If you want see from pictures of this trip go to – http://gnapotnik.blogspot.com/

Hoping all of you are going well !!!!!

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Day 3 Monday Usulutan / From Drew

Day 3 Monday Usulutan

Hi this is drew myers.
Today we woke up to the fresh smell of dead bugs! Fran (one of our translators) made a barrier of bug spray around him last night and found, in his words, hundreds of bugs were the bug spray was! After cleaning up our space were we slept, we continued our work on the roof. All day, everyone thought that our roof would not be finished at the pace that we were working at, but I said all along that it would be done. Even the pastor had thought that it could not be done. But in a matter of four hours, we had completed five times the amount of work that we had done the previous day. We had finished the cross sections, and the unthinkable had become true. At that point a lady came over with two chickens which was an odd site. Now all that was left was the stell roofing. After a few minutes of rest and thought, we found a good system for placing the panels on top of the wooden frame. Before we started back up again, we had a pleasant home made lunch of Mac and cheese. I helped make it along with Rina, Jake, and Rochelle. Rochelle had neve made Mac and cheese before, so she had slot of different ideas on how it should be made. First she tried to put the noodles in chicken broth! Next she wanted to know when it would be fried. Lastly when we were done she wanted to know when the cheese comes
in and if it needed to be fried now! In the end, it turned out to be a very good lunch. While we were eating lunch, Nathan was feeding stray dogs with coconuts that the pastor cut for him. After lunch, I asked a few people how much of the roof would be completed by the end of the day. Some said half, and some said quarter. I still had faith that god would come through for us and help us complete the roof.around five o’clock, the roof only needed one more panel. Right as we were getting ready to finish it, Jon and Ben came back to help us finish. About ten minutes after they had arrived, we had finished the entire roof that had thought to have been not finished! After the roof was done, we traveled on a rocky boat to an island called Montecristo. We played soccer there and bought some fresh el salvadorian cashews. Then we went to see one of the most interesting places that I had ever seen before. It was a beach with an ocean on one side, a calm lake on the other side of it, and two volcanos standing tall behind the lake! It was amazing to see those three totally different terrains all together as one.

When we got back to the pastor’s church, we ate dinner. It looked delicious, and they made bread out of the oven in the bakery that we built! But when we looked down on our plate to see what we were eating, we saw that there was chicken that looked quite familiar. Those two chickens that the lady brought to the church was an offering to us from the community for building them a bakery! After dinner, we said goodbye and went back to the YWAM base. We went to bed and prepared for another day in El Salvador

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Day 3 – Back at the YWAM Base

It is Tuesday morning, and we are back at the YWAM base.  We have had an amazing two days.  The majorty of the last 48 hours has been traveling to and from Usulutan (rural community near the Pacific coast) and finishing the construction of a bakery… nailng up cross beams and putting on a metal roof.   With the heat indext being at or over 100, it has been an incredible feat.  The response from the community has been overwhelming.  Last night they donated two chickens for dinner, and they baked us bread in their new bakery.   FYI – the chickens were the not the frozen ones that we pick up at Shop and Save or buy prebaked at Sam’s club… no, they were carried them in upside down and presented to our cook.  Fortunately, we did not see the rest.  The bread was amazing… it tasted like a mix between corn bread and the sweet shortcake my mom use to make for stawberry shortcake.  Yum!  God is certainly good… keeping us all healthy… giving us ample opportunities to serve!  I am so proud of our team and how they handle each new experience… grow accustomed to a different culture… and open themselves up to helping others who are less fortunate.

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Day 1 Youth Mission trip June 2011

6/17/2011 So friday night we all meet at Dave and Chrissy’s house and we drove in a van that was loaned to us by another church to DC to catch our flights. It was great drive we all talked and discussed what we will be doing in the coming week. The guys that had been here before told some stories about their last trip and what they expect to be happening during this trip. Overall it was great ride laughing about our GPS and the “recalculating” commercial from TV and listening to Nate and Drew do annoying voices until Dave and had had enough:). Got to the hyatt after midnight and it was like checking into a hotel in Las Vegas. People all over the place and a long line. It was crazy. We found out later that United airlines had some kind of systems issue and all of the late flights from Dulles were canceled so that’s why people we trying to get every last room. No issue for us we got our rooms and got a good night sleep, except I think I kept Ben awake with my snoring. 6/18/2011 We all had breakfast at the hotel. Ben had a plate with 3 muffins on it and he said to me,” I could really go for a waffle but they don’t have a waffle maker.” Not 5 minutes later Drew comes over sits down with a plate of 3 muffins and says “hey this place does not have a waffle maker.” ok our first lesson the Meyers boys only stay in the finest hotels that offer there guests a waffle maker. This hotel did not. “Come on Dave what is a true mission trip without a waffle maker let’s get the right hotel booked next time” At the airport we got all of our 20+ bags of luggage with all the great stuff collected for the kids in line and the nice folks at AA took us into a special line to help us get checked in. That process went really well until we found out about the embargo that is going on so we each could only check no bags, no extra bags could be checked. So we had 3 extra bags that we had to do something with. We decided to take them back to our van which is parked back at the hotel we stayed in. So the shuttle driver from the hotel who happens to be from El Salvador was awesome. He came back to the airport picked up Jake and I and we took the extra bags back to the van and then he brought us back to the airport again and we met up with the rest of the crew and we were off!!!

