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!