Advent

Christmas Update / Navidad en MTES

We had a joyful Christmas with all of our clients this year! So many of those we serve don’t have any family to celebrate the holidays with so it means so much to them to be part of our celebrations at MTES!                 We were able to throw two parties for the survivors that we serve! These girls and women have been through so much hurt and pain in their young lives, so we love to give them a chance to smile! This year we threw a party and gave gifts to 7 child trafficking survivors in addition to having a Christmas party for all the women in Free The Girls, and their children! There was such a beautiful moment at this party […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Peace / Reflexiones sobre la Época Navideña..Paz

How can we find peace in a world that is so broken? How can we breathe deep and close our eyes and be at rest in a world where children are caught in war zones, and women are sold as slaves? How can we find respite for our souls when diseases wipe out whole villages, and addictions claim lives? Where is the peace that is promised us in the candlelight? How can a weary world lift its heads to hear the angels sing? So much is wrong, so much is battered and seems beyond repair. This tension between the two Advents of Christ is almost unbearable. The weight of the world pushes down on our shoulders, and the dark blocks our sight. Into such a world was born our Christ. […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Joy / Reflexiones sobre la Época Navideña..El Gozo

Joy to the world… Tidings of great joy… The word joy seems to be wrapped up in every part of the Christmas season. It’s on gift bags, and Christmas cards. It’s even scrawled across ads of large screen TVs and new clothing. We know that on that first Christmas the angels proclaimed it and the shepherds sought it. But on that silent night, what kind of world received our humble King as he lay in infant sleep? A hurting world, a dark world, a world waiting for…something. The real joy of Christmas was not to be realized for years to come. The real joy was just a promise on that first Christmas. A promise that we can hold on to during our own dark nights. A promise that lets us […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Love / Meditaciones de la época Navideña…Amor

The great miracle of Christmas is that “God so loved the world.” He did things in an upside down way…put heaven aside for human skin. He knew that because of love, He would become one of us, to save us, to bring us back to Him. This great miracle, made so many other miracles possible. Those miracles that are around us all the time. Love in action. Love with skin on, walking around casting light into a dark world. At the Lighthouse Project, there is one such miracle that shines. His name is Carlos. Love was not something he remembered from his childhood. He was abused by his own mother and step-father and by the age of 10 he was on the streets. There he suffered more horrific abuse and […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Hope / Meditaciones de la época Navideña…Esperanza

We live in tension. Tension between the first coming of Christ, and His return. Tension in a world that hopes for things to be made right, but that still sees how glaringly things have gone wrong. We live and struggle in this place. As we enter the Advent season, that struggle and longing becomes something that we meditate on, and in this first week of the Advent season we center our thoughts around hope. Hope that the promises He has made to us will come true. Hope that there are better days ahead. Hope that in the end He wins and not our painful circumstances. This season, I am learning much about hope from several brave women. The women that work in our Free The Girls microenterprise have made choices […]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas in El Salvador is always so much fun, and this year was no exception! There is a lot of joy to be found in bringing laughter, joy, and hope to those who feel disconnected from family and community during the holidays. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to step in and minister to our clients who may otherwise feel alone during the Christmas season. We want to say a big thanks to our donors for helping to make our Christmas celebrations happen this year! We gave gifts and threw parties for all the survivors that we work with, we had a huge party in the CISNA boys’ center, and we had our annual Christmas Eve party where we invited all of our clients off the streets and […]

Christmas at the Lighthouse Project

This year on Christmas Eve we had two parties to celebrate Christmas and enjoy a Christmas meal with our friends at the Lighthouse Project. It has become our tradition to stay open on December 24th which is the day that Christmas is celebrated in El Salvador. For many of those we serve, we are the only family that they have, and our center is the only place they go for a Christmas celebration. We had a great time giving special recognition to those members of our programs that have stepped up to serve this year, Jon shared a Christmas message, we handed out Christmas gifts, and enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner. Our two seatings were a success, and our whole family had a great time serving together. Thank you so […]

This Year Is Going To Be Different

This year is going to be different.  I repeated that mantra to myself over and over again as I pulled out the Christmas decorations and looked over the December page on my calendar. I set up the Advent wreath with the hopes of remembering what Christmas is all about. The doing is not going to consume me…it’s going to be different.  Here I sit on the other side feeling like a total failure. Oh, we did the Advent wreath for two weeks focusing on the hope and the love. But joy and peace got lost somewhere along the way and my wreath literally fell apart. Buried. Sad and bent under a pile of gifts. They weren’t gifts for my family, but gifts that were donated for our ministry, and they […]

Free The Girls Christmas in El Salvador

This past year was one of new opportunities, and personal growth for women involved in the Free The Girls program here at MTES. We continue to be grateful to FTG for partnering with us and enabling us to serve these women that we love and respect. Our girls worked hard in El Salvador this year. For some it has been a year of personal struggle, for others a year of victory. We took some time the week before Christmas to celebrate all of these amazing survivors and to dream together about 2015. We had a guest speaker from Pittsburgh share with us about her own painful past, and the beauty that God has brought from it. Many of the women had tears streaming down their faces as they listened to […]

Advent

Several thousand years ago, Jesus arrived on a chaotic scene. He was born into a land with political strife, and He was born into an oppressed people. They lived in a state of longing, waiting, and hoping for more.  God’s people couldn’t understand why God wasn’t speaking, or where He was. He had been silent and here they were beaten down, struggling, and confused. Into the chaos, Jesus silently arrived. Humbly, quietly, where He was least expected and where He was least hoped for. Into the space of a dark night in a dirty corner came the great Deliverer. I can find myself in that chaotic place. There is crisis around me. Dear friends are hurting, crime rates are rising, and the stories I hear break me down. There is oppression and […]