I have had the privilege of traveling with Hands of Hope two years in a row to El Salvador. In June 2011, I traveled with a team of 21 to host a vacation Bible school for the children living at Exodo, as well as complete several projects to improve the facilities and grounds. Our time there always goes by so quickly and there is never a dull moment, regardless of whether you’re serving on the VBS team or the work team! The work team put in two sets of concrete steps to create safer access to the garden and chicken coop. They also built and installed wood cabinets and shelves in the main kitchen on the property. The VBS team was busy teaching the kids Bible verses, playing games and making crafts. The finale to our time with the children was a birthday celebration! There was singing, cake, balloons, decorations and gifts! Everyone was smiling from ear to ear! I am already getting geared up for another exciting week at Exodo in June 2012!
Helping build that excitement, Hands of Hope held a supply drive for Exodo in conjunction with the Grace Weekend of Service. A group of 35 volunteers gathered to create care packages and birthday cards that will be given to the Exodo children during the birthday celebration on the June mission trip. Each volunteer was asked to select a picture of one of the Exodo children, create a card, select items for the package, then pray for that child after the package was complete. I was struck by the care taken by each volunteer to complete the tasks asked of them.
I cannot wait to see the children at Exodo next year as they open their care packages! It is a better-than-Christmas-morning feeling to watch as they smile and giggle and ooh and ahh over each item they pull out. It is far more a gift to me than to them. If you would like to get involved or get more information, go to handsofhopein.org/2012-Exodo-Summer-Missions-Trip.html , for June 2012 trip info. If you are interested in donating supplies for the birthday care packages, email firstname.lastname@example.org.