"Beans for Breakfast?! Again?!!"
That's not the title of a song. It's the cry that went up as we entered the cafeteria in Santa Ana, El Salvador.
I wish I could tell you it came from some immature teenager on our team. But it didn't! Nope. Those were the thoughts rolling around in my very own brown-haired head!
(Sometimes the truth is shocking!)
Yes, we had beans for breakfast. Occasionally for lunch. Oh and we also had beans for dinner. Not every day. And usually they tasted great. Especially after we had worked hard in the heat. But beans for breakfast really stretched me.
Let me not rush ahead..........
Shall I tell you of the treacherous bus rides to and from camp? Or perhaps you'd like to hear of our harrowing trips up and down a rutted mountain road - all standing in the back of a cattle truck? Maybe you'd be more interested in the bathroom conditions: some water most days; warm shower water - seldom.
Actually, I'd rather tell you about the beautiful El Salvadoran people. Of hospitality extended even in the most primitive home. About the inexpressible joy bursting out on the faces of children over a balloon animal or a single matchbox car handed to them.
Those are the memories warming my heart as I write this post!
This was our second trip to work with King's Castle Ministries. www.kingscastle.org It's a ministry led by lifetime missionaries, Don and Terri Triplett. The focus of this powerful couple is simple - reach these children for God before the gangs can reach them for death.
In Central America (where the Tripletts have lived and worked for over thirty years) it's the children of poverty that find this their only choice. Don and Terri have made it their life's work to reach those children with the Good News of God's love.
What an honor to work with them toward that goal!
While we served there last year, we came to love the pastors and congregation of Potrerllios Church. This active fellowship sits (literally) on the side of a steep mountain. Many of the members walk an hour or more for any church function they attend.
Their dedication challenged me at the core!
I'll have several stories to share with you during the next few days. (My heart is overflowing right now.) But suffice to say for now, I'm so very thankful I was privileged to join this years' team.
This post opened with the truth of how often our team was served beans.
But the title is actually meant to serve as an acrostic describing the people we met, more than the food we ate. We found the El Salvadorans to be:
B - Beautiful
E - Eager
A - Appreicative
N - Neighborly
S - Sincere
And I have many more adjectives I could use but "beans" is a short word!
Isn't it amazing how we North Americans travel the world expecting to teach/help others and they end up teaching/helping us?!