DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR 🌊

The second day in El Salvador was a day that I had been looking forward to since our family started sponsoring Joselyn. I didn't know when I would be able to meet her back then but it was something I definitely wanted to do. It's what started the stirring in my heart to make the trip to El Salvador in the first place.

I started learning more and more about traveling there from my friend that also came on the trip this year and had gone the year before. She told me so much about how Compassion works and about the Compassion day with our sponsor kids, it started to plant seeds of possibility for me that became a reality so I am very thankful for her!

Meeting Joselyn was such an amazing experience! I still remember the nervous, giddy, excited feelings I felt as our bus pulled into our meeting point. When I saw the row of kids with their families and the interpreters who would be assisting us, I felt so much love and happiness that I was going to get to see Joselyn in person! Hugging her for the first time felt like I was hugging my family.

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

Compassion did an amazing job of working and coordinating with our team to request our sponsor children from the surrounding areas to come meet us. Some of them drove for hours to get there with a parent / guardian and a few of their siblings came too which was adorable. There were a few people that are sponsors children in the area that didn't come on the trip ... so a few of them were able to be requested and came to hang out during the Compassion day with people on our team that didn't currently sponsor a child in El Salvador.

Here is our sponsor daughter who we've sponsored for a little over 3 years now. We've been writing back and fourth but nothing compares to getting to meet her in person. Pictured with her is her little brother who isn't currently enrolled in the Compassion program but their mom is getting ready to do that for him as well! I'm so glad he came along and that I was able to meet him and get to  know him too!

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

We met our kids at a beautiful waterpark. Seeing the excitement on their faces was the best! Joselyn had never been to a swimming pool before and I'm so happy I was able to share this special memory with her. Her little eyes lit up when she saw the pools that she would be swimming in all day!

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

Joselyn learned 4 different swim strokes during our day together! She is SO smart and such a quick learner! The interpreter that was assigned to us and Joselyn's tutor were both so great! I actually speak Spanish but I can be a little rusty at times, it was nice having them there to tell me more about our sponsor daughter's education and ways that I can be of more help. I am really looking forward to that as well!

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

After we were finished swimming, we had lunch, then we (the sponsors) gave our sponsor children gifts that we had brought them. Joselyn and her mom also put together a gift box for me! I felt so special and loved, Joselyn smiled from ear to ear and giggled the whole time and you know what? She was more excited for me to open my gift of beautiful decor pieces made of the prettiest sea shells than she was to open her own. This little girl is gifted with generosity along with so many other giftings. I love her and her family so much. 

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

The goodbyes were hard, the day flew by. I was the most sad that I wouldn't be able to hang out with Joselyn throughout the year until the next time I visit. We bonded so quickly and listening to the interpreter and her tutor tell me about her academics, going through her Compassion binder and seeing our letters that we've sent back and fourth throughout the years made me so happy to be able to be involved in her life, even if it's from another country. I was able to get to know her mom as well and hear their story, it isn't an easy one let me tell you. Joselyn's mom is a very strong woman who works hard to provide for their household on her own. I am so honored to be able to contribute their household as much as I possibly can through sponsorship, encouragement and prayer!

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 2 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

If you wan to learn more about Compassion International, how to sponsor a child, ways to donate, etc. be sure to check out their website HERE.  Sponsoring a child has rocked my families world in an unparalleled way. I strongly recommend getting involved in releasing a child / children from poverty. We are blessed to bless others. Let's keep loving our world loves! Thank you for joining on this journey. 

Day 1 IN EL SALVADOR 🌴

With memories still so vivid, and my heart so full it's hard to believe that we were en route to El Salvador two and a half months ago. I promised to share my experience, and I am so excited to do so now! My heart honestly grew and changed a billion times more than I thought it ever could every single day! So here goes en route to and Day 1 in El Salvador:

The closest I've physically been to heaven is in an airplane and although I used to be afraid of flying, I now feel such a peace of being up in the sky ... I mean look at the BEAUTY that we miss out on from standing on the ground.

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

On our first day in El Salvador we took a bus to a Compassion center in San Martin. The scenery on the way was gorgeous! It was filled with palm trees, rural lush hillsides, and as we started getting to our destination rows and rows of houses lined the streets along with so many beautiful + vibrant murals

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

When we arrived at the Compassion center, we were greeted by the precious kids that attend the center dressed as shepherds, they were waving colorful balloons in the air, dancing, clapping, and  jumping. Smiles covered their entire faces and when we each got off the bus they ran to us and hugged us, I looked down through tears and saw that 4 little girls were clutching my legs.

I felt SO loved and welcomed, they just instantly loved us and we had already brought so much love for them with us but it was amazing to get to see the faces our love was going to! We were then each outfitted in our own shepherd garments and each paired with a child that wore the same color of shepherd vest as us. They led us into our next activity.

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

The day commenced with welcoming singing, dancing by the students that attend the center, and amazing speaking and preaching by young women and men as well as the Pastor who together faithfully lead the project. It was so inspiring to watch the confidence and strength that they each carried.  

The message that resonated throughout was that they each have very big dreams, and I can say that they are each honestly SOOO talented and gifted, with so many capabilities! They also let us know that they can't get the opportunities to learn, grow, and work towards those dreams without the support of the Compassion sponsors.

We only saw a glimpse into a day in the life of the center and even with that glimpse I am extremely proud of each of these children + young men and young women. The pastors and leaders do incredible and endless amounts of work, and I am so honored that my family gets to take part in a Compassion sponsorship. 

