Sorry for the technical issues and delay in Thursday’s blog! Here is an extra special edition!
Thursday the group spent most of the day back at CIPI, the intake center for babies, toddlers, special needs, and girls of all ages, including teen mothers. We have wanted to do something special for the girls for some time now, and boy did this group go all out!

Before & After

Here is a note from Brian Carter:

Today we were back at CIPI and we spent the day painting and fixing up the teen girl dorms. As we painted, I watched the girls go back and forth with their daily activities. In the afternoon I sat with all the girls and gave them pictures that Alex had taken of them. (Many have never owned a picture of themselves.) At one point during the afternoon I looked up to see Jody and his daughter Carson, walking hand-in-hand. It is often the simple things in life that mean the most and hurt the worst when it is lost. These girls are starving for affection, and need someone to walk with them, hand in hand.

These girls and their friends of all ages were so thankful for the sweet women who made them pillowcase dresses! The team told them that the makers cared for them and prayed for them while sewing!
“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply impossible. One must see it to fully understand what me and my team members have experienced. Today I was able to rock a precious little girl named Johanna. Her mother, who is my age, has been blessed with a wonderfully behaved baby. As I was rocking her and loving on her, I found myself reminding God of his promise given to us in Jeremiah 29:11. “God”, I said, ”You’ve told her that you have plans to prosper her and not to harm her.. for a hope and a future. I trust you to stay true to that promise in her precious little life. Bless her God, bless her.” Hope and a future? But she’s already started out in an orphanage where hope has been forgotten, and futures are the streets? The violence in El Salvador won’t stop, the poverty doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and morals are no more. So how can you have hope, or a chance at a future? God opened my eyes while I was looking into Johanna’s. It’s not our job to stop the violence, boost the economy, or even teach others about “morals.” We have one job, and that is to share with others what Christ has done to bring us a hope and a future. Jeremiah is talking about something beyond this short life we’ve been given. It’s about eternity with the I AM. I found hope and peace in that as I was holding and praying over Johanna. Praise God for the undeserved hope and future he has offered us!” ~ Emily Carter

In addition to working on the girls dorms, our group spent Thursday afternoon putting on a carnival for all of the kids at CIPI! From inflatables to skits and even a dance party, they made sure the afternoon was full of smiles, laughter and children who knew they were greatly loved!

What an amazing week! The first few days were emotionally overwhelming. I have never seen so much pain and rejection in my entire life. I just wanted to hug them all and love their pain away. The first day we were at Cipi (teen girls, teen moms, special needs children, and children from the age of newborns to adolescence). This is where I first connected with Karla, a seventeen year old girl rejected by her family. She needed so much love and I wanted to have so much more time with her. Today, we went back to Cipi and I was able to spend more time with Karla. We talked together, we played on the inflatables, we worked on decorating her bedroom and we all ended the night by dancing in her new room. We had so much fun and I have already seen a change in Karla. Karla said she knew God had sent us to her and these were the best two days of her life. Although this week has been overwhelming I have also been overjoyed being a part of and watching God overcome the sadness and poverty these children have to deal with every day. ~ Kathy Shadburne
THAN YOU SO MUCH to all of those who helped us put these smiles on such sweet faces this week!