“At first I was self-conscious of how gross I looked, but than realized I can’t be so self-absorbed. It was easier to love people and be present when I didn’t care about appearances.”
“Mission trips aren’t my thing, but I know that God has put a deep love in my heart for people and I’m called to help,” said Kala.
Kala Kumar, 16, recently joined her family on a trip to El Salvador where a St. Andrew’s team served alongside our mission partner, ENLACE. During the trip she was struck by how closely knit the families are in the community. Even the local Pastor walks around and just drops by folk’s houses. “He just shows up and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, hi! I’m so happy you’re here. They don’t say, ‘Why are you here? You didn’t text me or call me or anything!’”
“Seeing their love and sense of community makes me want to bring that sense of belonging and friendship back to our community and even to my high school,” said Kala.
Kala broke down barriers… language barriers that is. Even though she does not speak Spanish, her smile and natural kindness let the community members know that she truly cared about them. Kala’s mom, Kerri, also recognized that “Kala has a gift to look at people and be present, even without using words. She ‘sees’ people and makes them feel special.”
Kerri has been involved with Enlace for over 20 years. This was the first time they served together as a family. “It was amazing for our family to be plucked out of our normal family dynamic and serve together. We were able to see one another in a different context. I loved seeing Kala work hard – and for us to be mother and daughter, but not over dishes or cleaning her room.” said Kerri.