I've been in El Salvador now since Monday afternoon. In many ways, it's much like every other developing country that I've visited, but in others, very different.
I've been fortunate to have gone on many "missions" trips in the past. In every case, there was a strongly defined purpose or project to work on. I am starting to realize that this is a distinctly western/american way of thinking about missions, and furthermore, about people.
What I appreciate about being here is that projects is not the purpose, but PEOPLE are the purpose. Relationships take time - a lot of time! They don't form to maturity in two weeks, but over years.
As an American, I struggle with this at times because I, like many, am prone to analyze situations and ask "Why am I here?". The thing is, I don't know that we can always answer that question. And so with missions in general, maybe we should stop thinking in terms of projects, and more in terms of relationships with people.
So I am psyched to be here, and to be getting to know The Church here in El Salvador - witnessing how the Spirit of God is at work among the people and country, and learning from those in this culture the values of being together and relating to one another as family.
So far, I think we have more to learn from this culture, than the Salvadorians have to learn from us!