This has been my third trip to El Salvador, and my second time as leader. Every trip is unique and special, and this was certainly no exception. This year’s group is largely made up of members of my church, First Trinity Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C. We were very excited to have the opportunity to worship on Sunday morning with the Resurrection Lutheran Church in San Salvador. While very few of us speak Spanish, worshiping with that community and then meeting Bishop Gomez after the service really allowed us to connect with the Lutheran Church here on a new level.
Once on the work site, we got straight to work. Even here, the language barrier is only a little problem – a few simple words in either language, some illustrative gestures, and a house starts to rise! During breaks we have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know “our” family better or to just play with the kids (which requires no words at all!) We have also met many members of the community, and provided the neighborhood’s entertainment when we traveled to the shared water faucet for water for the site!
Through it all, we have had great support from Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. For the week we have had Alex with us to act as guide, interpreter, and ambassador to the community. He, along with other staff members from the Santa Ana office, have been invaluable members of our extended team and a wonderful asset for this trip.
I truly cherish my opportunities to leave my office job and come down to work with my hands in a beautiful country with such a warm and welcoming people. Each trip is so special, and I look forward to many more.