El Salvador is the land of pupusas, right point breaks, and above all - amazing hospitality. On leaving Nicaragua, I was told the bus would arrive in San Benito, El Salvador at approximately 8 PM local time. Therefore, I communicated this information to Salvador Castellanos (CS National Director) as he was going to receive me at the bus station. However, we didn't even cross the Honduras - El Salvador border till 10:30 PM. In my mind, I was already planning on finding a hotel and calling Salvador in the morning from a pay phone. Finding a cheap taxi and a cheap hotel is something far easier in Central America than it is in the States. However, as the bus pulled up at the station a little after midnight, out comes Salvador from his vehicle in the rain to help me with my luggage. Like I said, the hospitality in this country is amazing.
Early Sunday morning, we woke up to go see the finals of the Copa Quiksilver contest where various CS members were present. It was an international competition and as such, we were able to spend sometime with the legendary Tom Curren that afternoon in Salvador's house. I must admit that I felt very spoiled from the beginning of my visit.
I spent most of the week spending time with Salvador and his family in the community of Tunco and getting to know them and the ministry. On Wednesday, I met up with the leaders of the Acajuntla chapter and they took me to their homes and allowed me to participate in their weekly meeting. Once again, the hospitality of this group of surfers was unreal, especially since more than half of them were new believers coming from drug-abusive backgrounds. I returned Thursday morning to Salvador's house and then took off to the city to meet the leaders in San Salvador and participate in their weekly meeting. The leaders of San Salvador are also the leaders of the Zonte chapter and travel together every weekend to the beach to help minister to the more than 50 surfers that attend the weekly meetings. Since I was leaving on Saturday, I was unable to attend the Zonte chpater meeting. On my last night in El Salvador, I went to the local Tunco meeting and was blessed to meet up with a mission team from Florida ministering to the Christian Surfers group of 40 surfers or so. CS was donated a property in El Tunco with a building, but are continually developing the land to create an effective community center for their meetings and to meet the needs of their community.
Christian Surfers El Salvador consists of 5 chapters and is full of testimonies of how God has changed people's lives in the surfing community. Individuals who were once a disgrace to their community have been transformed into leaders investing into the new generation of El Salvadorean surfers. God has been doing great things in this country and I can't wait to see what he continues to do in the future through CS El Salvador.
I am currently in Tapachula, México in the middle of a two and a half day trip to Puerto Escondido, México. Thanks again for everyone's prayers and support.