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El Palmar

September 27, 2023

This glorious “hump day” began with our typical bountiful breakfast followed by a group picture outside of the Friends of Barnabas Houses. The Harrisonburg Team, as well as the staff on the FOB grounds, our sweet drivers, director, and translators all gathered together to pose in remembrance of a week well spent in service. Soon after, we made our way to the village of El Palmar through gorgeous mountains adorned with farm animals, coffee plants and tiny cottages.

There was a significant influx of small children in this village which made for a very busy and entertaining morning. We all divided into our usual stations but worked together to provide efficient, patient centered care while also showing special attention to community members. One thing that has continued to surprise me is the willingness of the communities, especially young children, to help our team unload and reload our school bus with supplies. Their work ethic and appreciation for us is truly heartwarming.

After completing our work in El Palmar, the team traveled back down the mountains to the village of Las Vegas. That’s right, Vegas baby! We were able to enjoy a much-appreciated ice cream date together before heading back “home” for a dinner better than anything you can buy in the states. Once our bellies were full, Pastor Blaine led us in a devotional exercise. He brought up the fact that although God has called us to serve and we desire to be fully involved, he knows we all still have things going on at home that are weighing on our mind. Pieces of paper were handed out to each team member, and he had us write a few things that were troubling us so that he could pray for us all later in the evening. To close out this time of reflection, he read from Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I laughed internally realizing another “God moment” revealing itself. You see, I had read this verse early in the morning on a post shared by my momma. When I saw the post, I thought to myself how valid it is that no matter how we worry, God is always willing and ready to carry our burdens and free us of our anxieties if we just surrender them to him. When Blaine read the verses again in the evening, my thoughts turned to the way in which we stress although we have so much, yet those we have met this week seem jubilant even though, in our eyes, they have so little. I love how God keeps sending us necessary messages until we take heed. May we go into day six with the lightheartedness of the individuals who are teaching us just as much, if not more, than we are teaching them.

Many blessings,

Savannah and the Harrisonburg Team

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