Prayer

Saliendo a la Superficie – Breaking through the Ground

Por Alexia Rodríguez  Sembrar y cuidar plantas es quizás uno de mis pasatiempos favoritos. En El Salvador tenemos una planta a la que comúnmente se le llama: Ginger. Es una especie de mata que puede crecer y crecer, con hojas verdes largas y una flor muy particular y muy linda. Hay Gingers rojos y Gingers rosados. Me encanta ponerlos en floreros de vidrio…¡Se ven espectaculares! Y pueden durar en buen estado entre 10 y 15 días. Siempre los admiraba en la casa de mi tía –y los cortaba para hacer arreglos…!-, hasta que un día ella me regaló algunos para sembrarlos en mi jardín, y así lo hice. ¡Me emocionó la idea de por fin tener mis propios Ginger en casa! El “pequeño” detalle que no sabía es que sembrarlos […]

Mother, We See You – Madre, Te Veo

Mother, we see you.  We know you have overcome so much. The poverty, the personal trauma, the trauma your children have faced. We know you want to heal.  Today, you are honored, and celebrated, and loved. You have dignity and you have purpose. Maybe no one has ever thanked you for the sacrifices you have made. Today we notice them, and we know how hard it has been.  Perhaps no one has said how much He loves you, how you were made in His image. Perhaps you don’t even know that as a mother you show so much of Him, His heart, to the world.  Mother, you are so loved. We see you today.  —————————————————————– Last week we had our annual Mother’s Day celebration with all of the beautiful mothers that […]

New Year, New Things

Happy New Year! Here we are standing at the top of 2016! It seems almost unbelievable in so many ways as we look back over the past year. Lots of things happened this year…the women involved with Free The Girls saw their businesses take off, we have seen success as several of our clients in the Lighthouse Project celebrated months (and even a year!) of sobriety, and we have seen the doors open on A New Dawn as kids begin to come in off the streets and find love and hope. So what is new for 2016? There are lots of new things! We have new missionaries joining our staff this month, we anticipate the opening of Phase II of A New Dawn, and we look forward to seeing a […]

Imagine

Courage and strength…these qualities can be hard to come by when we grow up in the best of environments. Now, imagine that you did not grow up in a healthy environment. Imagine that you grew up in a hard situation, that your mother was gone most nights prostituting herself, that your father wasn’t around, and that your siblings didn’t even have the same father as you. Imagine that gangs moved into your neighborhood and forced you to do things you didn’t want to do. Imagine that you were exploited, intimidated, and soon you were in so deep that there was no way out. Imagine that you went to jail, and had a baby there. Imagine the fear, the weakness, the uncertainty. Imagine that you don’t have to imagine any of this […]

Community Food Co-Op Up and Running!

In recent weeks, all of us on staff at MTES have been discussing the importance of restoring dignity to those that have lost so much. The men, women, and children served by our programs have many things to grieve. Men who live on the streets have often lost their homes and families, women who have been exploited have lost their innocence, and children without a consistent living situation have lost their security. These losses are emotional, physical, and spiritual. Our hearts are moved, and the temptation comes to give hand-outs to those still reeling from such heavy losses. But is there a better way to restore dignity and respect? There are places where “hand-outs” and emergency relief are appropriate, but there are also places where these things can add to […]

At Risk

Risk. It’s a word that we hear thrown around in conversation. “Don’t risk it.” “Take a risk.” “At your own risk.” Sometimes the thought of a risk seems thrilling, exciting, on the edge. Other times it seems foolish and like something best avoided. We do a lot of things to take the risk factor right out of our lives. We live in homes with doors that lock, and drive cars with airbags and seat belts. We make choices about our health, our bodies, and what we put into them. We wear sunblock, and floss our teeth to lower our risks, to extend our lives, and to avoid sickness and pain. But what if you were born “at risk?” What if you stepped out of a warm, safe place and in […]

The Fight Against Poverty

October 17th has been declared the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day was first recognized back in 1987 with the purpose of focusing the world’s attention on issues related to poverty. In El Salvador, poverty is a root cause of many issues that face our friends. Things like human trafficking, homelessness, and the potential to be victimized by violent crime are all perpetuated by poverty. A child born into poverty has a higher chance of being victimized or exploited, and ultimately of ending up living a life on the streets or in unsafe conditions. This is the case for millions of people around the world who struggle to get through each day, and have to work their hardest simply to survive. It is a tragedy that so […]

The Face of Human Trafficking in El Salvador

On Saturday morning I opened the newspaper and began to read the local stories…immigration, crime, the economy. As I flipped through the paper, it fell open onto a story about the recent arrest of 7 people accused of trafficking underage girls for sex.  Five of them are women, and two of them are men. All of them are young, not much older than their victims. This is the face of human trafficking in El Salvador. These are real traffickers who were selling girls in malls around San Salvador, and on their Facebook pages. A news website reported that one of the men had an album titled “My New Girls” advertising young virgins for sale. The article also reported the disgusting fact that the victims were forced to fake their virginity […]

A Generation Lost

New statistics have been released regarding homicide rates around the globe. I am saddened to see that El Salvador lands in the top five along with other Central American countries. As a whole Latin America is more violent than any other region on earth, and while the rates of femicide are high, the majority of the victims are males. That means that more people lose their sons, fathers, brothers, nephews, uncles, cousins, boyfriends, and friends to homicide than in any other region. What is more tragic, is that they lose them young. This report shows that the homicide rate among 15-29 year old males is more than four times the global rate. Four times the death, the pain, the loss, and the suffering. Four times the mothers that have to […]

Am I Becoming Religious?

I don’t think of myself as “religious.” At least not in the sense that I am willing to mindlessly repeat actions because that’s “right” or “required.” I like to think that I consistently act from the heart. Apparently I’m not as consistent as I thought, and it took a six year old to show me that. Last night we had some friends at our house, and everyone was downstairs talking while I went upstairs to rush the kids through the bedtime routine so that I could get back to my company. I quickly tucked Ian in with his stuffed animals, and said a standard bedtime prayer thanking God for the day and requesting a peaceful rest for my son. And then a small voice asked me two big questions. “How […]