Youth ministry programs with Christian youth games and lessons on this Christian teen website; free Bible studies for youth included.

El Salvador: Neighbors and Friends to the South

El Salvador 2009 Mission Trip

Twenty youth and adults (primarily youth) worked in the La Paz province of El Salvador in July/August 2009. There were four goals for the group:

  • Provide medical attention, vitamin pills and prescriptive medication to impoverished families, who rarely see a doctor. Approximately 1,400 people were so treated.
  • Take time to meet with younger children, while their parents are being treated. Events included dancing and story telling. Art projects were completed and children appreciated the love of all who spent time with them. Smiles and laughter are the same in all languages.

  • Create and paint two murals on outside walls with the help of local youth. These depicted the hopes of a better life for the residents and countered some of the negative graffiti in the neighborhoods.

  • Work with young people, primarily teenagers, to teach them English by sharing Biblical stories in Spanish and then teaching English phrases that depicted particular messages in the stories. The story of King Saul, his son Jonathen and David was featured on day one of the classes. Day two told the story of Paul and Silas and the slave girl freed from her visionary tasks. Day three examined which of the several individuals in the stories truly had faith in Dios (God) and who depended upon mismo (himself/herself).

  • With that said as an introduction let me share a poem, written by one of the teenage workers, Stephanie Castlen. It is entitled,

    "Believing is the First Step to Faith"

    As the pavement turns to dirt roads Old shoes walk many miles, And hope always appears. Believing is the first step to faith. As sweat glistens on one's cheek, When medicine is handed. A healthy child has become. Believing is the first step to faith. Patty cakes and sing song tunes Fill the air with laughter and joy. A child's smile can make the world go round. Believing is the first step to faith. Colors and brushes hit the wall Splattering joy and happiness A mural of children and Romero show us love Believing is the first step to faith. Children sit in plastic chairs. Jumping with excitement and ready to learn. English and Spanish are combined with God's love It is shone through. Believing is the first step to faith. Although these words are few It is the first step for generosity and happiness. We can help share But only if we believe and have faith.

    [Used by permission of Stephanie Castlen]

    Lastly, here are some thoughts of the Salvadoran students about what they enjoyed and learned.

    La actividad que me gusto mas fue el juego que hicimos el primerdia cuando teniamos qhe dejarnos caaer de espaldas y otra persona tenia que sostenernos. Al princepio tuve un poco de miedo y dude sobre si lanzarme o no!

    Pero dije porque no hacerlo? Y lo hice confie en ese persona y me senti muy bien. Fue uno de los huegos que mas me gusto!

    The activity we did the first day, the game that we did when we have to hold the person when falling backwards. At first I was scared and I had doubts if I should do it or not but I did have trust . To learn trust in the person felt very good. It was the game I liked the most.

    Y aprendi que Dios me ama siempre apazar de mis virtudes y defectos porque el lo perdona todo si nosotros nos arrepentimos de Corazon. Y que no importa si no podemos verle claramente, porque el siempre esta ahi junto a mi! En un bebe en un anciano en cualquier lugar el siempre esta junto a mi y junto a todos porque todos somos sus hijos y nos ama a todos por igual sin importer idioma o color.

    I learned that God always loves me in spite of my strengths and weaknesses because he forgives everything if we repent from the heart. It doesn't matter if we cannot see him. He will always be with us. With the baby and with the older person in whatever place he is always with us and with everyone because we are all his children. He loves us all equally regardless of our language or of our color. Mayensi, age 19

    A mi me gustaron todas las actividades porque todas ablavan de Dios. Y me gustaron porque uno mucho participacion y confacto con las demas personas. I liked all of the activities because we prayed to God and there was a lot of participation and contact with other people.]

    Aprende a mar a las demas personas sean como sean si ser buenas y son malas. Tambien aprendi a saber que Dios me amo porque aunque aveces me equinolo el me perdona. Eso aprendi a ser muy comprensivo.

    I learned that there are people who are good and some who are bad. Also I learned that that God loves me because he pardons me and I learned to be very understanding.] Moreno, age 14

    Me gusto mucho la dinamica en la cual nos separaron en dos grupos y nos dieron una frase para o la dijeramos a nuestros companeros del grupo, Y la frase se modifico al final. Es una dinamica muy Buena porque nos ayuda a saber escuchar a las demas y no modificar lo que nos dicen. Y en realidad me gustaron todas las actividades realizados. Me diverti y apprendi mucho.

    I liked the dynamic when we separated in two groups and we said a phrase to the companions in the group; the phrase changed at the end. The dynamic was very good because we learned that we had to listen to the others and not to change what was said to us. I really liked all of the activities. It was a lot of fun.

    Yo apprendi q. hay q. tener confianzo en uno mismo en los demas y sobre todo en el amor de Dios hacia nosotros. Estas actividades son muy buenas porque nos ayudas a comprendar y la querer nos mucho mas como seres humanol y sobre todo amor de Dios.

    I learned to have trust in myself and others and especially in the love of God. The activities were very good because they gave us an understanding how to love each other much more because of the love of God. Esther, age 19

    Do you have any uplifting stories that we can share?

    Please write to Hope to hear from you.