Being a Woman in El Salvador, Part 3 – Ser una Mujer en El Salvador, Parte 3

“Violence is an obstacle that prevents women from developing their own initiatives, and economic activities.”                       -Ana Elena Badilla, UN Women representative In El Salvador, violence is a significant risk factor for women and a very real obstacle to their personal and economic development. The gangs which control so much of the country, plus the deeply entrenched machismo, create an environment where women are not safe in their own neighborhoods. Gang control is so pervasive in neighborhoods around El Salvador, that many girls are forced into sexual slavery as girlfriends of local gang leaders. The girls have no choice in the matter…they must join the gang or be killed. The problem has become so grave that young girls are fleeing El Salvador, and […]

The Human Trafficking Risk Facing Migrant Children

  “Love you neighbor as yourself.”  We grow up hearing this concept that comes straight from the teachings of the Bible. We believe it, and it may even move our hearts to action. But who are our neighbors? This month is Human Trafficking Awareness Month so I want to take a moment to consider our closest neighbors and the trafficking risks they may be facing. If you are in the U.S.A. and reading this, your neighbors include Mexicans and Central Americans. You don’t have to go far to meet them. As I’m sure you’ve heard, the violence in Central American’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) are sending hundreds of vulnerable children north in search of peace and safety. The situation is grim in El Salvador for children in high-risk […]

Immigration…It’s Complicated

This morning as I was driving in my car listening to talk radio, I heard about the latest public awareness campaign. This one is called “Dream Versus Nightmare” and is targeted at educating would-be immigrants about the potential perils involved in taking the journey North. I also opened the paper earlier this week to read the latest news from last week’s meeting between Obama and Central American leaders. As I flipped through the paper other stories were reported…the skyrocketing number of Salvadoran students killed so far this year, another double homicide, more Salvadorans abandoning their neighborhoods in the dark of night because gangs caused them to fear for their lives. There are complicated messages out there…it is absolutely true that immigration can take a dream and turn it into a […]

Adventures in Guatemala

I’m trying to get some things done this afternoon and I figured I’d post a few pictures for those interested in seeing some of the things we saw last weekend on our trip across the border to Guatemala. First, we checked out the Guatemala City Zoo. We heard that it was great for kids, and we all ended up loving it. There were lots of animals there that we never saw at the Pittsburgh Zoo…especially from Central and South America. My kids love the show Go Diego Go (about an animal rescuer for those of you who don’t have kids) and they loved seeing some of the animals that had been featured. The kids enjoyed checking out all of the animals at the zoo. Lots of really beautiful birds… …and […]

An Unexpected Blessing

I don’t know if you’ve ever had those moments in your life where you just had to stand back and wonder, “how did that happen?” Something totally unexpected happens, and yet something that is such a great blessing. Maybe it’s hearing your child say something that you needed to hear, or seeing an amazing sunset, or getting a note that really just makes your day. Well, I had one of those moments this morning. As I mentioned we were in Guatemala for a few days (I will post some pictures of our adventures soon) and as it turns out so was one of our friends that we made during our time in Mission Training International way back in the fall before we left for El Salvador. Her name is Amy […]

A Change of Scenery

Right now we are in Guatemala getting a change of scenery. The summer has been a little busy so far with renovations to the base, DTS preparations, teams, ongoing language learning, and just all the usual stuff that comes up each week. So we got out of El Salvador for a few days and it has been great. I think sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed! We are visiting two other YWAM bases as well – the one in Guatemala City and the one in Antigua. We have had some great experiences so far. Check the blog in the next few days for some pictures…a change of scenery can be great! PRAYER UPDATE: I also wanted to update you about little Jared. We have several families interested in […]

Teaming up with YWAM Guatemala City

This week we are going to be partnering with a team from the YWAM Guatemala City base. They are in El Salvador for a week long outreach as part of the Discipleship Training School at that base. It’s a large team with 19 adults and three children (two babies and an almost four year old). We are looking forward to doing some ministry with them this week. With only five staff members at YWAM El Salvador plus Tori, Ian, and myself sometimes it is hard to do bigger outreaches into the community. It will be a great opportunity having this group. We enjoyed meeting them tonight and look forward to a great week! After this team we have one coming from Belize and then one from Costa Rica. It will […]

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