We couldn't have asked for a better first day. I loved the church we visited this morning! It was lively and expressive and we received very warm welcomes from everyone. We were blessed to worship the same God in English and Spanish, which was neat. Many of our team members shared testimonies with the church and Jenni gave an "impromptu" sermon. Some of us got to serve in the children's classroom, where we found the kids so happy and well behaved. What a morning!
Our main focus today, however, was to get the girls at the orphanage fitted for the quinceanera, which is being held on Tuesday. It is Sunday now. We arrived at the government orphanage, which was great to see, yet also filled us with sadness. Our missionary leader, Kurt Ackerman, took us on a tour, where we saw and held darling babies, visited teen moms and their babies, and played with a few of the special needs kids. All the children here are so precious and not one bit forgotten by God.
We found the perfect spot in the courtyard and spread out all 140 plus prom-style dresses for the girls. We broke the girls into four different groups and you could feel the excitement in the air. We started out by sitting each group down and with our loving translators, told them what their "surprise quinceanera" day will be all about. While we are the "messengers" who carried the dresses and accessories, the quinceanera is truly a gift from God We reminded them that they are special no matter what their past has been. They are each a princess to God and he loves each of them. They then got to go
over to the tables and "shop" for dresses.
These were dresses like they have never seen before. It was amazing to me to see how perfectly the dresses fit each girl. If they did need alterations, there were some amazing women ready to make them fit by Tuesday. It is difficult to put into words the way in which we saw God's hand all over this time. It went so smoothly and 40 girls found their perfect dresses with the help and excitement of our team. Each dress seemed to be made for each one. They came out of the "make shift dressing rooms" just like one of my teenage girls would, wanting to model for the group and hear the "oohs" and "ahhs" from their friends. They felt so good about themselves and they were glowing! We even saw some tears of joy from the girls, and received lots of hugs of thankfulness.
We left the orphanage praising God for a smooth and unforgettable day. We were thrilled that the girls would have something positive to talk about until we come back tomorrow to do nails and waxing. On Tuesday afternoon we will do
their hair and makeup before they get dressed for the big event. We are now preparing meals to deliver to the homeless. We feel so blessed to be here and to part of God's powerful work in El Salvador!