It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Since September, El Salvador has been getting ready for Christmas. In a country with no Halloween and no Thanksgiving to celebrate, Christmas is a really big deal and people start decorating months in advance. Like everyone else, we are getting ready for Christmas too! At MTES, Christmas is a huge opportunity for us to serve others because most of the men, women, and children involved in our ministries have no family to celebrate with this Christmas. We believe that God has called us to step in and share some joy with our friends this season. This year we are going to be celebrating Christmas with children who have no family or cannot safely be with their family, women and girls who have survived human trafficking, the community served by the […]

Party Time!

Part of our work in El Salvador includes offering resources to women and girls who are human trafficking survivors. We have several initiatives to serve them and to help them build a better future. We recently discovered that several of the girls we work with will be turning 15 all within the same timeframe and so we’ve decided that it’s time to party! Turning 15 is a really big deal in El Salvador and a 15th birthday celebration is called a Quinceañera.  For many girls in El Salvador (and throughout Latin America), turning 15 is a much bigger party then even a wedding celebration. These girls who have survived the horror of human trafficking have no family or community to celebrate this important moment in their lives. We want to do […]

A Beautiful Mess – Roof Project Update

The Lighthouse Project center is an absolute mess. There is dust everywhere, pieces of dry wall, crumbled up bricks, and exposed rebar. But it is a mess that is truly beautiful because it means all our funding came in and the center is getting the facelift it needs! Miraculously we received full funding and the help of a volunteer team to replace the roof, demo the false ceiling and dry-wall a new one, add an exhaust fan, and change a small patio into a room where our clients can get weekly therapy with a psychologist. We are reminded again that God does answer prayers and we thank you for praying and for giving to make this happen! The building is already significantly cooler, and even though it’s a work in […]

Matching Funds Opportunity – Roof Update

As we shared in this post, we are in great need of roof renovations at our community center. The center is the heart of our operations and a great resource to the impoverished, homeless, kids in crisis, and trafficking survivors in our community. A generous donor has stepped up and offered to match donations up to $3,000! This is a great blessing and a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to be a part of this project. Your donation will be matched, so every $50 donated is $100, every $250 donated is $500, and every $500 donated is $1,000! We have a work team arriving next week to begin repairs so we will need to pay off all materials during the next few weeks. But we need your help! If […]

A Roof Over Our Heads…

It’s Thursday afternoon just before 2 o’clock and it’s a typical day at the center…hot, humid, and loud. There is a young survivor of human trafficking in the office meeting with me about starting her own business selling bras. Another girl who is already in the program waits to buy another bag of bras to sell. Meanwhile Jon is playing checkers with one of our clients in between phone calls. Outside on the sidewalk there are 25 homeless men, women, and teens waiting for the front door to open so they can come into the Lighthouse Project for our Thursday meeting. They are waiting to shower, eat lunch, and meet with our staff. By 2, there will be at least 10 more. A visiting team and our local volunteers are […]

Getting Creative

Next week is Semana Santa (“Holy Week”) and everyone goes to the local beaches during the vacation days. Costa del Sol is a popular beach in El Salvador, and next week it will also be the site of an art exhibit featuring original paintings by men, women, and children involved in our programs and ministries. The idea is a creative one, and it was developed by a generous donor and friend who offered to sponsor an exhibit featuring works of art painted by survivors of trafficking, and men and women who have lived on the streets of San Salvador. The artwork will be sold, and the money invested back into our projects. This past week our artist friends have given several painting workshops and we have all worked to help […]

Christmas Sponsors Needed!

Many of the children and adults that we work with each week have nowhere to go for Christmas, and no family to celebrate with. Would you consider helping us to celebrate the season with them in El Salvador by donating or sponsoring some of the items on our list? All donations are tax-deductible. Simply indicate that your gift is for “Christmas 2013.” For info on how to donate, click here. Email us at  if you have questions or want more information. We need sponsors for the following items: -Christmas dinner for trafficking survivors that we work with (approximately 30 people), and gifts for 20 girls included in that ministry -Christmas dinner for homeless men, women, and teenagers (approximately 40 people) -Christmas dinner and fireworks for CISNA boys’ center -boxers and socks men’s […]

Rest for the Weary

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”   (Matthew 11:28, the Message translation)   This summer we’ve had our feet in 11 States, we’ve met with churches, organizations, and individuals that love El Salvador. We have seen the Statue of Libery, swam in Nana’s pool, had cousin sleepovers, and watched the kids hold their newborn niece. We’ve been prayed over, and we’ve prayed for. We’ve talked and talked about our […]


Six weeks ago we arrived in the U.S. for the start of our furlough. The first week I was still exhausted from all the end of the school year, packing to leave, wrapping up work madness that was our last month in El Salvador. It took at least a week to get the tension out of my shoulders! These past six weeks have been a mix of relaxing, time with family, visiting with friends,speaking in churches, and updating friends and supporters. The kids have taken it all in stride and they have especially loved playing with all of their cousins. We have traveled a lot this summer and they have transitioned well, but they have asked about our house, and they’ve mentioned eating pupusas a few times. It is strange […]

New Location, New Possibilities

This past week we had our first week of ministry in the new building. After months of renovations, it was exciting to see the first realization of the potential that this new space has! El Faro (The Lighthouse) homeless ministry used the building for the first time and the guys and girls were thrilled with the new shower facilities and indoor space out of the sun. Thank you so much to all of our donors who are making this a possibility, and a special shout-out to Discovery Christian Church who kicked this whole thing off as part of their BRIX capital campaign! The bathrooms have been renovated, additional storage and an extra room have been added, a new outdoor sink has been installed, and the outside of the building has […]

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