Peace and Overflowing Love in El Salvador

By Jana Stohler, CDF/ConDev intern

This week, I’ve spent more time getting to know the neighborhood children as I’ve helped them in their after-school studies. Monday through Friday afternoons, the children come to SHIP’s facility and do their homework under the supervision of their three tutors. As I’m available to assist these children with their studies, I’m beginning to see their hearts. They can’t seem to get enough love and praise for what they do. So many of them have struggled with their schoolwork in the past, and as their grades improve, they’re so excited to share that information with others.

Some of the children come running into the building after school and can barely contain their excitement long enough to say hello before pulling out their books and papers to show their grades to me. Oh, the joy that is present on their faces and the love that overflows from their hearts! It often moves me to tears and excitement for them. They’re so proud of their improvements, and I’m so proud of them and love seeing their joy in doing well. It’s also a joy to encourage them in the big and the small successes. It blesses me tremendously to see them understand something or take joy in a project or take pride in something they have done and done well.

The design and desire here at SHIP El Salvador is to bring hope to those who are struggling. As a result, being a part of the different programs at SHIP is giving them hope. The hope being instilled in the children through this education program is evident. SHIP’s volunteers bring love into everything they do. The tutors also bring that love to the children, and it’s evident through the children’s constant calling, “Teacher…Teacher…look at this Teacher…”

Each month, SHIP’s NGO President comes to help celebrate the children’s birthdays, along with recognizing the good work the children are doing. The children are recognized not only for their good grades, but also for good behavior and for improvement in different areas. As a whole, SHIP brings love and hope to each life it touches, which in turn causes the child to work even harder to achieve more success.

With the hope and love given to these children, they are beginning to overcome barriers they are presented with daily. I will be the most blessed person in the world if I can pour a little bit of love, hope, and encouragement into these children while I am here. I am also looking forward to the information we will gather for the CDF/ConDev project.