Day 8 (3/28/2018) by Jim Andreone
On Sunday morning we were able to take a bit of a break by visiting El Boqueron National Park, about a 45 minute drive up and around the mountainside from the guest house. The park is located on top of the San Salvador Volcano (now dormant) which last erupted in 1917, destroying much of the city at that time. From the visitor center, our team and the Snyder family hiked up to the rim of the volcano, enjoying the cooler air, trees, wildflowers and birds along the way. Interestingly, there is a small crater at the floor of the much larger crater, called “little Boqueron”. God’s creative power was very evident on this beautiful Sunday morning in this beautiful country. On the way back down the mountainside we stopped for coffee (they have really good coffee in El Salvador), enjoyed panoramic views of the city, got a demonstration of how coffee beans are roasted, and watched our waitress create a very detailed fish in Rachel’s latte.
In the afternoon, we continued our ministry to the boys at the New Dawn residence (see previous post for description of New Dawn), simply by hanging out and spending time with them. Eric, Rachel and Jim played UNO and Jenga - - good non-verbal type games - - although laughter translates well in both languages! While that was going on, Sean and Paul were across the street at the El Faro (Lighthouse) building, filling up balloons for a water balloon battle. Sides were chosen, and we had a dodgeball – type battle. Again, much laughter and friendship in evidence.
Monday morning was the time for the big soccer tournament that our group and the boys from New Dawn practiced for on Saturday morning. This was a well-organized competition consisting of 7 teams, including a team from New Dawn, and, of course, City Church aka Team USA. Most of the boys from all of the teams seemed to know each other, and for sure, they were all quite intent on winning the tournament. Team USA played hard but lost 10-4 - - must have been the lack of colorful uniforms! The winner: New Dawn!
It was amazing to witness the care and love that some of the older men show towards the New Dawn boys. Some of them have gone through their own struggles with substance abuse, gang violence and homelessness, and by the grace of God have come out alive at the other end. They seem determined to not have this happen to these boys. The theme of Dignity-Respect-Love is evident and strong.
Monday afternoon we completed some work projects at El Faro. Sean and Paul finished up the ceiling fan installation and tackled some plumbing work. Rachel finished up her painting projects. Eric and Jim did some drywall spackling and sanding work in two of the MTES offices, for painting by a future visiting team.
On Tuesday, the Snyder family (Jon, Danielle, Tory and Ian) was gracious enough to share one of their vacation days (the city basically shuts down for Holy Week) with us. We went to the beach! It was nice to rest up for the long trip back to Baltimore on Wednesday.