Today we got off to an early start in order to spend the most time possible at our training site. We met many of our new friends on the bus ride. When we got to the site, some of us couldn’t believe it. We had reached a retreat center that felt like it was in the middle of the jungle! Everything was green and just off the paths was dense vegetation. After settling in we spent some time learning about each other. No icebreaker is complete without learning some dances!

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After that, Jimbo passionately shared Pine Cove’s mission and vision in the Way session. “No se trada de mi,” or “It’s not about me” is the phrase we try to instill as the core of what we are doing here. Our posture of service and humility is what sets us apart.

We enjoyed a great fried chicken lunch and continued with more training. This time, one of the El Salvadorans, Alma, led a session on managing your cabin and correcting bad behavior. Everyone was part of a team that had to act out different skits that described a situation. We learned that Caleb and Landon are both pretty good actors and had a few laughs along the way.

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Next, we did an activity that Dinorah had planned for us. Everyone partnered up with someone they didn’t know well and we led each other through an obstacle course while blindfolded. There were 15 sets of partners going at the same time, which meant it was difficult to hear your partner’s voice unless you really listened for it. After the activity was over, Dinorah led us in a time where we reflected on the activity. We got to relate trying to listen to our partner’s voice with listening to God’s voice and how we can discern it and seek to understand it. It was a convicting time for many of us, as we recognized areas in our lives that we weren’t listening to God in.

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We then got to have some fun playing Amigo Secreto. The game is played by describing the person you got a gift for and people guessing who the person is. We had a lot of laughs trying to guess who the recipient of each gift was. Our new friends got us a lot of delicious candies and sweets to try.

Finally, we ended the night with dinner. Papusas were on the menu. For many of us, it was a moment we had been waiting for. Jimbo and Michael, who had both gone on the trip last year, kept talking about them. These corn tortillas stuffed with beans and cheese and topped with salsa lived up to the hype. It was a great way to end our day.

Our prayer request for today is for one of our El Salvadoran friends, Pacheco. He isn’t feeling well. Pray that God heals him so he can be an effective minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the kids who are going to be here at camp tomorrow! We covet your prayers.

Tomorrow we will get to share with you about the first day of camp! We are so excited for this opportunity!