Top 5 Most Embarrassing and Funny Moments During the Mission to El Salvador
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The mission trip to El Salvador has come to a close. With a heavy heart, but uplifted soul, the team said their goodbyes. We are officially state-side again trying to return to our daily routines, but looking faithfully forward to next year’s trip.
I’d like to close this year’s series with a look into the personalities of our team. What better way than bringing up the funny, most embarrassing moments we had? Let’s take a look at our blooper reels.
- Vote for Me – The group was tired, and stuck on the bus for another 2 hours after having a long service in San Salvador in a particular unsafe neighborhood. Our Pastor, maybe unintentionally, providing an outlet to uplift our mood, and make the ride back to our hotel a more enjoyable experience. He began a campaign to become the president of the whole country. Our translator was promoted to the Speaker de Casa. Everyone else was given their own jobs as well. With his wife as his Hillary, I think we have a chance of getting him voted in!
- Oops I Did It Again – The last time I went to El Salvador, the running joke for the next few years happened. When my wife picked up the microphone, lightning struck, the power went out in the entire city, and hail began to fall. This had never happened before. So now the citizens remember her as the night then lights went out in Chalchuapa. Fast foreward to this trip. We were in our hotel, everyone nestled in for the night completely exhausted except my wife. She was out having a serious conversation with another member. Suddenly the whole group heard a scream, a loud boom, and all the power went out for the block. Upon inspection, we find my wife in the middle of the courtyard. Apparently a very friendly bat wanted to say hello, but she swatted it into a nearby transformer exploding it. Shame on you Ashlee. We are supposed to share the love of Jesus, not murder bats.
- I Triple Dog Dare You – We aren’t the brunt of very many practical jokes down in El Salvador. We place our lives in the hands of our guides and translators. We may be slightly less trusting next year. A translator handed us a very tiny vegetable. He said, “Here try this.” With childlike faith, a few of us took a bite. It was a plant from Hell. Flames boiled over our tongues. Smoke rolled out our ears. Mercy. Please mercy. A few digestive ours later… and it repeated on the way out. People, always do your research before trying new foods.
- We Gotta Stretch It – We brought a new member to the team this trip. He’s a very special kind of character bringing energy and passion to the group. He was genuine, helpful, and all in. That being said, he did have one flaw that we all enjoyed, and maybe took advantage. He was literal and gullible in his young age. Through all the moments one stands out. It was time for dinner. We were setting up tables for a home cooked meal of Pupusas, when we ran out of tables to make our circle. This member said, “Oops, we need another table.” Our pastor didn’t miss a beat. “No. We just need the table stretcher.” With a confused face, he went into the storage to search for it. Blinker fluid anyone?
- Eye on the Prize – Along our trip back to the states, we discovered IPad kiosks for long layovers. We had a 5 hour layover, so party on. The whole group zombied out. After a few moments of random games, a man in a suit appeared with a bottle of water. “Who just won this bottle of water?” A shy hand went up. It was a member of our group. We were astonished. Her secret? There was a scratch card game free to play that offered tickets for real rewards from their sponsors. The whole team got on board. Chocolate deliveries. Soda deliveries. Chip deliveries. We literally had the suit man running. All except me. I looked through the reward list to find the biggest prize. At 20,500 points, there was a turkey sandwich. Now I didn’t necessarily want a sandwich. But I’m a gamer. Gamers love reaching achievements. Soon the rest of the team noticed I was quiet, and not placing any orders. They gathered around my kiosk. Some were jokingly chanting my name. At 18000 points, our flight began to board. Even the man in the suit was anxious and cheering me on. No one had ever attempted this goal before. At 20000 points, they called my boarding party. I hit 20,500 points, and got in line to board sure I would not receive my prize. “Wait!” The man in the suit comes running down the hall with a bag in hand. He put together an entire gift bag along with the sandwich. He shook my hand, and for a moment, in the tiniest thing, I felt like a winner.
These were some funny and even uplifting moments to help us through an extremely difficult time. We needed them. You see, this mission was trying for the group. We saw some things that broke our hearts. We went into neighborhoods with only dirt floors. We saw people cry because someone handed them pocket change. We saw the hungry. We saw the hurt. And our hearts reached out to them. For many, this trip was an eye opener.
We are so grateful for the small things that kept our spirits high.
Maybe, just maybe, with your help, we can make next year’s trip so much better.