El Coco, El Salvador (Thursday)

Yesterday 7 pastors and three Compassion International staff flew from Hawaii, Southern California and Colorado Springs to Houston and then on to San Salvador for a church leaders trip to discover how Compassion addresses children in poverty.

We had a great day visiting a project/church site with 213 children that was started 1 year 3 months ago. We were the first visitors to the site and we were all impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the pastor and staff.

The children greeted us with "Da me la mano" and a young girl escorted me into the assembly room and sat with me. The whole program was led by children leading other children and guest in singing.

Hugs are big. Few recieve affirmation or touch from parents. homes are mostly single moms. i met a mom who was so appreciative of the project where children get training in computer, basic subjects, and each has a file with their progress physically, emotionally/socially, intellectually and spiritually. 

We visited the computer lab, where I met Darwin. He was learning the paint program. He loves computers. We also dropped into a class where the younger children were drawing their own hands and learning about hygiene and the importance of taking care of their bodies. We played soccer with the boys while children were cheering us on and waving their sword, dog and flower balloons.  

We had lunch at a home of a six year old boy David Josue (who is not yet sponsored) and his family: mother and father, older sister (sponsored) and brother, and his aunt. They live in an adobe brick three room house surrounded by about one acre of maiz. Whole family has come to Christ since he started three months ago. They were so moved we were there. The father leaves at 4am for work in the city of Santa Ana, makes $5 daily and is glad he can arrive home at 4 to be able to participate in church life.

We stood in a circle and prayed for the family, especially for the oldest teenage sons who don't yet know Christ.

Later we returned to the church and prayed for the staff and pastor. David Josue's tutor was in tears, I imagine overwhelmed by the appreciation and love.

The blessing was mutual.

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