The team got in late this evening from a long day of wonderful and new experiences. They started the day off by attending church with the Akerman’s and many of the interpreters that we have grown to know and love over the years. The Starfish team learned late last night upon their arrival that some of them would be helping to lead praise and worship at this mornings services! They were a little nervous, but it was great!
Here is a note from Jordan Beale on how her first day in El Salvador began…
“I’m not really much of a morning person, so whenever one of my roommates woke up at 6:30am, I wasn’t happy. Not having to leave until 9:45am, I had a long time to wait and some time to grumble. I complained to my family about having to get up soooo early. My morning went on as usual until God wanted to show me something amazing. During the church service, their pastor recognized a family that had gotten up before dawn to walk three hours and forty five minutes to church! That means they were on the road at six o’clock! All of those complaints I had muttered flooded my mind, and I was filled with remorse. These people in El Salvador valued God and church way more than I do. They willingly got up. I had grumbled. What was I thinking? This changed my attitude and opened my heart to experience the rest of my day. To experience every moment God had for me. To experience true compassion in the eyes of those beautiful orphans.”. —–Jordan Beale

Jordan wasn’t the only one who didn’t know exactly what to expect…”On Sunday morning we went to Kurt and Susan’s church. When our bus was parking the people were waiting to greet us. Worship started in just a few minutes. I was thinking to myself ‘What’s this actually going to be like’. These people are going to be worshiping God in their own language…a language I don’t understand. I just knew that I am going to worship and praise with all I have. They began to sing the first song and I began to worship. It became an awesome time for me. I love to worship. The Lord impressed on me right then more than ever…these people are worshipping in the same spirit! They know how to worship. It doesn’t matter what language that you speak. What matters is that we lift up His name in worship. You can see extreme poverty all around. These people in church this morning are rich because they know God. It doesn’t matter what we are going through. When we have Jesus in our heart, we are rich!”—-Gene Allison

“‘Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day’–and that is what we did beginning our day with an awesome time of worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ at a dynamic church in San Salvador. As we poured out our praise to God, He was filling our hearts with His love to be poured out on the babies, toddlers, children, teens, and handicapped at CIPI orphanage. God brought smiles to the faces that were empty, as the babies were held tenderly and spoken to lovingly, bubbles and laughter floated through the air, little boys with soccer balls had a reason to play with joy, and teen girls that were broken beyond our comprehension received hope in Jesus. God is at work in El Salvador! How awesome to be joining Him in His work! Words cannot describe but eternity will tell the whole story.”—Rhonda Bloemer
“What an amazing day! We began by going to church…not a Baptist church, not a Methodist church,….just church, worshipping our Lord and Savior with other believers..praising Him! Familiar praise songs were sung…only in Spanish! Classes were held for the children and teenagers, sharing about the glorious armor of God. What a heart-warming experience…to feel such unified worship with believers in San Salvador. Then we were off to CIPI, a state orphanage. What a delight to embrace and play with the special needs children. How they just yearned to be touched. Many of us spent a great deal of time holding, rocking, and feeding precious babies. Others tirelessly tossed toddlers in the air, hearing their delightful squeals. I have prayed that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus this week. I have prayed that we will bring smiles. I have prayed that we would see the face of Jesus in others. My prayers are being answered and this is only the first day! Thank you, Lord!”—Phyl Brien

The team will start Monday morning off painting at one of the local orphanages. Then they will be heading to the nursing home and new orphanage site. After lunch, they will head back to CIPI for the rest of the afternoon to spend time with the kids and teen mothers. Prayers are requested for strength and hope for the team and the orphans of El Salvador. There were also three girls mentioned tonight to lift up special prayers for their safety and hope. Their names are *B, *G, & *J.
The team is so thankful to know you are following along daily, praying for them and their journey to serve. We ask that you continue to praise God for the wonderful missionaries and leaders He has given us to work with in El Salvador. We continue to pray for thier families and the amazing work God is doing through them.