Thinking About God

To the Volunteer Coming from Outside – A Los Voluntarios que Vienen de Afuera

Today one of our summer interns, Savanna Groft, is sharing some of her thoughts about her volunteer experience, as well as some words of wisdom for anyone thinking of volunteering with a non-profit organization.  Most credible texts, whether the Bible, a journal article, or some other scholarly work, emphasize that real change happens from the inside out. Jesus made it very clear that what makes us clean or unclean is what comes from within our hearts, not external things, like food, that we put into our bodies (Matthew 15:11, 17-20). Scientists, even those who think nurture plays a big role in our lives, will tell you that nature, or what exists within us, is integral to our development. The same concept applies to cultures and social systems. I came to El […]

Today I Saw Jesus – Hoy He Visto Jesús

Today I saw Jesus in one of my co-workers. This particular man recently suffered some significant health challenges. He had every right to call out sick and not show up in the office today. But he did anyway. You see, he directs a micro-enterprise where our clients get a fresh start making cards. He is their biggest fan…encouraging them, cheering them on, helping them to reach for healing and new life. They were here to work and so he was here too. This simple act of selflessness, of love for others, reminded me of who Jesus is and why we do any of this. I aspire to have this kind of dedication, this compassion, this deep love that says “others before me.” Instead I so often focus on my own […]

Peace – Paz

As we find ourselves in the midst of the Advent season, we are so grateful for the peace that the Christmas season brings. Valerie Nikkel is our guest blogger this week as we focus on true peace.  If you had an unlimited amount of money how would you spend it? I’m sure all of us have pondered this question at some point in our lives. The song, “If I Had a Million Dollars” lists the many possibilities. If we are honest with ourselves, material things would top our lists. A car, a boat, a house (and then a bigger house), exotic vacations, and the list goes on! Recently that question was asked to one of the woman in our Free The Girls micro-enterprise program. Her answer might surprise you…it surely […]

Jesus Was A Medical Missionary – Jesús Era Un Médico Misionero

Today we welcome a special guest blogger, Mary Frances Morris (pictured below left). She was recently in El Salvador providing healthcare to our clients as part of a medical team from Mission To The World.  Jesus was a medical missionary. The Gospels repeatedly state that Jesus went about the towns teaching, preaching, and healing. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36 NIV Jesus also tended to hang out with the outcasts, or the marginalized, such as the tax collectors, lepers, and prostitutes. He even called the children to Him. […]

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 […]

Soul-Tending – Cuidando el Alma

I remember in my childhood, my mother always had a garden. We always joked about her “green children” because of the time she spent bent over that garden. She would kneel down and gently tend the young plants, work to create an environment for growth, and do everything she could to protect those tender greens from outside predators who would seek to consume them. Tending a soul is not so different. There is kneeling, and toiling. There is a gentle pushing away of dirt, and fierce war against outside forces that would move in to destroy. There are fledging greens that push up through the soil, and we celebrate them and work to make their environment all that it possibly can be so that those sprouts can one day be […]

Father’s Day in El Salvador – El Día del Padre en El Salvador

A special thanks to guest blogger, Alexia Rodriguez, one of our staff members, for sharing her thoughts… “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Psalm 27:10 There are obvious differences between the way that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated, at least in El Salvador. Here Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10, and this year is was a Wednesday.  Department stores and malls had discounts, sales, and gifts starting the Friday before so everyone could spoil their moms. On the actual day, these places were full of lines of last minute-shoppers, restaurants had no space left for those who didn’t make reservations, parking lots were full of cars, and flowers were being sold for marked-up prices on every street corner. And […]

Rest – Descanso

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”   These words from Jesus are recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 and they invite us to walk leaning on Him, sharing our burdens, and letting Him do the heavy lifting in our lives. Sometimes we think it’s so much easier to lift the heavy stuff on our own. But then we end up burned out, spent, frustrated, and lonely. The temptation to work it all out on our own is hard to shake because it’s easier to hold my family and […]

Bandera

This past January 16th, El Salvador celebrated 25 years since Peace Accords were signed to end a brutal civil war. That same week a piece of art went on display in MARTE, El Salvador’s art museum, to celebrate the anniversary. The piece of art quite literally laid out the still fought for peace that so many long for. That artist’s name is Carmen Elena Trigueros and her piece is called simply Bandera, meaning “flag.” I recently chaperoned a field trip with my daughter’s class and Bandera was one of the pieces featured by the guide. When I saw Bandera I stood there small, struck by the beauty of the piece and the enormity of the task spilling out across the floor. The flag was white and long and stretched up […]

Connections

Relationships not only connect us, they change us. When I look back at my life, everything significant is connected to a relationship. The death of a friend that pushed me on a different track, the ending of a relationship, the beginning of a new one. Parents, grandparents, classmates, teachers, mentors. My marriage, my children. Bosses and pastors. All of these relationships have changed who I am to varying degrees. Some hold more significant spaces in my life, but all have made an impact. It should come as no surprise that God chose to reach out to humanity in relationships. Knowing Him as a personal God has drastically altered my life. It is the most defining relationship us humans can have. If we are so designed and defined…through relationship with Him, then […]