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

Afterwards we were taken to see all of the different departments that make up the program. We sang, danced. and colored with them which I completely loved. We were led through many of the classrooms and were told about the skills courses they offer their students. Some of the skills include computer skills, orchestra, sewing and baking which goes without saying but they are very talented in. They learn how to sew beautiful garments to outfit the Compassion orchestra which some of them actually play/conduct in as well!

We were also able to see an example of the binders that each Compassion child has which holds the childs' development forms, areas they need help in, what their goals are, holds examples of their work and letters to and from their sponsors. I loved seeing that they keep all of the records for every single child in the program that way. Wow! What an organization! 

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

After we toured the Compassion center, our teams went on house visits. When I say house I mean an about 20 x 20 foot space that was made up of 1 small room where 5 people sleep and a small outdoor courtyard. Many of the homes in the area are like this and as we walked to the home we visited, we were warmly greeted by women, men and children who sat in their door steps fanning the heat away.

It was very special to get to meet the young boy who lived in the home we got to go to along with his family. Our team was honored to be welcomed into their home, spend some time with them, and to hear their heart wrenching story. Within their story we heard of hopes of doing well in education then job wise since the adults in the home (mom and dad) work very hard as day laborers when there is work available making very little per month. 

There’s also the fact that the youth of El Salvador and their families are surrounded by extreme gang activity and war like violence. Although they could live in fear and uncertainty, the youth that we encountered at the Compassion center were so brave, strong, had unwavering faith and a contagious boldness. They work so hard to reach their dreams to better themselves and their families lives, they don’t take their opportunities lightly and they keep moving forward in their callings.  

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

Once we returned to the Compassion center, our team and the compassion students had a few soccer matches while the last portion of our time there was being prepared inside. The kids were all so gifted in playing soccer! I wish I had played during the girls against girls game!

PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

When we were called back inside, a beautiful orchestra made up of many of the compassion students  was on the stage. They played and sang beautiful songs for us. We were wowed by their capabilities and the conductors; one being another young boy that one of our teams visited with an incredible story as well, conducted wonderful music.

We loved our day at the Compassion center, I think all of us were crying when the Pastor said goodbye to us and we gave our final words and hugs to as many kids as we could. What Compassion is doing in these centers is saving kids, changing their lives, giving them tools to be able to come out of poverty, giving their dreams life. It's amazing as a sponsor myself to see everything that my contribution goes towards every month. If you sponsor a child, I highly recommend going to visit them if you are able or visiting a Compassion center. It truly is an experience you'll want to have!
PARTNERSHIPS - DAY 1 IN EL SALVADOR — All Kids Are Gifted

That was our first day in El Salvador! I could keep writing on and on forever and post even more photos because I loved the experience and I love each and every photo!

I'm so happy to sponsor through Compassion and that they are one of the organizations that we have teamed up with as a company as well! If you're interested in sponsoring a child and/or learning more about Compassion, be sure to look at their website which you can find HERE. It is definitely an incredible organization that I will be writing more about! Thank you for coming along this journey, I'm excited to continue writing about the rest of our time in El Salvador! ❤️

CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF

MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted

BRIGETTE + MURIEL + PIPPIN| IG: @MYALABASTERHEART_

MAMA STYLE

She is full of life, she is wild and free. I say this of Brigette's oldest darling: Muriel. She is spunky, fun, obviously adorable and has been gifted with a contagious smile that takes over her whole face ... and every persons face around her actually. It was a joy getting to photograph her, her mama and her baby brother. 

Pippin, is in for a fun childhood with Muriel which has in no doubt already began. His curious and alert blue eyes watched her as she ran, jumped and giggled the entire time I was with them. 

MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted
MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted

When I met Brigette and started talking with her, it was easy to make the connection of where Muriel's strong, fun and ambitious little personality comes from. Brigette is currently working as a chemical dependency counselor, has already attained her degree in Psychology and is currently enrolled to finish her degree in Sociology. Once she finishes her Sociology degree in the Fall, she will be ready for Grad School! She's doing all of this while being a wife and Mama to her two precious littles. Can you say superwoman over and over again?!

MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted

This season has in no doubt brought a new sweet rhythm to Brigette and her husbands' household and I am so very inspired by her (them).  The fact that she can keep a smile on her sweet babies' faces, while working hard chasing the callings on her life and keeping an authentic character both in person and through her photos + writing just blows me away. We even get to keep up with her journey through her blog: www.myalabasterheart.com ( what a clever alabaster reference right?! ) YES! Be sure to check it out! I can't wait to see her step into her Grad school life and the future after that! 

MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted
MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted
MAMA STYLE - CHOOSE TO BE YOUR LOVING AUTHENTIC SELF — All Kids Are Gifted

We love your style Brigette! In beauty + clothing, parenting, talent, creativity and in your genuine personality and life! Who am I kidding?! The list is completely endless, you're amazing love! ❤️

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BRIGETTE'S OUTFIT DETAILS
TANK TOP: H&M // Shop similar HERE
CARDIGAN: STITCH FIX purchase
DENIM: KUT from the kloth // Shop similar HERE
SHOES: TOMS // Shop similar  HERE

MURIELLE'S OUTFIT DETAILS
CREWNECK SWEATER: Shop similar HERE
SHORTS: Shop similar HERE
SHOES: VANS // Shop HERE

PIPPIN'S OUTFIT DETAILS
JOGGERS: Shop similar HERE