Hello everyone, my name is John Reimer and I am currently a junior at Benedictine studying business. This is the first time I have gone on a mission trip with BC and the first time I have been to El Salvador. So far this trip has been beyond words as so many have already said, but I will do my best to convey what we did/experienced today.
Today was an amazing day in El Salvador. We woke up and did stations of the cross with the CFCA staff instead of our normal morning prayer. Even the simplest practices such as the stations of the cross with the staff are moving. It's not so much that the experiences that we have had down here are all extraordinary, though many are, it is that everything that these people do is done with such love and faith that it is moving. After prayer we had breakfast and then set out for Cerro Verde park. Cerro Verde park was a beautiful park set in the mountains of El Salvador right next to an active volcano. We all went to the park in order to meet the children that a few of us on the trip sponsor. Though not all of us sponsor the children we spent time with today, this visit was a very important one. The children and sponsors alike were ecstatic to see one another! For some of these children and families a sponsor is the reason why they are able to go to school and eat regularly. During this visit we went on a small hike to view the immediate surroundings. This park was at about 8,000ft. overlooking a crater lake and a volcano. After we finished the walk we had lunch and then enjoyed the rest of the afternoon playing soccer, frisbee, and various sports with the sponsored children.
On this trip I know that everyone has experienced different emotions and found meaning in a number of ways. What I found to be especially moving was playing soccer and catch with the sponsored children today. Though this was a very simple part of the day it meant a lot to me. I think the reason why this was especially important to me is because I bond with people through doing things.
After we finished hanging out with children at the park we drove to a restaurant on the lake that Cerro Verde park overlooked. At the restaurant there were docks set up on the patio and a place where we could swim. The water felt awesome after sitting in the humid buses! From the waterfront restaurant we went back to the CFCA facility. Before we cleaned up for dinner some of us joined the CFCA workers for a game of soccer. After soccer we had dinner and then got ready for our last night with CFCA.
Tonight was really special because the CFCA staff invited the elders from the local community to present to us. The elderly people danced for us, recited poems, and then got us to dance with them at the end of their show. It was great! The best part of the presentation was how the elderly responded to us at the end. Many of them came up to us, hugged us, and told us how much we meant to them. I've never experienced so much trust from someone I met an hour ago. The people of El Salvador have so much faith! I know that I and everyone on this trip prays that we can be as faithful as these people are.
God bless all of you!
Thank you for your prayers and support!