Day 2 and 3: Every Tribe. Every Tongue. Every Nation.

Day 2: Worship & Sabbath

This morning at church we were blessed to be able to be a part of a dramatically different church service. The El Salvadorian culture was expressed through the way the congregation worshipped, preached and prayed. While during much of the service we couldn't understand a word of what Pastor Renee was teaching on, we were all being moved by the Holy Spirit in our own way. God was present in the room and it was so evident. There were a few songs that were sung in Spanish that we quickly realized were popular worship songs and sung along in English- this was a beautiful experience to worship our same God side by side in different languages.

We gave the new drum set and microphones to the church. They were beyond thankful for the gift from Cornerstone Community Church. 

Sunday was our day of Sabbath. The heat is extreme and it wears on us quickly, so an afternoon of rest was delightful. 

Day 3: Zappatos

This morning we went back to the same village church and sorted through all of the donated clothes. We had a mass of people waiting to get any item of clothing, regardless if it fit. It was humbling to see people willing to take a shirt three sizes too big, just so that they could have another shirt to wear on their body. People were so grateful for any item of clothing and we were blessed to be able to share the love of Jesus by sharing clothes with them.

David passed out the candy to the village children (which is a large task in itself). He was being swarmed by beaming smiling faces yelling "Mas, mas, mas (more, more, more)!". Seeing the interaction between him and the children made our hearts happy.

We had an unexpected radiatior blow this afternoon, but of course God used this time to draw our team even closer together. We played games together and shared a lot of laughs while we waited for a new van to come to us. 

This afternoon, we found ourselves going through the heart of San Salvador. We felt as though we were traveling through a maze, on God's field trip assignment for us. Being able to walk through the market was an experience, there were so many different shops, street vendors, smells and colors - we loved it. We found a little storefront that sold sandals that resemble crocs. With the help of our WONDERFUL church family, we were able to buy 432 pairs of crocs! On Wednesday, we are going to go to two villages to distribute the 432 pairs of new shoes to the beautiful people. Praise Jesus!!

Thank you for your prayers and support. 

We are sending much amor your way,

The Cornerstone El Salvador Team 

Day 1: The Shoe Drive and the San Salvador Community

God is doing so much here in El Salvador and it is only the first full day! 

We have had the privilege of working at a community in San Salvador. All of the shoe donations from Cornerstone were sorted by size/gender and quickly dispersed. We were able to get down on our knees and find shoes that fit around 200 children and adults. Sometimes the shoes fit on the first try and other times it took more than five times, but as James said tonight durning debrief, "When we found a shoe that finally fit after multiple tries, it was a Cinderella moment; the little girls faces were beaming with excitement." It really was special to be able to give away shoes to people in such great need.

There were multiple instances today where we were blown away by Gods perfect timing, grace, and joy. We met three El Salvadorian women who were in their nineties - yes, 90's - in one small community. 

The first woman, 97, came to the church for shoes only to find that we had already distributed all of the shoes that we had. After trying to maneuver her feet that had been through much over 92 years into our own shoes, her feet fit in Sami's sandals like a glove. We were so thankful that she would be able to walk around the uneven ground with a more sturdy pair of sandals. This was a moment where God's work at orchestrating was so perfect. Sami almost didn't bring those sandals but at the last minute decided she would bring them to change from her tennis shoes. Looking back now, it is clear that the Holy Spirit was nudging her to pack them for that specific woman. 

The men had a chance to play some rather serious futbol in the streets with the community boys, which opened up doors for relationship and a lot of fun. The children are extremely gifted in their ability to play soccer, and it is amazing to see how God uses a little ball to bring such joy to this nation. 

The women played countless games with the little girls. We had a blast making them giggle and bringing smiles to their beautiful faces. It was eye opening seeing the way these little girls cared for and nurtured the babies. The mothers trust these children with their babies and they are just children themselves. Their is such a sense of community. The older girls (five year olds and older) were responsible and took great care of their siblings or cousins. It exemplified the importance of family and community - the way that Jesus intends relationship to be, filled with trust and genuine love.

The second woman was 98. She walked into the church vicinity holding onto her daughters arm. She was struggling with her balance and it hindered her ability to walk well. However, she radiated joy. No matter how challenging it was for her to get to church, she was there and was overjoyed to be there. She also did not have on any shoes and her feet had many years of wear on them. God was able to work through Jen by giving her shoes to this woman. It is truly remarkable how every fine detail God had worked out, when we listen and obey what He says to us. 

Maria was 92 years old and had much sorrow on her heart. Her husband and son have passed, leaving her to live alone. She expressed how much sorrow she feels for the losses, but that she knows that Jesus is with her. Through countless hardships and suffering, she said that Jesus is what gets her through it all. She showed us that she can still dance, and that she dances to worship God. She would like to see her land sold to the church to have it be a prayer house, where people can all come together to be in God's presence. Ziola and Renee would like to build a church there! 

How you can help

As you can see, God is moving through each of us to bring people to His kingdom and to serve His beloved people. The needs are vast and our resources are less than we anticipated. While we were able to give out 200 shoes, there were many people who did not have the opportunity to receive any. Today we were told that a pair of croc sandals are $1.50! We are going to be taking a peace offering and then go buy more shoes to disperse. Please consider making a donation to help put more shoes on the feet of the El Salvadorians. 

We appreciate all of your prayers and love you, Cornerstone Community Church family!

Heading to El Salvador: On Mission

Today, our missions team embarked for El Salvador. They gathered at the church before heading to the airport. Throughout the upcoming week, be in prayer for this team and their missions work. #advancethekingdom #onmission #bethechurch

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Update from Jen Cowan:

"We arrived in El Salvador safely and have already been blessed during our first night. We are excited to pass out the wonderful donations of shoes tomorrow. Looking forward to a restful nights sleep."