Blog post written by Jenni Ramsey
The rest of the gringo team arrived today. I was so thrilled to welcome Valerie Anderlik and Stephanie and Roberta Keenan as my mission house roommates. Valerie and Stephanie have served with me in El Salvador and both have a deep passion for this country. Roberta Keenan (Stephanie's mom) has served with me in Guatemala and is experiencing El Salvador for the first time.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the States Diner, which employs young people who are transitioning out of government orphanages. There is often a sense of hopelessness when kids in these orphanages prepare to turn 18. Tragically, they are kicked out of the orphanages and many of them end up on the streets on their 18th birthdays. The States Diner and Sus Hijos transition programs have given these children hope, training, real life skills and the possibility of a future. It has been absolutely incredible to watch the vision of the diner come to fruition and the restaurant is improving and gaining more customers each month.
The entire Sus Hijos staff joined us this evening to celebrate Stephen Keenans' 20th birthday. Stephen recently moved to El Salvador for a year of ministry and was sent out by our home church, The Village Church of Irvine. We enjoyed celebrating Stephen together on the lovely Olive Garden patio at the "World Trade Center," San Salvador.
It has been such a gift to spend time with the Sus Hijos staff this week, partaking in their daily lives and ministry. Without the intense demands of leading a team I've been able to sit, listen and observe many things. I am so grateful for our long-term partnership with Sus Hijos and continue to marvel at the powerful impact they are having on the people of El Salvador.