Post written by Carin Wasson -
Greeting from El Salvador. Today was our first day at the government orphanange - CIPI. We were driven there by Jose, our amazing driver, who not only gets us to our destinations, but came into the orphanage and pulled weeds, grabbed a paint brush and helped where he could!! We were greeted by the director and given a tour of the facilities. What an amazing sight. Rooms of different colors - some with paintings on them and others just plain. As we walked through on our tour we were greeted in each room by precious children and their smiles. There was a room for the new babies, for the teen moms, for the teen girls, special needs children and smaller children. Then we were divided into groups to go and serve. One group painted in the teenage girls' area. Others just got to hold babies and help with other children. Just to love and serve where we were needed.
There was one sweet baby who was only 11 days old. He was abandonded at the hospital and then brought to CIPI - see picture with girls holding the babies. Taylor, Jenni and Samantha spent a lot of time with the babies, and loved holding them!! This morning during our devotion we were challenged to pray over each child that we held. We were honored to speak God's hope and future over their lives and pour love on them throughout the day.
Some of us were able to go into the teen mom area. There are currently 6 teenage moms (from age 10-16) who are raising their babie at the center. Our team had a blast dancing with some of the girls. Tanya wasn't so graceful on her feet as she stepped on a crawling baby. Then Amanda started dancing and smiling at a little boy - and he started to cry!! Needless to say, they enjoyed dancing, laughing and just being together.
Carin, Taylor, Samantha and Jenni served in the sewing room with the teen girls. Taylor shared about her recent sewing competition and Samantha was able to sing her Repunzal song. The girls' faces lit up as she sang and they loved it (and asked to hear more!). Carin was able to teach them about singing and breathing with their diaphram. They were an amazing group of girls - full of love and curiosity. We gave out silly bands from Aidan's collection to many kids. All the kids loved them. We are a multi talented team and it has been an honor to share our various gifts with these precious kids!
We left for lunch and ate at Pollo Campero - a VERY popular Salvadorian chain comparable to KFC - but BETTER. They served us at our tables. The servers surprised Stephanie and serenaded her Salvadorian style for her (early) birthday! Stephanie's face was almost as red as her shirt!
We then returned to the orphanage and were divided up into groups again. God was using our team in so many ways. We have an amazing translator - Jenny - she was with Carin and we came upon a gal who was from Honduras. We had an amazing time of talking and sharing. She shared that she was pregnant and trying to get home to her country - but had been placed here while she waited. We had a chance to share with her about the Love of Jesus and she was asking us about decisions in life and what to do with her baby and feeling sad about some of her choices. We got to share wiht her that we all make bad choices, but that God wants us to choose HIM!! Pray for her.
There was a funny boy in the special needs area - Fernando - we called him the escape artist. He could sneek out of the area that was fenced in and run around. He loved to grab us and kiss us and just be silly!! What a blessing he was for us in just his smiles and laughter.
After a long amazing day at Cipi we drove to Wal-mart to get supplies for the orphanage and pinatas for the kids. We filled up our carts and then stopped for a gelato treat.
Then off to an amazing dinner at our home. Susan and Kurt, the missionaries we are staying with, cook for us and provide amazing meals - we had bbq pork, cremed peas and cooked carrots last night. Tonightg we had meatloaf and mashed potatoes and corn. Both nights we have had amazing bread choices as well as salad. They are spoiling us. We had an amazing day! Everyone is healthy and doing well. Sleeping good and eating well. Thank you for traveling with us- Carin