Making Progress in El Salvador

[NOTE: Today’s posted is offered by team members Bonita Johnson and Jenn Cords from Minneapolis, MN]

Theme of the day: PROGRESS
Driving to the site today, we thought we were going to arrive to our site and be painting most of the day. We thought, wow… we have more energy than we thought, so why waste that on painting?

The good news, was that we didn’t paint at all and got to use our energy using the shovels and wheelbarrows and TAMPING. We are making progress though!

We are amazed at our Masons. They are hard working and organized, and even with the language barrier, they are able to communicate our projects. We understand quickly, “muy bien!” & “no mas!”

Today we were joined by volunteers from Cristo Rey Church. It is fun to see their passion for serving others and their commitment to building these homes as if they were their own. In fact, we all feel a sense of pride and committment in the work we are doing.

We have really bonded with the children from the neighborhood. We both look forward to seeing each other. The kids welcome us with BIG hugs and smiles. They are fascinated when we take pictures with our phones so they can see themselves. Today we had lots of fun activities for the kids to participate in, including: making paper airplanes and butterflies, polishing their fingernails, and lots of reading and coloring.

Tonight we dined on local cusine – papusas. Pastor Vilma from Sao Paulo Luther Church (Cristo Rey’s sister congregation) joined us (with pretty awesome shoes on!) It was fun to experience more of the culture.

FUN FACT OF THE DAY:
It is 100 degrees colder back home than in El Salvador right now.

Quotes of the day:
“So we take this shit pile and put it on that shit pile?” – random team member that shall remain anonymous.
“Me llamo Marijuana” – Mary Jane introducing herself to the church natives

WE ARE THANKFUL FOR:
Work gloves (the Salvadorans don’t use them), friendships, learning more Spanish, a sense of community, showers (not always warm or with a lot of water), the SUPER SELECTO (grocery store), and our amazing TEAM!

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYER FOR:
Our brothers and sisters in El Salvador that may not have the hope of sufficient housing…. YET. 🙂

The theme of the week continues to be dirt.

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Carlos Avalos, Church Relations Director for Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador.

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Bonita’s Beauty Salon was open for business this morning at one of our worksites. She attracted a lot of children from the neighborhood. 🙂

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About Bishop Craig Schweitzer

The Rev. Craig Schweitzer, of Bismarck, was elected as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod on July 17, 2020, in the first-ever digital Synod Assembly. A historic event, Schweitzer is the first bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to be elected in an online assembly. Bishop Craig Schweitzer began serving the Western North Dakota Synod-ELCA on September 1, 2020. He has always seen himself as an easy-going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in his life and the world in which he lives and serves. Prior to service in the Office of Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Craig served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND as Music and Worship Minister (lay staff from 2002-2010), Associate Pastor (2010-2014), and Senior Pastor (2014-2020). Beyond his service in the church, he has an eclectic background that is a diverse collection of musical, educational, and business experiences ranging from live concert production and promotion to recording studios and live performance to music education. Throughout all of his professional and personal experiences, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome have been a guiding light that has kept him grounded in whatever work God was calling him into – “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Bishop Craig is a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership. He also holds a certificate degree in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on September 16, 2010. Outside of his life as Bishop, Bishop Craig enjoys reading, all music, a little golf, a cold beverage with friends, and intentional times of quiet. And, of course, spending time with his wife Wendy and their adult twin daughters Ilia and Taegan. View all posts by Bishop Craig Schweitzer

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