My trip experience was my mission trip that I went on at three separate times, for 18 days each, to San Salvador, El Salvador. The one I will be talking about is for this past summer from July 21- August 2 2009. I go with my church and we visit Hogar infintal Shalom home, an orphanage. They house children from infants to age 18. They are supported by donors in the United States, who pay thirty dollars a month to feed, house, and pay other bills for the children. We do various jobs inside and out of the home. For instance we worked inside the housing units to develop a better living system and to help improve and keep the facilities. We also went out into the neighboring community to clear a sewage ditch that the community uses on a regular base as a bathroom, and walkway. It was well worth the effort when several women, children, and men came up to show their appreciation. We also got to go out into the little community and serve them three times a week with a bible lesson and lunch. We meet there to provide the children and mothers with food while the children have their lunch hour away from school. We go and have a blast with them. We play, teach, and just humble ourselves in light of these little children who have overwhelming joy despite their situation of poverty, grief, and hardships.
However, one day our group decided to go a little bit further. We went to the market and bought 100 of each item: rise, beans, candy for the children, toiletries, and other food materials. We split up into four groups and went our separate ways, each with a translator and twenty five bags. My group went into the furthest part of the little shacks that we could find to see who was there and how we could help. When we got there, it was so hard to try to decipher who would receive the bags. We had more than twenty five families who were obviously in need in of help and food. But we soon found a local who was able to help us. She led us to several families who had the “incurables” as they called them, or the absolutely destitute. For instance, we found a man with no legs due to bacteria that had infected them and would continue unless treated. We found a girl laying in a bed, with some sort of mental disease that made her act as if she were possessed, being cared for by her blind mother. We found children without clothes on where skin and bones could be seen with little effort. We found mothers pregnant because they had been raped by the local gangs. We found a single mother taking care of seven children with no money but that she found on the street or got from her neighbors. We found every kind of hardship you could think of. It broke my heart to see these people in such conditions. My trip was more than a mission trip for an orphanage. It was more than an experience with a church. It opened my eyes to who really is out there and what I need to do to help them. I found a group of neighbors there who loved each other so much amidst the situation. Something I have not ever seen in the United States. I tell you the truth when I say how heartbroken I was and I wish I could have only stayed and done more to help them.
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