We spent our last ministry day at two different schools. The first was a school called Josúe Christo, which is in Ataco. It's really close to Apaneca, where we went ziplining earlier in the week. This school is in a pretty low income area. It was the joy of our hearts to get to love on the students there! We played and danced with them before our program, and afterwards they stretched out their hands to pray for us.
"Having the elementary students from Ataco pray with extended hands for our team really touched my heart. This showed that the kids can have just as big of an impact as the adults. They're strong little warriors for His kingdom!"
Our last few team members who had not spoken during a program (whether that be giving testimony or introducing the show) got the chance to do that. For several of our team members this week, speaking in front of an audience has been a difficult thing- but each of them has felt the power of their words and the victory of facing their fears afterwards!
"I shared my testimony, I could feel that the enemy didn't want me to do it. After I did it I felt strong, and so loved by the Lord. My team members prayed over me after I did it. I know that no matter what I do now that God still loves me and cares for me!"
The second school we visited is called Casa La Atarraya. This school has a special place in the team's heart, as it's where our team leader lived for seven weeks in 2016! Casa La Atarraya is a very nice school with lots of awesome programs and opportunities for the students there. We had an awesome time dancing for him- and they thoroughly enjoyed watching us! At the end, they cheered and begged for us to do one more dance, so we performed our recital theme dance from the showcase recital this year.
It was an extra special day for some of our returning team members who had been to these schools before. What a privilege it is to get to go back and build relationships year after year with these sweet kiddos! Our contact, Wally Cook, told us that one of the best things short term missionaries can do to broaden their impact is to keep returning and building relationships, and we are so honored to be in a place to do that.
"Visiting two schools that we've been to last trip was such a cool way to end. I talked to several kids and everyone seemed to be enjoying our program." Emily
After our final performance, we headed back to the hotel to cool off and eat dinner. After dinner we broke into small groups to pray over and edify one another. It was a precious time of deeply loving and sowing into each other as team members. When our small groups wrapped up, we packed our suitcases. Some of us headed to bed for a couple hours, while others chose to stay up- we left the hotel at 3:45 AM to catch our flight! Most of the team members have been sleeping or journaling on the plane rides.
"The flights home have been very bitter sweet. On one hand, we are all exhausted and want our comfortable beds and to be able to drink tap water again, but on the other hand, El Salvador became our home over the last week. The week in El Salvador cannot compare to any other experience we've had before and most of us are not ready to move on from El Salvador and take everything we learned and apply that to our every day lives."
As our team heads home, we are so full of all that Jesus has done this week, and so excited to share with all of our friends and family back home! Thank you for supporting us with your prayers this week. The Lord has truly moved mightily as a result!
All of our love,
Team El Salvador