“The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’’” Jeremiah 1: 4-9
This verse highlights the fact that God knows every child that is born intimately, and, like any good Father, has great plans for his or her life. Helping the children of Valle Verde have shelter, security, and health is a guiding motivation for our team. Today we were able to build six more homes for children living in many different situations: a young boy living with his widowed mother, four granddaughters living with their grandmother (the youngest of whom wants to be a princess when she grows up; you will easily be able to pick her out in the pictures), and a niece and nephew living with their aunt. These children are so eager to see their new homes. Even with all the hard work going on to build these homes, there is always time for fun – getting a press-on tattoo or a manicure and pedicure or blowing bubbles.
After our building day, we had supper at the home of our hosts, Stuart and Carrie McAllister, and then they shared with us how they began volunteering with Shelter Canada and how God is using them here in El Salvador. They have lived here for about five years and have a deep desire to help in some of the poorest several communities in El Salvador, some close to San Vicente, some further away in the rural areas. They are a warm and open couple and we had a fascinating Q & A session with them. They also had their adopted son share his story with us. It was one that is all too common here: His father was murdered, leaving his mother alone to care for his siblings and him. He is now president of his high school, looking forward to going to college for fashion design. They have taken in several other children ranging in age from newborns to teenagers. It is obvious that their focus is on speaking God’s grace into the next generation.