July 15, 2013 by Chris French
This morning we worshipped with the Olicuilta church of Christ where Jorge preaches. When I first started coming to El Salvador he worked with the San Mauricio congregation. This church finally had so many talented and passionate people that had matured far enough innChrist that Jorge felt comfortable leaving them so he moved to Olicuilta to build them up to the same level. I can say that they’re getting there! Over the last couple of years their generosity and love toward our group has amazed me. Today they had a receiving line when we came into their building. We got 10 hugs before we went twenty steps!
When we worship with Olicuilta our group sings in English while he Salvadorians sing the same song in Spanish. I love it! I can see the Father smiling because language is no barrier to His people’s love and praise. I noticed though that our two groups hadn’t mingled very well. Our group sat together and the Salvadorians sat together. It kind of bugged me, but there’s nothing we could o at that point, but when Jorge started preaching he told us that the Salvadorians had taken the sunny spots so we could sit in the shade. I was humbled and grateful. It was hot in the shade, even with the fans, but when I stepped out from underneath our shade to where they were sitting I immediately felt an increase in temperature.
Before we left they gave us hand made handkerchiefs and key chains, and earrings for the ladies. They always shower us with things they’ve made so this year we were ready to give to them. Each man got a shirt, each lady received an apron with wooden utensils and the kids got a super abundance of toys and pencils.
I gave a little guy a small beach ball when we were giving things out. Right before we left I tried to get him to play catch, but he handed me the ball and walked off! I tried two more times, but he just kept handing it back to me so I gave it back to him and waved goodbye. Maybe we can play catch next year! Seeing the same kids from year to year is one of the great things about this trip. El Salvador is the only place Kelly and I have ever been able to return to each year so we’ve gotten to see several of the kids grow up.
After a lovely lunch of BBQ crepe and cheesecake crepe at Crepe Lovers we went to the Artisan Market. The first year I don’t know how much we spent there, but it was a LOT! Last year we did fairly well until the last 15 minutes then we had a spending spree. This year I only bought $11 worth of stuff. I got three tiny turtles for $1 and three tiny elephants for $10. As a couple we spent slightly more than $11, but we got some pretty cool stuff for our kitchen. It’s yellow so every year Kelly looks for sunflower bejeweled stuff to add to our small collection. This year we’re going home with a square sunflower plate and a sunflower lizard.
We finished up the night with Los Cebollines, ice cream and Crepe Lovers with some good friends. I can honestly say that I’ve eaten at almost every restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. I’ve still got my eye on an Argentinean steakhouse down the road.
Tomorrow we start early with our last congregation, a trip to the ocean and to the National Park. Stay tuned for more details!