by freshman Brooke Brenner
WE HAVE ARRIVED!! El Salvador day one has been an exciting one. The day began at 3:00 a.m. this morning when our mission team left Lipscomb to head to the airport. After a connecting flight in Atlanta, we landed in El Salvador around 1:00 p.m! The Sports Outreach Ministry leader, Humberto, who is full of energy, immediately greeted us. Our team piled into a bus and our first stop was at a little hut on the side of the road where we bought a couple coconuts with straws in them to share. With lots of fun conversation already going on in the bus (even with having few hours of sleep), I could already tell that sharing God’s love with this mission team was going to make for an incredible week.
As our bus drove to Pollo Campero for lunch, I couldn’t help but gaze at the whole new world going on outside our bus. This trip is my very first time going out of the United States, so I had no idea what to expect. The United States was the only part of the world I have experienced. While soaking in all that our bus was passing by, I noticed massive mountains, tiny huts, unique trees, people riding on the back of truck beds in place of taxis and some small houses and businesses. Some people were even conducting business in the middle of the street. One time, while our bus was in a little traffic, our driver was asked if we needed our windows cleaned. This culture shock was a very eye opening part of the day. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if El Salvador was the only part of the world I knew?
Fresh guacamole at lunch was a hit. After a satisfying meal, we unloaded our luggage at a cute and homey three-story motel. Our team finished the day by going to visit a soccer complex in the city where a newly created soccer tournament was having their opening day. There, we watched high school boys play the same game of soccer we have learned to love. At halftime our mission team had the opportunity to play and get a little competitive ourselves. We also were able to start to build some unique relationships with the other El Salvadorian people who were watching the tournament games.
Something that amazed me today was that even with a language communication barrier, we were still able to connect with and show love to the El Salvadorian adults and children. We just had to make the extra effort to find different ways to communicate in order to build a relationship with them. Then it hit me. Isn’t that just like how God tries to connect with us? He makes the extra effort to love and connect with us even when we don’t ask for it because He desires to have a relationship with us. God reveals characteristics about himself through us, and He did exactly that today. This is why our mission team is here in El Salvador, to show other people God’s love and to help them understand that God desires to be in a relationship with them too. It is really awesome to see how God is communicating through our team and through a common passion of playing soccer... and this is only day one! I am extremely excited for the rest of this trip as we continue to learn, grow and share God’s love with the people of El Salvador.