) Emma hit it off with a 5-year-old cutie named Yavitza… and that’s an understatement.

We cut bracelet strings during our group devo tonight. Then I went back to the room and talked with Amber a good long while about 1 Thessalonians 5:24 and marveling at God’s work through the trip so far.

Bed by probably 1.


waving to us at the gate…

you just cant believe how precious they are when they are praying.. AH.

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schoolwork… awesome.




my little friend… still don’t know his name.

one of the little kindergarteners in my group (Gabrielle).

I am not sure why I love this photo so much, but look at that smile!

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waving goodbye.

Osiris, Odalis, and me. (and one of their little brothers… I think? ;))

Emma and Yavitza <3



to be continued…

day 1
day 2
day 3
day 4

El Salvador: day 4

Day 4: (THU) breakfast was hashbrowns and bread; lunch of chicken breast (in a DELICIOUS sauce), rice & corn, vegetables, and tortillas; cheese and pork pupusas and salsa for supper.

Woke up with my tongue and lips swollen, so I took some Benadryl… unfortunately it wasn’t the non-drowsy kind, so I was pretty exhausted, but I still tried my best to participate in all the VBS activities. Mrs. Rachel was back today, so that was good. :) Our first VBS of the day was in the El Refugio church, so people just came walking in off the street. Not very many children, but once you counted in the adults (which participated in everything!) there was probably around 80 or so people. Laura, Alejandro, and I painted faces – I painted a BABY’s face. Talk about challenging!! But she was soooooooooooooo cute. Totally worth trying to get it done. ;)

We walked to a member of the church’s house to have lunch. Waited about an hour and a half because the “delivery car” broke down, but that was actually okay with everyone… it was VERY worth it. Surprisingly, nobody complained about the wait. I guess the delicious food made up for it. :)

Jessica and I rode on the back of a pick-up truck to gather all the VBS supplies from the church and take them to our next location for VBS – a random school in El Refugio. Once we loaded all the supplies up, however, we no longer could fit in the truck, so we crammed in Juan Carlos’ car along with his wife and three daughters.

Due to the rain delay, we only had time to do 2 skits, instead of our usual 4, but that was still fine. Lots of faces were still painted and games played and bubbles blown. :)

When I was taking pictures around the school, I glanced over and there was this little boy peeking through a tree at me… for the next hour, we played photo tag, and eventually I convinced him to take a photo with me… His name was Hosea and he was 8. And totally stole my heart.

When we got to the park near the church in El Refugio where we were having our next gospel meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hosea, AND our good friend from last year, Glorhy!! Such a blessing.

Before and during the meeting, Laura C., Mr. Stuart, and I sang on microphones in the middle of the park… for some reason I wasn’t nervous at all, just totally in awe of that moment. The English words felt so good rolling off my tongue and just simply praising God was so wonderful.

At devo, we folded hundreds of more VBS papers. It was very awesome to look around the room and see the whole room folding papers. God can use a simple little task as folding papers to connect everyone.

Espi spent the night again. :) I went to sleep around 11. Funny how fast I can fall asleep when I’m tired. :P




baby and butterfly… don’t judge my painting skills. ;)







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getting the last drop of his hot rice and milk meal for the day…


to be continued…

day 1.
day 2.
day 3.