Serving on the Streets of San Salvador
Blog written by Ellie DeAllen (age 16)
Yesterday after a long and rewarding day of finishing up the house and distributing food and Bibles in the community, we had the amazing opportunity to pass out food to the homeless. We piled into the blue pickup truck and headed out on the road with over two-hundred bags of food and a few bags of clothes. As the team headed out for the third time this week, a million things were running through my head. What kind of people was I going to see? Would I be able to communicate with them? What would happen if we ran out of food and they got angry? I was full of worry and anxiety over what was to come. But the moment that I saw the people running at the truck shouting “comida! comida!" (food in Spanish), all my worries were replaced by the joy that radiated from them.
It was so incredible to realize how something we take for granted means the world to someone else. As we watched the people racing to the truck with smiles full of gratitude, I was struck by contrasting emotions. It was equally saddening and satisfying to be able to help in such ways. My heart broke for the ones who were limping up to the truck. I was touched by the beaming smiles of the children who were beyond stoked to be eating that night. The act of people running to us to fulfill their needs reminded me of how we should run to God to fulfill ours. As these people put their trust in us for the food and clothing we distributed, I was struck by how we also need to run to God for protection. It was such a powerful experience to literally be the hands and feet of God, being able to feed, clothe, pray, and love the people that were sent to us.
One little girl who ran to the truck lit up when she saw us coming. She was probably around four-years old, but clearly had the love and faith of someone much older. You could just sense her joy and gratitude by the way she pointed at others who also needed food. The smile on her face as we pulled away just melted me. It was incredibly heartbreaking yet such a reality check to understand that the homeless aren't just nameless people that you pass on the street. They are the sons and daughters of God just like us. They have beating hearts and were formed by our Father with a purpose. We are all equal in His eyes, we've just been put in different circumstances and tested in different ways. I'm so thankful for this opportunity to see the world from a different perspective, in a different light, and to be able to shine the love of Christ through a simple action of handing out hotdogs and t-shirts.