This week, a group of disciples is with our partners near Ahuachapan, El Salvador. They’ll working to build relationships, community, and homes with Habitat for Humanity.
Like any other morning at home, the first thing I generally do here in El Salvador is grab a cup of coffee. However, here, I don’t rush to finish my morning indulgence while preparing for the day, rather in Ahuachapán I have the luxury of meeting the sun as it rises from a balcony atop the Casa de Mamapan. This morning was calm and peaceful, and the first thing I heard was the sound of singing in the cathedral next door. It was as if their voices were beckoning the sun to rise, joined together to praise the Most High and give thanks for another day. I know, today will be holy.
Our team has a rhythm. We rise, we eat, we slather ourselves in sunscreen and bug spray and we board the bus that safely shuttles us to the community. After a quick introduction and welcome at the Community Center, we moved to the Casa de Salud to hear from Dr. Edgar. With gratitude, he shares all that has transpired at the health clinic since our last visit. There is a new nurse, Lilly. The clinic has expanded into women’s health with an emphasis on early cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Because of Dr. Edgar’s commitment to the community and the ministry, several women with pre-cancer indicators were identified and received life-saving treatment. With pride Dr. Edgar revealed the scrubs he and nurse Lilly wear and the thought that went into developing the logo which represents the interdependence between health, heart and home. He is grateful for the partnership with Myers Park Presbyterian and our commitment to supporting this ministry. This partnership is holy.
We move to the worksite and meet the Sanchez family, Marlon, Stephanie, Catherine and Helen. Throughout the day, our team is quick to volunteer and eager to be productive, cutting and binding rebar as instructed by the masons, sifting and sorting gravel that will soon be transformed to concrete, all while spending time with the Sanchez family. There are a couple newbies on our team, and they don’t know what I know….first, we will build for the Sanchez family. But, then, we will love on, pray for, and think about them long after we return home. Building is just the beginning of community. Each time I return, I reflect on the families we’ve met and those we’ve served – these bonds of community have transformed my life. We end our workday by touring the community, reconnecting with old friends. Hugs, tears, smiles. This community is beloved and holy.
Today was a mixture of introduction, work and reflection. We are off to a strong start, but tomorrow promises concrete. I’m so grateful for these friends, this work, and this blessed ground that feels like church to me. This calling is holy.
Blessed beyond measure, and preparing for blisters….
Melissa Wall and the El Salvador Mission Team