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After many delays and doubts, we finally made it to the school near Suchitoto.  It was an absolutely amazing experience.  Our magnificent school bus picked us up and we were almost to the dirt road leading to the village when we got a call that the dirt road was washed out and we had to take another route.  It took another 90 minutes to drive around by another way, but we finally arrived.  The children all ran out to greet us with smiles and cards welcoming us to their school. 

We went inside and they gave us a presentation – the Hippo Dance.  Then, we handed out all of their backpacks.  It was so great.  We would call out their name, and then they would come up, to the cheers of their fellow students, receive their backpack, get their picture taken, and then walk the line getting a hug from all of the TP people.  It was one of the greatest experiences I can remember.  After playing some games and taking lots of pictures, they all had to go home for lunch.  We ate some pupusas prepared by the PTA (yes, I said PTA) and then we all stopped by Julio’s home.  (Pictures to follow at some point.) 

Julio is a little boy that we met on our first trip two years ago.  He asked Liz to come to his house, which is a small one room hut with a dirt floor.  He lives there with his parents and his nine brothers and sisters.  They are really warm, welcoming people.  When Liz visited, he asked her to be his madrena, which literally means godmother, but in context meant his sponsor for school.  Her heart melted and has never been the same.  After keeping in touch and sending him things to help him in school, she was able to come back on this trip and see him. 

So, we all went to see Julio.  For those who were experiencing it for the first time, it was true culture shock to see someone living with so little.  This is my fourth visit to their home, and several times I have eaten meals that they have prepared for us.  It is so great to spend that time with them and it definitely changes the way I look at everything I have. 

After a tearful goodbye, Mercy, who is the principal of the school and a great disciple, invited Julio to accompany her (and us) on the bus back to San Salvador and stay with her for the weekend.  He had never been to the city in his life.  All the way back Liz got to ask him questions and get to know him better.  She asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up.  Answer – policeman.  She asked him where he wanted to be a policeman.  Answer – wherever my madrena is, that’s where.  More melting…

We got back in time to grab a hot shower (what an incredible luxury those are!!) and some food (again – more luxury!) and head to the church for the worship conference.  90 people from Mexico and Central America came in for the weekend.  Traci and I got to speak to them tonight, and it was so much fun.  I love talking about worship, and feel so honored to be a part of this conference. 

Tomorrow is our last full day in El Salvador.  I can’t believe it is time to head home.  So many lessons, so many experiences, so many friendships forged and deepened.  God is so good to us. 

Don’t forget to make plans to come to the El Salvador Update midweek on Tuesday, November 1st.  That is for the entire Turning Point.  The Singles will not have midweek on Wednesday, November 2nd, but will come to the Update. 

Be grateful for all that you have.  Make a point to thank God for everything, even the things that you normally take for granted.  We are blessed and have been given so much.  We must make sure we are doing everything we can with what we have been given.  Buenas Noches. 

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