2011 El Salvador Missions Trip

It's hard to put into words the experience of a missions trip.   Each member experiences something a little different and God shows up in so many different ways but still impacts the trip in a unified way.    God provided for the needs of the trip from the logistics, provided by our trusted partner Bridges of Hope, to safety in travel as we mobilized 20+ people to and through a foreign country.  

Purpose of the Missions Trip

Exodo is a valuable partner for Hands of Hope.   Iris (the Orphanage Director) and her staff are the active hands and feet of Jesus who work every single day with the children to provide a loving and safe environment, to encourage the kids to get a higher education and to provide opportunities that otherwise are just not available.   Hands of Hope is actively working to be the support system for Exodo:  To provide for basic needs, to love the children, and communicate the love of Christ. 

What did the trip accomplish

Love, love and more love:    Gretchen Stanley, who is a board member of Hands of Hope, went on the trip to Exodo.  She has built a relationship with a young lady over the past couple of years and when she arrived, her little girl could not stop hugging her and likewise, Gretchen could not stop hugging her.   Gretchen explained that even though both of them were preoccupied by VBS and the activities going on during the week, they were never far from each other to exchange smiles and words of love (English and Spanish) and to hand out another hug.  Words could not describe the incredible feeling in those moments.  

Vacation Bible School... a week away from the normal:  We all need a break from the normal.   The kids at Exodo were provided with the opportunity to have a Vacation Bible School.   VBS provides moments of fun and fellowship and more importantly, it gives the kids the opportunity to further develop their relationship with Christ.  

Work Projects:  The work team is an active tangible way for Hands of Hope to communicate love, care and support to the kids.   The work team was hard at work this year replacing concrete steps that had eroded over the years and to install new cabinets in the kitchen.   The work was grueling and hot.   God showed up in an awesome way this year with the concrete team.   The team was struggling with the logistics of installing the concrete steps.  One of the van drivers, whose sole responsibility for the week was to drive the vehicles, pitched in and started providing help and support.   His previous occupation was in concrete and masonry.   He knew exactly what to do and provided the much need logistical support for the work team. 

Glory To God

Although the team members went to give love, they also were able to experience God's love in a new way through the children at Exodo.  We are grateful to God that He allows us to be used by Him and, in the process, changes our lives forever.