Two major things happened this week: we went to El Salvador and we had our first team stay at the PROVEE campus.
A few weeks ago, our friend Eddie, the son of the director of PROVEE, graduated from high school.
That weekend I had the honor of meeting a good friend of Eddy Sr., Alfredo or Cappy. When you meet Cappy, you get the feeling he's either a pastor or a really close friend of Jesus.
An added bonus comes when he talks to you. He engages and makes you feel like you're the most important person in the world, even if he's just asking about your kids or how has your day been. Most of the really good pastors I know have that ability.
Cappy pastors a church in Santa Ana, El Salvador, which we had the honor of visiting this week. Santa Ana seems to be like San Lucas (where we live) in certain ways, like the language, but not like what we're used to. Just when we get used to the Quetzal, the monetary unit here, El Salvador uses the U.S. dollar. It's also much warmer there so the clothes worn, especially by the women, are different. I will state simply that roundabouts should be outlawed in Latin America. If you think they are bad in the U.S., it's nothing compared to here. And there are several in Santa Ana. God receives a plethora of prayers from those who dare drive around trying to get to the right.
The food is mostly the same, except for pupusas, which come from El Salvador and are better there (although my wife and I think the ones made at Quetzal in Carthage are close). Pupusas are best described as stuffed fat tortillas covered in a tomato sauce with a spicy (but not too hot) cole slaw. Plus El Salvadorans eat them with their hands, which was weird to see, especially Cappy who is classy.
This was more than a friendly visit for our group since he is one of four pastors developing a program to aid aging and ailing pastors who have been pushed out by their congregations. More information will be included in an expertly crafted story in PROVEE's next monthly newsletter, so keep an eye out June 20!
Late Saturday night, 15 people arrived from Arkansas City, KS, which is about 150 miles from Joplin. These nice folks are a mission team working with Rocsana's Hope (which is where I met Alberto, who I wrote about a few weeks ago) and are staying at the PROVEE campus. I looked forward to meeting them, and I have enjoyed the little interactions we have had with them. I pray they will have the kind of mission trip that I have enjoyed over the past 10+ years in Guatemala and Kentucky.
But when you are doing God's work and come across others doing God's work, chances are you're going to get along just swimmingly.