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The 2017 El Salvador team is in the community of Getsemani this week as part of Myers Park Presbyterian’s renewed partnership with Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. Follow along with their work all week here on the blog!

By Monday evening, our mission team welcomed the arrival of the “Miami Five” to the hotel. (If you’re just catching up, five from our group were not able to board the oversold flight in Miami on Sunday and had to stay one additional night there.). So with the team at nearly full strength now, we shared a wonderful meal and heard stories just from the first day on the build site.

Every build site is different, and while there is something to be said from experience of another year’s efforts, our team is all in this together with unique challenges this time. Upon arrival to the site, we met Abram, our mason, as well as the family, Luis Miguel with his two young sons. We learned that Luis Miguel is a carpenter who has taken fours days off from work to be with our efforts this week. His wife, who we hope to meet later this week, is working her job this week so Luis Miguel is balancing out watching the boys with the help of his mother. Communities and families are tight in this part of the world.

Much digging and tackling a stubborn stump took most of our work focus on Monday. We were treated to a traditional meal of rice and chicken and cooked vegetables for lunch, a welcomed break from the dirt and clay. After lunch, we walked through the communities, making our way to the Casa de Salud (“house of health”). Dr. Edgar and Dr. Linares greeted the team and gave a quick tour of both the medical and dental areas respectively. All too soon, we were back at the build site for more digging, more moving of dirt in wheelbarrows and taking an axe to the ever-pesky tree stump.

Our evening devotional centered around the gospel of Mark, specifically the story of Bartimaeus who was blind and called out to Jesus as he was leaving Jericho with a large crowd.

“Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
(Matthew 10:48-49)

So as we closed the first day, Derek’s message through the evening devotional was to continue to look for signs of Jesus in the village, on the build site and with the families we see. We are called to not be judgemental as the crowd was around Bartimaeus.