On The Stretch [El Salvador]

By: Alan Seidensticker

November 19, 2015

It all started when ... I have been a member of a small men's group for several years. We study scripture and fellowship with one another, and overall, it has been a genuinely rewarding experience. Nonetheless, I would be lying if I didn't say that things had grown a bit rote and stale. We decided to kickstart this LWI trip as a means of getting us out of our rut, and out of our comfort zone. To be honest, a year out, it seemed like no big deal; sure I'll do it, whatever. We've done simple mission type things before, this is just another version of the same. As time came closer, however, I realized, yikes, I actually have to do this thing! Work is busy, family time is sparse as it is, I've got a football team to coach (not to mention renewing passports, shots, logistics, etc.) - who has got time for this right now?! Makes more sense when I'm older, and have more time. Yet, as we grow in our spiritual journey and become more Christ-like, we must realize 'yet not my will, but Yours be done'. So, off we went.

I enjoyed getting to know ... The LWI field team. Enrique is the Man! What a joyful presence. Carla and Luvi have such a rapport with the kids; it is an amazing thing to watch. And the merry prankster, Danilo, brought a smile to everyone's faces, team and locals alike. And I absolutely loved the people of the village where we drilled the well. The men of the community were so excited to help out where they could, and the women seemed to love to cook for us, and share with us their homes and community. And, of course, the kids. What smiles! As we got to know them more, we realized that they are no different than our kids at home. They share the same interests and curiosity, not to mention the same worries and concerns, as my kids at home.

Things that challenged and changed me ... I may be from Houston, but I don't have the slightest clue about drilling for anything. So, it was natural to have some trepidation about doing the actual work, with the complicated machinery, and unfamiliar tools. Similary, getting up in front of a bunch of folks, with whom I can barely communicate, and trying to teach a hygiene subject, is not exactly an experience I can say I looked forward to. Nonetheless, again, not my will, but His. It's in this stretching of ourselves that we truly meet Him, and get closer to fully opening our hearts to His presence in our lives

I will never forget ... There is not much that I think I will forget. What a tremendous experience. Nonetheless, seeing the people of the community dancing and playing around in the gushing water is a memory that will stick in my mind forever.

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