This week, our El Salvador Global Mission Team is at work with our friends and partners in the communities surrounding Ahuachapan. This post was written by Laura Monk and Lindsay Griffin.

It’s Day Three of our official work week (but day five away from Charlotte)  in Ahuachapán, and each day is full of surprises. The word of the week, as highlighted by our longtime friend and Habitat translator, Francis Padilla, is “flexibility.”  While our physical muscles could certainly use that extra stretching after a few impossibly hard sessions at the home build site, it’s our other muscles we have been learning to flex: learning patience, the power of being present, and never underestimating the importance of simply showing up.

This partnership is one of building relationships, and once you feel in community with friends here, you will always feel a pull to return.  Yes, we can swing a mean pick-ax or strategize about the best ways or tools needed to unearth a large tree on-site, but today we brought simple supplies for crafts and had the presence of mind to remove ourselves from our cluttered and busy lives in order to engage with these amazing friends. This is why we are here.  

This morning, due to another national day of weather-related mudslides and school closures, we held our “kids’ camp,” which is typically at the end of the week, at the Casa de Salud (or House of Health). Approximately 40 children came to make bracelets, pipe cleaner animals, and crosses with us. One little girl named Fernanda stole our hearts with her smiles and gifts of cards and bracelets. Another friend from many years, Laura (now 10 years old), presented a cross with the message “I love you and may God bless you.”  God does bless us all by being here. 

While the rest of the team was making crafts, Lindsay Griffin was seeing patients with Dr. Edgar Landaverde at the Casa de Salud (House of Health).  Dr. Edgar has been a long term partner and friend of many at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, as he has been dedicating his “days off” from his regular work week by serving as the community doctor for over a decade. Dr. Edgar’s innate dedication to the incredibly impoverished and wholeheartedly appreciative individuals in Getsemani and surrounding communities is a God-sent gift.

Over the past two days, Dr. Edgar has helped to treat over thirty patients ranging from 1-65 years old for ailments common in El Salvador, such as dengue, parasites, scabies, hypertension, arthritis, and malnutrition. We had the opportunity to see the seven-year-old little girl who was born with a congenital heart defect, and is exceedingly grateful for the generosity of MPPC’s support when she was faced with open-heart surgery as a toddler. Everyone in the community has confidence and trust in both Dr. Edgar’s medical abilities and sincere attention to the patients.

Dr. Edgar and his family, as well as Nurse Lily, joined our team this evening at our hotel for dinner and fellowship.

We initially think we are here to build a wonderful family a safe, secure and beautiful home, but our actual work is to continue building upon a deep foundation in this community that many members of our church have led and inspired.  We appreciate your continued prayers for the safety of all in this ministry.

Laura & Lindsay