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We have arrived back at the mission house for our last night in El Salvador. What a week it has been! There are so many stories that we have, and ideas that we haven’t even processed yet. But here are some pictures and stories from our last full day in El Salvador.

This is our flight info for in the morning

American 2294 1/12/2016 – San Salvador to DFW – Depart: 8:55 AM Arrive: 12:41 PM

 

After the first session we were able to have a Pine Cove staff recap meeting and these are stories from our experiences.
Only one girl in my cabin wasn’t saved and on the last day I stayed with the rest of the cabin while my national staffer helped lead her to Christ! – Raizel
After the obstacle course game, my co leader talked with one of the girls and she became a Christian that day! – Lauren
One of my guys is a quiet guy that doesn’t talk a lot. But when he does it is great things. I talked to him about maybe being a pastor because me and my co counselor saw that he’d be good at it. He was encouraged when I talked to him about it. He said “I’m going to preach to God about it and see what he speaks to me” haha. It was great. – Austin F
I had a cool conversation about confrontation with my cabin. Normally my girls would split up at any chance. So I talked to my translator about having the counselor to help mend that bond and help the girls. After that conversation I saw a big turn around of her caring for the girls in a new way really well. – Karly
My campers were mostly 17 and close to me in age. They were just like a group of friends to me. We all joked the whole time and they even threw me in the pool! Today I got to share my testimony and what the gospel is. After that they grabbed the guy that knows English and all encouraged me to stay strong in my faith. I was blown away because I expected for me to minister to them but the other way was true. – Casey
My girls didn’t speak English and I am pretty sure that the leaders didn’t speak it either so I didn’t feel this connection to have deeper conversations with them as older kids. I didn’t feel much purpose. Then today they brought in a translator to make sure that I understood the encouragement that they had for me to keep them dancing and having fun. – Hannah

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The leader of our camp is named Marco. Fun fact about Marco is that he used to coach the gymnastics team for the Olympics!!! He is also a really cool guy that cares for the campers well. He has been awesome man of God to work with. To honor him on our last day, some of us did our best Marco impersonation.

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Tonight we rode the bus back from camp to the church that we partner with, Vida Nueva. They brought us into the sanctuary and some of their staff got up and thanked us for coming this year. It was so cool because this was the last year or year 3 of our partnership. So they told stories and applications from past years. Almost half of the national staffers had done all 3 years.

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3 years ago we were told that North Americans were coming to help us do camp. When they came we were shown that each activity has a purpose. I found out that I became really tired at camp but enjoyed it a lot. This year I found out that I would be the leader of the camp. It was a new experience for me and I was nervous. But it ended up being a great time but I missed being a counselor. Another thing Pine Cove taught is that “It’s not about me” The first year I was with Gavin and he told me over and over that I needed to go with them and be with them. I didn’t have much fun but I learned that it’s not about me, and that the kids to learn more about Jesus! I want to thank you to Pine Cove for coming and being our friends and working with us. – Marlon

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I want to thank you. The three days that I got to share with you this week I have learned many things. I have seen patience, Spanish and English at the same time as it is hard to deal with. I believe when we do things for God, we are able to do these things despite the circumstances and works out because he has a plan. We have to trust him. Not only did I learn this from you but my campers learned it from me because you taught me! And I’ve been able to still talk to my campers, even though I want to turn my phone off since they text so much. But they share good things with me. I am thankful for this. Thank you and the groups before you. Because you constantly helped us reach the kids. How to be energetic is what we’ve learned in El Salvador. We don’t typically have that and we see that from you. – Josue

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Throughout this process I have become more mature in my faith. I have made friends from camp and you guys as well. Thanks for taking the chance to come to El Salvador and learn about our country. It is so different that what you have. Through the difficulties, you have touched us and helped kids come to know Jesus more. Thank you for this and more. – Ricardo
I want to thank God for getting to be in both sessions all three years you’ve come. When I found out you were coming I was scared because I don’t speak English. And now I know there is no problem when we are at camp because it is for God. In the first year, they were strict on the rule to always to be with your kids. We really admire your energy towards camp and the campers. I am really shy and don’t want to be jumping. But I keep working in that area and now able to do that more. I want to tell you guys that every single one of you is special. Just like in the bible study God has something for you and a reason for you to be here. All of you are showing Jesus in your lives anywhere you are because you’re sons and daughters of God. – Dianna
Thank you for coming to El Salvador. I know it’s difficult and hard to deal with us as Counselors. Also the language is difficult. Your visit here has a purpose. That purpose is for the kids to know God. This is my third year and I have had a blast. I have learned so much. And I know the work you have done here is for God. You have been a great example to us. Good luck on your next adventure! – Jonathan

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I joined camp last year. One of the first things I learned from camp was “It’s not about me” from CJ. I remembered this is what it talks about in Phillippians 2 I saw what that was like at camp and through this year. And I realized that this philosophy is more than just for camp. It is for us as Christians to live out in our lives. I encourage you to stand firm in your faith because I see you as brothers in Christ. And the things you do are not in vain. Investing your time and lives in someone else. 1 Corinthians 15:58 – Erick

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First I’ll put on my CCI leader hat. I was able to hear both sessions and be there. I knew they asked you what is your purpose in being here. I know you have a personal one and why God has you here. I just want to remind you your agreement with cci and Pine Cove. Why Pine Cove is present in 10 different cities in countries. You are developing leaders in churches. To model and show the leaders how to do their job. That is another reason you are in El Salvador. You can see another page and it’s bigger than what you expected. That’s accomplished when you were here. You get to share the gospel to kids. This is a big perspective to have. God always has bigger plans than you expect. Now I’ll put on my other hat of being at this church. We chose to do this partnership. We have 4 campuses but use 2 in this camp. I believe these objectives have been accomplished. How to handle discipline, how to work with kids, using the courses to develop camp. So thank you for everything. Thank you for respecting our culture, eating the food, and God bless you. – Evelyn (Director of CCI Central America)

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We are sad to be leaving but excited to be back home tomorrow!!