by Lipscomb junior Natalie DuBoise
Wow. I can't remember the last time I had as much fun as I had today. I also can't remember the last time I've been this exhausted! But, it was another full day of the Lord doing incredible things not only in the El Salvadorian community, but also in our team.
We began our day meeting up with the World Race girls at our hotel so they could shower since the water at their house wasn't working. They were so grateful for a hot shower! We then loaded up the bus and made our way back to the community of Tomas Rodriguez. The kids remembered us and swarmed to us right away, excited for another couple hours of playing.
There were kids everywhere-some playing soccer, others playing "Mika" or tag, and even a group playing duck-duck-goose. But all eyes turned to Humberto, our SOI leader, when he brought out two piñatas. The pure joy on the children's faces as they took turns hitting the piñata and scrambling to pick up the pieces of candy as they fell is something I'll always remember.
After a delicious lunch, we headed to a local school named Florencia. Here, we helped the teachers run PE sessions for the kids, ranging from kindergarten to middle school. Chaos doesn't even begin to describe it. At every moment, there was always a girl on our team being chased by a bunch of 5-year-olds or kicking a soccer ball with some of the older kids.
However, when I took a break from the madness and looked at my surroundings, what really touched my heart was watching some of our leaders, Johnny, Ryan, and Leah, sit with the kids and try to have intentional conversations with them. It's been incredible to watch the different gifts of our team come together so perfectly in such a crazy, chaotic day.
Resiliency. This is the word that keeps coming to my mind as we spend time in these communities and with our team. Romans 5:3-5 says "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
These kids and families we are spending time with have resiliency. They hardly have anything, yet they smile, laugh, and play the same way we do. The members of our team have so much resiliency. As the days have gone by, girls have shared their testimonies, stories, and hard moments, yet they have exuded joy and strength.
As incredible as watching this strength unfold is, what gives anyone this endurance is hope in the Lord. We all go through difficult times or particular struggles, yet because of our amazing God, we don't have to depend on ourselves. Instead, we get to live each day with purpose because our hope is found in Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for how the Lord has taught, worked, and provided for our team in the first three days, and I pray that we continue to emit that hope in the Lord for the rest of our days.