Blog post written by Lindsey Warneke
"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness." -William Arthur Ward
One of my favorite things about serving in El Salvador is playing basketball with the kids in the government centers. While soccer is the sport of choice by almost everyone in Central America, there are always a few boys and girls who are quick to jump in to a game of 5-on-5 (or 7-on-7, in today's case) on the court. After bringing a number of players from the basketball program at Crean Lutheran High School in 2014, I looked forward to being here again.
The language barrier between the Salvadorians and our group from the United States was a challenge at first. Even though my Spanish is limited, I understand one thing very well: a simple smile makes all the difference. I quickly learned that we could reach out to those who played with us through smiles, fist bumps, and "high-fives." Basketball gives me a way to connect, and I love every minute of it. Throughout the day I observed our team members playing soccer, basketball and cards with the kids. Language was not required, love communicates all. At the end of our afternoon, I was privileged to share my testimony with the kids (through a translator) and encourage them with the hope of the Gospel.
My life is a testimony of the power of faith and family. I grew up in a family with a mom and a dad who loved each other very much, and two brothers who are my best friends. It breaks my heart knowing that there are so many around the world that have a different experience. This is why I love serving alongside Sus Hijos: we are able to share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. While many of these children we serve may never know an earthly father, I am grateful that I can play a very small role in sharing the love of the Heavenly Father. As much as I look forward to eternal life, I am just excited to see those who have lived without a family be part of our home that awaits us in Heaven.