Ending the Poverty of Community – Terminando con la Pobreza de la Comunidad

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”  The words above were said by Mother Teresa who spent her life with and for the poor. She lived with those who experienced extreme physical poverty, but she learned that there is a greater poverty still…the poverty of community. We meet so many people who have come to the end of the line, who have come up short after churning through their physical resources. They may come for food or clothing, but they stay because they are searching for a place to belong. A place to feel loved, a place to be cared for and remembered…a community. Perhaps overcoming the poverty of […]

New Dawn is Open! —-¡Un Nuevo Amanecer abre sus puertas!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we put the finishing touches on the New Dawn residential program! The new rooms are set up, and all of the new staff have been hired and are finishing up their orientation and training for the program this week. Now we all take a deep breath as we wait for the kids to move in. So much planning and dreaming has gone into making this program a reality that it’s hard to believe that we have finally come to this point! We already have one kid walking through the admissions process, and we are excited to share that *Rodrigo is that kid! After hearing his story, many of you began to pray for him, and many chose to partner […]

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 […]

What Is Our Mission?

Mission to El Salvador. That is the name of our organization, so what kind of mission are we on anyway? There are so many potential missions in this tiny country, so many things we could be doing. The list of needs and possible areas of service are endless. How do we find clarity and focus in our calling? Over the last few months, we have spent a lot of time thinking through these questions, and you may notice that we have a new look that reflects the conclusions that we have drawn. The thing is that we want to fulfill our mission well, and we want to live out a calling that is sustainable. Our work is far more about long-term journeys than simply short-term solutions. Walking with people out […]

Finally Legal!

Last December we shared with you the news that we would be starting the process of making MTES an officially registered non-profit here in El Salvador, in addition to the non-profit status that we already have in the States. Today we are thrilled to share the news that we are finally legal! We have the paperwork in hand! It took us a few months to get things in order, and we submitted all of our paperwork in March. Our lawyer can’t believe how fast the process went, especially with an election happening in the middle of it all. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement…we are so excited to have this process behind us!

Summer Snapshots

The kids’ summer break was a whirlwind. This past year has been a busy (and good!) one, and the past few months were no exception. The kids got to do a little bit of everything…hang out around the house, translate for volunteers, come to the ministry center with us, and spend some time with family and friends. This morning with prayers and hugs we sent them off to a new school year. The start of a new school year is bittersweet and with the busy season that we are in I feel like I didn’t get nearly enough moments with them this summer. Like it or not, a new school year is upon us! Second grade and Fifth grade here they come! But first, just want to share a few […]

“Mommy, Why Does Everyone Always Have To Leave?”

“Mommy, why does everyone always have to leave?” My daughter cried this question out through her tears this past Friday as we walked away from her school. She had just finished saying good-bye to a classmate who was moving back to her home country after three years in El Salvador. Tori didn’t take the good-bye well. She never takes it well. Someone leaves after a few weeks, or a year, or three years and she simply can’t cope with it. She can’t cope with it because in her life she is always losing someone, or something, or an identity, or a friend. She lives there in between all the losses. My kids are TCKs…Third Culture Kids.  That means that they don’t belong to their home culture, and they don’t belong to their […]

A New Season

The “October Winds” which bring an end to the rainy season in El Salvador have arrived late this year! Last week violent winds came tearing through the city bringing down trees and knocking out power for several hours. Since the storm temperatures have been cool, and the skies have been blue. Sometimes the change of seasons can bring stress and obstacles, but also peace and new resolutions. We are now in a season of transition ourselves. A few weeks ago, we celebrated four years of life and ministry in El Salvador. For the past four years, we have served as part of the El Salvador staff for Youth With A Mission. We have grown so much during that time, and feel truly blessed with the wonderful friends and co-workers that we […]

Yes, I am a Slacker

I have been completely slacking off on this blog. Life is running away with us these days since we’ve been back in El Salvador. So here’s the short list of what we’ve been doing instead of blogging: Connecting…Lots of new doors and connections have been opened up since our trip and we are excited about new opportunities to serve the streets in El Salvador! Expanding…The El Faro ministry is all set to expand with new workshops, new woman are becoming involved in the Free the Girls program, and I’ve had some new opportunties to work with girls at risk in San Salvador. Circling…We’ve been in a holding pattern with a few transitions in our ministry, but we will update you soon! Appearing on national television…Ok, so Jon and I haven’t […]

Settling In…Again

We made it back to El Salvador last Thursday night and the weekend was a whirlwind of filling our empty refrigerator, buying school uniforms, and covering books and materials with plastic in preparation for the first day of school. This morning, the kids climbed into Jon’s big red truck and headed off to school for the start of a new year. I got a lump in my throat watching them wave good-bye and start First and Fourth Grades. With the start of school, and a return to our regular routine we are back into Spanish, San Salvador traffic, and life in El Salvador. Our time in the States was wonderful and the good-byes were hard (as they always are), but it’s good to be settling back in where we belong. Ready […]