By Lipscomb women’s soccer sophomore Hannah Torbett
Day 4 in El Salvador started out just like the previous days, with laughter. Each day has brought something different and unique to each individual, but each day starts with laughter.
We got up this morning and went to a grocery store to buy food to give out to more families near Tomaz Rodriguez. (To reiterate, this village in San Salvador is one of the poorest.) In the grocery store everyone was laughing and dancing to the music that was playing. Being around such fun people makes simples tasks like going to the store so much fun. We loaded up the groceries and made our way to Tomas Rodriguez after we picked up the World Race girls.
When we got to the village, the kids were already lined up outside the bus with smiles plastered on their faces eager to see us. I swear their smiles never fade. We split up into groups, kids in tow, to go deliver the bags of food to more families.
The first family my group went to consisted of a woman and her daughter with the grandmother living next door. We asked if there was anything we could pray for and the mother said the grandmother was ill. All I caught was that something was wrong with her hip. As the grandmother was talking to us, she had a smile on her face. Even though we knew she was in so much pain she still was smiling and laughing with us. When we prayed over her she started tearing up and told us how much she appreciated it.
We then went into an adjacent house, and I might add when I say house I mean dirt floors with tin walls and no air conditioning that is about the size of my dorm room, and we did the same thing. We gave the food and asked if there was anything that needed to be prayed for. The elder woman explained that she was living there with her daughters and grandchildren. She then told us that they could not find her son. In El Salvador, this usually means that the boy has joined a gang. I could see the pain in her eyes and in that moment I felt selfish.
The majority of my daily struggles are wondering if I made a good grade or how well I do at soccer practice, and here is this woman who has next to nothing in worldly possessions, and doesn't know if her son is coming back to her. It’s very humbling to say the least. But again, this woman still smiles and cries tears of happiness when we pray for her. I felt compelled to lay my hands on her while we prayed, and I don't know if this has ever happened to me, but I felt her sadness and weakness when my hands were on her. I felt it. It’s not something I can describe very well, but it was definitely a moment from God. I also saw hope in her eyes, and I'm positive Jesus has her in his hands.
After leaving that house, I go out and am swarmed by little boys looking for people to play with. They have a ball to throw and hands to play tag with, and that's all they need. The joy that radiates from all these kids in extreme poverty is inspiring. They are so content with life. It doesn't matter that they are poor, or have to wear hand-me-down clothes and wonder where the next meal will come from. These kids know how to enjoy life and I think live it the way God intended, and it’s on another level to witness. Material things don't matter to them, and it challenges people like me to really look at what I value in my life. Humbling and joy are two common themes for me on this trip.
After the village we got lunch and then got the opportunity to play more soccer with more kids and share the gospel. We played and did some drills and played some more and then Jordan Walsh shared a little of her testimony and one of the World Race girls shared a little of the story of Jobe. There were easily 50-75 people listening and at the end when asked who would like to accept Jesus and learn more about Him 15 or 20 people raised their hands. How awesome is that? Our God is great y'all.
The day ended as it had begun: with laughter. All of us shared our favorite moments of the day and then played some fun card games and laughed so much we got shushed in the restaurant we were in. So not only are we sharing the gospel and changing people's lives, we are creating new relationships and strengthening old ones. Jesus and laughter are my top two favorite things on Earth, so how great is it that I get to have SO MUCH of both on one trip?! We still have two more days to go, and I can't wait to see what else God is going to teach all of us.