We are at the base safe and sound and going to bed.

 Looking forward to a great week!

God Bless, G.

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Reflection Day

Hey all –

It has been an incredible week for us so far having the opportunity to serve in El Salvador.  Today is our reflection day.  We started off the day heading to the market for some shopping.  It is always so fun to be able to barter with the locals.  After an hour of shopping,  it was off to the beach for us! Today was  a beautiful day to enjoy the sun and be able to reflect with one another about our week.  Today many emotions were expressed through laughter, tears, more laughter, more tears and more laughter.   Our last dinner here was prepared by the YMAM team on the beach.   We enjoyed fresh grilled fish and chicken.  What a way to relax today! We ended our evening with a bonfire on the beach.  We used this time to share in our last devotion and express how this trip has impacted all of us.  There have been life long friendships that have developed on this trip.  Tomorrow we leave El Salvador for Pittsburgh.  Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels as well as NO FLIGHT DELAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for following our trip and being apart of this adventure with us.  God has been so good to us this week.  We look forward to sharing our memories of our trip with you….

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Party Day (kinda)

Sunday in El Salvador we started the day going to an international church. It was touching to be in a different culture and seeing Christians worshiping similar but in Spanish. We were able to hear the message through headphones with a translator. Shortly after we headed back to CISNA, the all boys orphanage we visited first, and treated them to a pizza party. It was fun getting the pizza ready for the LINE of boys eager to get inside and start eating. All the boys had a great time and were really appreciative. We spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out with them playing UNO and talking. It was tough when it came time to say goodbye. We’ll always remember the faces of the boys chasing after the truck as we left.

Next we went to La Casa which is a privately run orphanage consisting of boys and girls ages 1 to 21 in more of a home setting.  We threw them an ice cream party equipped with a variety of toppings.  The kids were delighted!  It was vastly different from the government run orphanages, and gave us a positive, hopeful end to our visits. It was a much quicker trip and we only got to talk to a few of the orphans but they are doing so much! John told us one of them was the valedictorian of their high school – you can tell they are going to impact the world. After leaving La Casa we went to a restaurant for traditional Salvadorian food.

We got back to the base and sang Happy Birthday to Ian Snyder who turned 4 today! Superman cake! Then spent the rest of the evening reflecting on the day and how it has impacted us. We had our devotional and said some prayers for the boys’ futures. We know everything we’ve seen and done is touching not only the lives of the children and people here but ours as well.

We had a lot of parties today – Pizza, Ice Cream, and Ian’s Birthday! It was a rewarding day.

Alicia and Jen

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Day at Cipi

Today we went to another orphanage, Cipi. We were greeted by a young boy who was so excited to see us he jumped on the truck before we could even get out. It was heartbreaking to see 13 year old girls with babies or pregnant. They were truly babies having babies.  The housing situation there was better than what we saw yesterday but still very sad.  The room for mothers and babies was pretty with pink canopies over the beds, however, the disabled children were lying on the cement floor.  We did the carnival again and they enjoyed making bracelets and getting their nails painted.  The pictures were a huge hit again and it was nice to see the young mothers with pictures of themselves and their babies.  We then went to buy the food supplies to feed the homeless at the El Salvador’s version of Sam’s Club.  There was a unique situation where one of the homeless men that John knows asked to come with us to feed the other homeless.  After making over 150 bags of food and passing them out we have no words to explain the experience.  The group of young children racing from underneath a bridge to us, a young boy hanging off the back of the truck not wanting to let go, the three elderly people living in an abandoned storage room, and many more.  It is hard to process everything that we just saw and the reality of it all.  We are so blessed to have a roof over our heads and food for our families.  John is amazing!  We are so inspired by the selfless work he is doing here.  He is a true angel sent to these people.  We feel priviledged to be here and see him doing God’s work.

Shannon and Leigh

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