Yesterday was definitely the highlight of our time here in El Salvador so far. We were part of a group including missionaries, U.S. Marines with the Toys for Tots program, U.S. Embassy workers, and Salvadoran nationals who had a party for three poor communities on the coast of El Salvador. The party was at a beach house of a woman here and she’s been doing it for years, inviting three local communities to come and celebrate Jesus’ birth. We handed out snack bags, Bibles, coloring books, and individually wrapped gifts for each child ages 0-17. We also shared with them the reason we celebrate – Jesus! We played games and had contests and raffled out bags of groceries to fifty families. The kids and the adults both had a great time. Even the adult men and women got to play musical chairs and have their own pinata. It was such a blessing to see the joy on the faces of these people who really lead difficult lives of poverty just struggling each day. It was also hilarious to see the older woman fighting for a chair in musical chairs, and see the men beating the Santa pinata! I was so proud of our kids as Tori and Ian helped decorate for the party and helped pass out Bibles to the kids. Tori also went up to kids and talked to them in Spanish! The kids loved talking to her.
The kids had such a great time…there were so many smiles and many words of humble gratitude from them. For most of these children, this is their only Christmas celebration and the only Christmas gift they receive. As we handed out the gifts, you could see the relief and thankfulness on the faces of the mothers who brought their kids. As a mom, I can’t imagine struggling just to provide for my kids, and not being able to get them any gifts for Christmas. God has blessed my family so much and I was so glad to spend the day sharing His love with others. God was definitely there yesterday – at one point we thought we would run out of gifts for the kids. For the older kids, especially. We had soccer balls for them and we started to run out but thank God we had exactly enough soccer balls to the last boy that came through the line…exactly! I wish that you all could have been there to experience it! I have posted some pictures so that you can get a taste of our afternoon. We want to thank all of you who through your prayers and your donations have made it possible for us to be here serving the people of El Salvador. You were just as much a part of this Christmas party as we were – thank you so much!