Our team is safely back in the States after a full and challenging week of work in El Salvador. We worked until the last possible moment to complete the water well for the people of Valle Nuevo, but we completed the task. Once again, we had a great team of Kingsland volunteers who served well and made the week enjoyable. Here are their reflections on our week in El Salvador.
Jim Coleman | As we worked each day among the people of the mountain village of Valle Nuevo, I saw real peace and joy on the faces of the children at the local school. Their smiles and laughter were abundant despite the primitive living conditions including lack of water and medical treatment. These kids certainly do not have any of the modern conveniences to which we have become accustomed. I was constantly reminded that what we have is not who we are …. and joy in life is not delivered by things we strive to accumulate.
Jason Hall | This was yet another impactful trip to El Salvador. One thing that really stood out to me this time was the dedication of the Living Water International staff that serve here. They work very long hours to ensure the success of these short-term mission trips, routinely waking up before us to prepare the equipment for the day, and often working well into the night after we have already returned from the job site. The other thing that stood out was the love, happiness, contentment, and generous hospitality shown by the people of rural El Salvador. I am blessed beyond measure every time I travel here. Thanks, Omar, for showing us how to Go Beyond. I encourage everyone to try it!
Carter Moore | What an amazing trip. I was totally humbled by the generosity and hard work of so many of the men and women of Valle Nuevo. Without their help this well would not have been completed. God blessed us in so many tangible ways. The work was hard but there were no injuries. There were many problems but by God’s provision they we’re all overcome. As we said our goodbyes to the people of Valle Nuevo on Friday night, by the light of flashing cameras, I thought about what a joy it had been to once again be part of a Kingsland team Going Beyond to share the love of Christ.
George Phile | For those of you who have not participated in a short-term mission trip, you do not know what you are missing.I have seen our team working side-by-side with the villagers of Valle Nuevo to drill a water well so the people can have clean water. At the same time we were sharing the word of Jesus. Our team showed lots of the Lord’s patience when things didn’t go quite as planned. This really was a team effort of North American and El Salvadorans working together for the spiritual well-being of the villagers. We were blessed by the friendly help from all the villagers and the Living Water staff.
Lacey Stewart | One of the things that stood out to me was going into every classroom and talking with every student. We would ask them if they had ever gotten really bad stomach viruses from drinking their water. Every single time the entire classroom would very forcibly yell, “Si!” You know that their water is dirty, that’s why you came to drill a well, but to know that every single child had gotten really sick from drinking that water helped me appreciate what we were doing, even through many long, hard days.
Doug Valot | The thing I will remember most about this week are the smiles. The smiles of the beautiful children during the school day. The smiles of the ladies of the village who served us lunch each day. The smiles of the people in the community as they worked together in some trying circumstances in completing the well. And the smiles of our El Salvador Living Water hosts whose love for Christ is infectious. Smiles of joy, peace and contentment, the kind that material possessions cannot buy. They taught me a lot this week. The week ended perfectly with the community coming up to us and hugging us and thanking us for being there. It was a great way for us to share our love and thanks in return.
David Yates | This was not my first mission trip. I have made several and to different parts of the world — Europe, Asia, and Africa. The difference between this trip and the prior trips, I realized, was that those trips involved more teaching, direct ministry, even preaching, whereas this trip was totally about service. Service as in physical labor. I am thankful that the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve in this manner. Personal impressions this week include the joy of the El Salvadoran people. Their kindness and laughter — oh, do they laugh. Also, I am not surprised by God’s faithfulness and provision, but always amazed when He provides for the need that is so badly needed. God is good. I pray that I served Him well in El Salvador.
And a special thanks to the Agua Viva El Salvador staff with whom we worked this week. Amazing folks!