Blog post written by Sherry Boyer, Anna, Texas
Yesterday we started our day with a trip to Walmart to purchase items for the duplex that we completed. Our team was split into smaller groups, accompanied by Salvadorian volunteers (thank goodness because Walmart here is not like Walmart back in the US) and we all were given a list of household items to purchase. To me, this shopping trip was more important than any trip I have made for my family at home. For my family we do make purchases with a budget in mind but today the budget was extremely more significant. The two families had a finite amount of money, $500.00, that that was raised by the team to go specifically towards household items, not each family, total for for both familes. So, we had to make wise decisions on what we purchased. We wanted to purchase items that would last a long time, that were practical for what THEY used them for and also things that could that could be used for multiple purposes in their home. We only had one hour to complete the shopping and our team was intentional about also making sure our items were color coordinated, so red and white items were loaded into our basket. Our small team of four worked extremely well together finding items and discussing the pros and cons of each item before placing them in the basket, saving some money with great finds along the way.
After all the teams completed their shopping we all headed to the register, excited to take our purchases to decorate the homes. As we all were gathering bags to carry out of Walmart someone asked where one of the translators was and Jenni replied, “ He went down the street to try to buy some flowers." We all nodded and continued toward towards the door. A few moments later Miguel came walking through the door with two bouquets of roses, one pink and the other fire and ice (red and white). In that moment, when I saw those roses I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what God wants me to do. He sent me a gift to gift to remind me.
To the team those roses were just beautiful flowers that we were going to decorate with. But to us, (me, my husband, Brian, and our son, Brian K) they reminded us of the roses that our son and brother, Cameron, loved so much that we special ordered these exact flowers for his funeral twelve years ago, when he went home to be with Jesus at the young age of 15. The roses that we purchased for the family were truly an awesome gift and matched perfectly with the red and white décor we purchased earlier.
We headed to the community to complete the painting and decorate the house prior to dedicating and handing over the keys to the new home owners. The families stood outside patiently waiting with anticipation written all over their faces. Jenni asked me to pray over Maria's home, which was truly an honor. The dedication of each home and the prayers for the families that would occupy them was nothing less than exuberant elation with complete humility at the same time. As I watched their faces as they entered their forever homes here on Earth, I was reminded that we will all share the same "forever home" together in Heaven someday.
I had the honor of sharing the story of the Walmart roses with the family that I prayed for. God chose to give both of us mothers a little farewell gif, just to show us how sovereign and majestic he really is. The single mother, Maria, shared with me that she also has two boys and one girl. One of her sons also passed away and is in Heaven. In the midst of the overwhelming joy of the new home, we were able to encourage one another through our journeys of grief. The tears were flowing as we shared our stories and hugged one another. No one knew that Maria had also lost a son. I just "happened" to place those roses in her home, which allowed me to share with her. Like me, she has discovered the supernatural comfort of God in the midst of her loss as a mother. And He used those roses to bind our hearts together. Each day I am ever more grateful for this trip and learning just how small our world really is. Love connects us all if we allow it to.
Our family was not planning to go on this missions trip this summer. However, God spoke to someone in my church and placed it on their heart to pay for my trip costs. I am so very grateful that this person listened to God and I am humbled to be here, being blessed day after day. The people of El Salvador have been way more of a blessing to me that I could ever be to them and yet in the world that I am about to return home to that sounds backwards. I am returning home fuller and more blessed than anyone deserves. For that I am eternally grateful to the people of El Salvador, His Hands His Feet Ministries and to the anonymous donor.