Thursday, March 18, 2010

Medical Clinic Under the Treehouse




Today I returned to the Treehouse & again shed some tears as I approached and saw many people sitting in the shade of the treehouse waiting for our medical-dental clinic. The tree is called "fire tree" because of its red-orange blooms which are just beginning to show. I tried to capture their beauty in a picture but it does not really show their vibrant color.

The tables we used to cut the wood for the treehouse last week were used today for cleaning dental equipment.

Everyone who saw and climbed on the treehouse had nothing but praise for the workmanship....so a big thank you to all the hands that made this project a reality....especially to our architect and supervisor, Ben.

All day I sat in the shade of the palm trees (with a medical student & Becky Carlson who is a friend of Jon's from the age of 4 & is now a physician's assistant) so I could stay within sight of the tree house as we saw many patients from the nearby town of Santo Tomas. The kids, before and after being seen by the practitioners, climbed all over the treehouse and tire swing. Such an awesome experience to see their smiles and to hear their laughter.

I am scheduled to go back to La Finca one more time tomorrow before returning home. It will be so hard to say goodbye to the treehouse in Jon's memory.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A memorable week!

Well, I guess a post is better late than never. At least I hope so. I too would like to echo other sentiments in this blog and say that I truly appreciated and enjoyed working with these other men on the tree house. It was a memorable week. I won't forget it.
  • Jon . . . your life was remembered and honored many times during the week. May the children of La Casa de mi Padre continue to honor your life as they enjoy this tree house and climbing wall for many years to come.
  • Ed, you're a great dad and a great friend! Thanks for allowing me to be a part.
  • Ben, Arion, Matt M., Ken, Joe, Mike, Dan, Steve and Matt M. . . . I was so moved by how God knit us together as a team this past week. I enjoyed getting to know each of you (or know you better) and really enjoyed our sharing times in the mornings.
  • Gary, Sharon, Wilfredo, and Kurt . . . thanks for driving us around, feeding us, and generally supporting us in many ways. I look forward to seeing how God builds "the farm" in the years to come.
  • To the staff at La Casa . . . you are doing a great work in San Salvador. You don't get to come for a week and then leave. You are loving those children 24 hours a day, every day. May you be blessed for it. I know the kids are blessed for having you there to help them heal, and to learn to love God and love life.

Adios! Alabado sea Dios!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Photos

After several unsuccessful attempts at posting some of my photos here on the blog, I've given in to my inner luddite and created a picasa page with all of them.

El Salvador Pics
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I will never forget the experience of building this with you guys -- I think that even though we will have grief until we see Jon again, it was wonderful to transcend that as a group last week by collaborating all of the frustration into our creativity to bless the community down there.

Furthermore, it was such a blessing to get involved with MFHI. I don't know if the staff down there will see this blog (I hope so), but what a great encouragement they were simply by serving our group.

I arrived home to DC and felt very encouraged by it all, and humbled by how good we have it back home. I pray that those of us who are home now will continue to receive God's ministry from our time together, and Ed, for God's continued blessing on the clinics throughout this week.

Your friend,

Joe

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Taste of Heaven

Just said goodbye to the team as they all head to the airport and back to their homes. Words can not express how I feel and what these men have done for me as a grieving Dad. This week was a real taste of heaven for me, but in heaven Jon will be part of the "team"....praise be to God for His grand plan.

Panorama of the kids playing on and near the tree house

Panorama of the kids playing on and near the tree house.
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Climbing the wall

This video is a young girl from the La Casa de Mi Padre Orphanage climbing up the wall.
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Time to leave

Words can not express my feelings today as I think back of all that we have done together as a team. Getting to know Jon's friends has been a real blessing. These guys ROCK. The kids had a great time climbing the rock wall and swinging on the tire swing. God has truely blessed Matt and I on this trip. What Garry and his wife are doing down here in El Salavador is amazing, more than just an orphanage. They get into the DNA of the child's life and really make a difference one child at a time. Thanks Garry for all of the God stories.