Fourth And Fifth Days at the Jehovah Shamma Center

Hi all, the last two days were busy and incredible. On Wednesday we had a fun day with the sponsor children from our group. We spent the day at a water park that had animals, a playground, and pools with small slides. Seeing the pure joy on the children’s faces all throughout the day was beyond astonishing. There were many kids running around and playing with their sponsors, an experience that few children or sponsors get. I spent my day hanging out with the twins, Hazel and Alisson, that the youth group at our church sponsor. They had boundless energy in the water and at the park. It was cute to see them interact with each other, as their energy bounces from one twin to the other in a constant cycle. After playing in the pool and at the park, everyone got a chance to give their sponsor children a backpack filled with gifts that they had bought. If one did not see the happiness and excitement on the children’s faces, then they definitely did at that point. When we came back to the hotel, we were able to eat dinner with teens that are getting ready to graduate from the Compassion program. We were able to listen to their testimonies of how they found God. It was truly inspirational and awe-inspiring to hear how they have grown to love, accept, and see God.

Today, we were able to visit the homes of the children that people in our group sponsor. It was eye-opening to see how they live and what they are going through in their lives. It was very interesting hearing a little bit about how Compassion has changed not only the children’s lives, but also their parent’s, grandparent’s, and sibling’s lives. We got to see the conditions that the children were living in and some of the houses and situations were worse than others. Everyone had an amazing last day today and has definitely been touched or moved by this trip. I know that I will never forget this mission trip. We didn’t just make an impact on these children, but they made a huge impact on us.

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Third Day at the Jehovah Shamma Center

Hello everyone, today was an incredible day. We had two different activities going on during the day. One of them was a service project in the playground that they had recently bought. We planted roots of grass in the ground in rows and leveled the ground. It was a wonderful experience that some of our team was able to share side by side some of the staff from the center. We enriched our relationships with the staff of the center through conversations, laughs, and hard work. Thank you to everyone who prayed for our health, well being, and our growing relationships with the staff of the center. The other activity that part of our team did was a teacher training project. The different teachers on our team taught some tutors from the center about class room management, child development (psychological and social), importance of lesson plans, and managing difficult students. This helped to build the confidence of the tutors in managing different students of different ages. Later in the evening, we went out to dinner and we had the number one and two people from Compassion El Salvador come eat with us and talk to us about the culture of El Salvador and what Compassion El Salvador is doing to help with the challenges they face in society. We met with the first ever female National Director of Compassion El Salvador, Brenda and Senior Partnership Manager Hinmer. It was an amazing experience to hear how Compassion is helping the children in the community.

If you would like to pray for us, please pray that everyone has an amazing, healthy day tomorrow with the sponsor children at the water park. Also, pray that we are able to enhance our relationships with the children at the water park.

Also, If you would like to pray for El Salvador, you could pray that the churches have the capability and capacity to love and care for the children of El Salvador.

Second Day at the Jehovah Shamma Center

Hi all, we had an amazing day today at the center. Today with the kids, we had a Vocation Bible School, VBS for short, where we taught them about Saul and how when he was not a follower of God and was a bully to Christians and other people, Jesus took away his sight. When he eventually found Christ and became a Christian, he became the changed man that most people know as Paul. The children made Saul/Paul puppets, learned about Paul, sang songs, and played game. The joy on everyone’s faces when we were singing altogether, was extraordinarily evident. The parents even joined in on the fun and the children were ecstatic that they were singing with them.

If you would like to pray for us, please pray for our health and well being, as we are going to be working outside planting on the new plot of land that they recently bought from a donation from our church. Also, pray that our relationships with the staff of the center will grow tomorrow as we are working alongside them.

A hot but exciting day consisted of fun games, creative crafts, and heart-warming video calls with some sponsors, bringing the Jehovah Shamma family closer together.

First Day at the Jehovah Shamma Center

Hello everyone, we had an amazing first day going to the Shamma Center and attending the church service there. The children at the center gave us a very warm welcome and we had an amazing time meeting or being reunited with the different children of the center. It was amazing seeing the complete joy and happiness on the children’s faces when we arrived. They were so welcoming to everyone, even if for some of us it was our first time coming to El Salvador. Later in the day, we sat down and appreciated a lunch alongside the staff from Compassion and at the center. We then spent time getting to know some of the staff at the center by doing different activities and sharing about how we have seen God at the center, our hopes for the partnership between our church and the center, and prayer requests that anyone had. In my group, I had one of the staff ask us to pray that his children find and follow God. His son and daughter lives in Texas with their mother, but come back to El Salvador over the summer to visit him. They have not yet accepted God into theirs lives and he was asking us if we could pray for that. It was very evident that he had a lot of passion and trust in God. It was incredible to see God work and the love of the children throughout the day.

Our first day at the Jehovah Shama Church in El Salvador, filled with praising Jesus with our church family.

About Ezra Park

Hey all! My name is Ezra Park and I am going into my Junior year at Canyon Crest Academy. I am 16 years old and will be updating you all about the El Salvador trip along with Ava. Some of my interests in life are playing basketball, and adventuring with my friends. I also love photography and cinematography. I am beyond stoked to be apart of the El Salvador team because of the new and different lifestyle that the people of El Salvador may have. I am excited for creating new relationships and getting closer with God while we are all down there. Along with writing updates about our trip, I will upload many pictures and videos from El Salvador onto our blog for your enjoyment! IMG_1406

About Ava Mazzilli

Hello Everyone, my name is Ava Mazzilli, I am 15 years old. I recently finished freshman year at San Dieguito Academy High School. I enjoy playing soccer, the flute, and reading. I am so excited to be apart of this mission trip and to serve others that are in need. I am most looking forward to making relationships with the people in El Salvador and everyone on the team. I am one of the two people who will be giving updates to you about how our trip is going.

Our Team!

Top row: Cathey, Matt, Shar, Ezra, Sydney, Jamie, Steve, & Meghan
Bottom row: Aimee (trip leader), Denise, Amy, Ava, & Cathy
Not pictured: Brody, Leticia, & Lori

Thank you for being a prayer partner to our mission trip team! We had our second team training last Thursday, and are excited to head to El Salvador later this month. Stay tuned to hear updates about our trip.