A Week Without "Stuff" - Adventures in El Salvador

Living in a developed country opens the door for us to have "stuff". I'm sure you know what I mean. Electronics, clothes, and other things that just lay around the house for ages (because you never know when you might need your grandma's old stencil kit). I'm not saying we don't need any of that stuff but the problem is, we always think we need all of it. 

My Experience in El Salvador

Over March break, I had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador for an 8-day missions trip with my church. I didn't know what to expect but what happened when I was there changed my life and the way I see people.

I didn't bring any electronics with me because I wanted to be fully immersed in the culture with no distractions so that I would, hopefully, be impacted. 

Waking up every morning at 5:45 was totally worth this view.

Waking up every morning at 5:45 was totally worth this view.

In the middle of the week, we packed bags of food and travelled to visit homes around the mountain. At each home we visited, the home-owners were more than happy to have us. They cleared a space for us to sit and were very welcoming. The majority of the homes we visited were the size of my bedroom and had four tin walls and a roof. 

When I used to have friends over, they would comment on how small my room is. In El Salvador, families of four or more rented a space that size and called it their home.

The families were all very thankful for what they had and only asked that we pray for good health and blessings upon their lives.

Seeing how happy those people were with so little "stuff" made me realize that I live with a lot of things that I don't need. Coming back home was a bit of a shock because my mindset had changed but everything here hadn't.

What I found was that people still buy things they don't need. They are still unwilling to throw out or donate old and unused things. They want more, more, more. I used to be that way and it took a week of completely cutting that mindset out of my life for me to realize it.

Since I got back, not a day goes by when I look around and see how lucky I am to be born into all this. We are so privileged and a lot of people don't realize it. 

Being in El Salvador has taught me that it's important to take a step back and see what is cluttering your life (literally). Sometimes, you do what you have to do and get rid of some of that stuff. Because, let's be honest, you probably don't need that purple-haired troll doll anymore.