On the Scene Reports
The 2002 St. Andrew El Salvador Mission
October 6th – 16th

The Preparation

The 13-person El Salvador Mission Team of volunteers worked for nearly three months in preparation for their travels to Buenos Aires, El Salvador, October 6-16, 2002.  Team members include: Cathy and Mike Collier, Leslie and John Saguto, Garry Stein, Cam Hawing, Michael and David Irvine, Kitty Klingberg, Lisa White, Doug Webster, Whitney Evans and Guillermo Gonzalez.  Initial work involved a detailed review of the plans for the building to determine what tools and additional resources would be needed to construct it and make it ready for use as a school and community center.

Next a concerted effort was launched to educate the congregation and the community as to specific needs.  What was heartening was to see how individual members of the team were able to contribute their own skills and knowledge to the effort.  Mike Collier, Cam, Gary and John — for example — used their skills in architecture and construction to develop construction plans and needs.  Others worked on details of construction and assisted in prefabrication of interior walls.  Michael Irvine took on the task of assembling lists of needed items which were then presented to the congregation.  With their generous contributions and additional help from the community, literally hundreds of items — everything from work gloves and tools to toilets and teaching supplies were purchased or donated — enough to literally fill two shipping containers.

On September 6th and 7th, the team and other volunteers gathered to help load everything into the boxes. Kudos to both Justin and Katherine King and to Steve Callahan of Stone Cast who made their resources available to us to help collect and then load the containers.  Steve’s forklift was a real asset.

Early Monday morning the truck from SF enterprises arrived to haul the two containers away on their journey southbound.  Fortunately, both made it smoothly to Los Angeles and on board the ship to Guatemala, ahead of the West Coast dock strike. Many thanks to both Columbus Line/Hamburg S

Once the boxes were offloaded in Guatemala, they were trucked safely across the El Salvador border to Sonsonate where they were unloaded at AGAPE, the community resource group which is partnering with St. Andrew on this Mission project.  The materials were then taken by truck to Buenos Aires there to await the team’s arrival.