Wednesday was our long day in the community. Breakfast and devotions were once again followed by the short van ride to the community of Cocalito. At the church, we divided into three teams; two latrine-building teams and one to do home visits. As the construction crews headed off, the home visit team carried foodstuffs and a children’s Bible to three different families. At the first home, the team heard the personal stories of an 11 year old who was the de facto mom of the house, cooking cleaning and caring for her younger sister. Another household was run by an older woman who lost her sight and was dependent upon donations from the community for her survival. The team provided encouragement by listening and praying over these people and the other families they visited.
After lunch, the entire team visited more homes in the community, listening to residents, providing encouragement and praying. Mid-afternoon brought a change of pace with a community-wide soccer game. Locals and visitors joined together for a hot, but fun time of playing together. By 5:30 we returned to the church, took a wet-wipe shower and prepared to host a community dinner for various recipients of the latrines. Many guests were not believers, so this served as an opportunity to extend some extreme hospitality, while fostering a deeper sense of community. As the evening wound down, Pastor Pineda asked the team to pray over Alvaro, a 26 year old man who was suffering from a terminal kidney disease. Surrounded by our 10 team members and at least as many Salvadorans, we laid hands on Alvaro and prayed for healing. It was a powerful moment as many voices rose at the same time asking God to intercede and provide complete healing.
The team returned to the hotel shortly afterwards, exhausted, but blessed by a day of deepening friendships, laughter and ministry.