A team from St. Andrew’s journeyed to rural El Salvador this past week to work alongside our mission partner, ENLACE (meaning ‘link’ in Spanish). This time, the team served in the Southwest portion of El Salvador in the small border town of El Castano. This was the local church’s first time hosting an American team. St. Andrew’s El Salvador ministry is a relationally-focused mission experience that pursues the reconciliation of relationships with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
After 18 months of learning to work together, participating in training, and analyzing the development opportunities; the community association of El Castano, the local church, and ENLACE determined that the most important project for the community was the installation of EcoStoves. EcoStoves provide a cost-effective camal (where tortillas are made) and grill that uses 50% less wood. The savings for each family in time and money is significant in a region where most people live off of less than $1 per day. The improved design also decreases respiratory infections by 60%, which make up almost half of the medical issues found in El Salvador.
Mission experiences are highly relational and intentional, which is why team members often say that they get more out of the experience than they give. Spencer Lawrence journeyed to El Salvador for the first time this August. He spoke of his experience and his growth while in El Salvador; “Heading into this mission trip, I wasn’t quite clear what my purpose or role would be, as this was my first time outside the U.S. on mission. It quickly became obvious that God wanted to shape me into a more mature disciple of Christ. I was overwhelmed with the passion to love others and serve, just as Jesus did. It helped me to realize that the Lord simply needs those who are willing and He will provide the wisdom and experience needed to shape them.”
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