Students Grateful for Visit to El Salvador


Alicia Durfee

This past week, 38 students, including me, were able to attend the weeklong El Salvador service trip. This trip was made possible within Starfish Orphan Ministries and His Children Ministry in El Salvador. Throughout the week, students helped work on the foundation of a new community center and building a brand-new home for a family in need. We also worked to feed communities and the homeless. The trip overall moved others to love on and cherish the connections made with the people we met.

I asked four different students the same question and was met with several different responses: How did the trip change you/impact you?

Myrick Livingston (10) said, “The trip changed my perspective on life. I got to see how poverty directly impacts those who aren’t in America, and I realized how fortunate I am.”

Austin Brazzel (10) said, “El Salvador helped me understand how much my parents care for me. I realized I am given so many different opportunities that other kids don’t get. It makes me appreciate the life I have. I plan on serving more in my household and the community because I saw the direct impact of how my service there helped others. I think I’m going to try to love others more and show them how much I care about them. I think I realized that love is all we really must hold on to when we think about others.”

Bella Brown (11) said, “Being able to see where the people of El Salvador lived and walking through their communities made me realize just how I view my own life. Everyone we met was grateful of their situation even if they weren’t living in the best conditions. Their happiness was what impacted me the most. Even though I couldn’t communicate with them directly, their laughter and appreciation of us made me joyful of the opportunity to serve them. It was incredible to watch the families joy on their face when we dedicated the house we built to them. They had never slept in beds before or felt safe. And we were able to give them that.”

Russell Hancock (10) said, “No matter the living situations people were in or what they were going through, they were still able to have faith and find God. This week I had the privilege to meet Carlos, a special needs adult that I was very lucky to bowl with. Carlos taught me that despite the struggles he faced, he could still see that God was active in his daily life. It opened the doors to making my faith more personal.”

Personally, the El Salvador trip had an incredible impact on me as I was able to pray over multiple families we helped during the week. It was so moving to witness the commitment to service the students had to help those in need. I realized that the people of El Salvador were able to spread their joy to us by loving on us as we were loving on them. A smile never left my face the whole week and I hope to continue to spread that love throughout my own community, always remembering the people I met there.