Holidays

WHEN DEATH WORKS BACKWARDS

“When a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”        -C.S Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe We are about to begin Holy Week in El Salvador. The week is observed around the country in various ways, but this year I hope to have some quiet moments to reflect on what it means to go from death to life, and to see death itself overcome. The quote is from a children’s book beloved by many. The hero of the story is Aslan and he is ultimately resurrected. The words above come from his mouth as he shares the greatest secret of all…when a perfect sacrifice dies for a […]

Survival Kits for the Holidays

Perhaps the most amazing miracle we have seen in 2020 is unexpected sobriety for our clients. It began in the quarantine shelter that we opened during the strictest phase of El Salvador’s lockdown, and since that time 9 of our clients have had tremendous success in their recovery. Many of them are now facing their biggest challenge yet…the Christmas break. Our regular programs are on hold for the holidays, so our team has worked hard to develop a strategy to provide the best possible plan of success for our clients. Through a series of therapy sessions, we have rolled out “kits” for vacation providing all kinds of tools to help our clients manage the free time, triggers, and other stress that the holidays bring. The kits include an exercise guide, […]

Together We Give

One of the things that has continued to strike me about 2020 is the depth of global suffering. The world has been united in grief, in sickness, in sorrow, and in disappointment. The loss of family members, the closing of businesses, and the cancelling of graduations have been felt in every corner of the world. Of course, in some countries the losses have been greater, and the recovery will be harder. But there is a sense of global solidarity in suffering. There is a sense that none of us are alone in this, despite our isolation…it still all seems so heavy, doesn’t it? But what if we decided to turn the tables and instead rally together in global generosity? In global kindness? And in global hope? Every year, Giving Tuesday […]

Prayers for Holy Week

Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions that Jesus’ disciples faced on that very first Holy Week? It seemed that all they dreamed would happen was coming true as the week began, but by Friday they were crushed, scared, and running for their lives. They had no idea that after that darkest of hours they would see resurrection firsthand. But how they must have struggled, and questioned, and weeped together. This year across the world we are forced to be still as we enter into Holy Week. There are no spring vacations, or family Easter dinners, or large and elaborate church services to plan. All of us have a moment to contemplate, to breath it in, to consider what it means to face death and to hope against hope […]

Mother’s Day at the Lighthouse Resource Center -Día de la Madre en el Centro de Recursos El Faro

At the Lighthouse Resource Center we serve our most vulnerable neighbors. Many of those neighbors are single moms. Mother’s Day is a really big deal in El Salvador. All businesses and schools are closed as people take the day to celebrate their mothers. But for single moms who lack a support system, Mother’s Day can be a painful time of year. Each year we have celebrated the moms in our community, and this year was no different! Last week we had a Mother’s Day event where all moms were invited to come and receive a word of encouragement from God’s Word, some gifts, a piece of cake, and some special treatment just for them. Our army of volunteers stepped up to make these moms feel special. From a “design your […]

Celebrating – Celebrando

  It feels like we are already knee deep in the new year and things have definitely ramped up around our office as we get ready to launch a new initiative in just a few weeks! We just wanted to take a moment to share how we wrapped up 2018. We ended the last year with lots of celebrations. Celebrations of goals reached, of expectations met, but also of surviving some hard things with our clients this year. There was much to celebrate, but one thing really stands out. Perhaps our biggest milestone reached this Christmas was that all of our parties were provided by our local donors and volunteers! It was wonderful to have to do zero fundraising on the outside, because our own community came together to provide […]

The Work of Christmas – La Obra de Navidad

It’s the day after Christmas. The house is a mess, the presents are unwrapped. The shopping and rushing and gathering has stopped. The anticipation and magic and waiting is over. This is when the real work begins. The coming of Jesus, God Incarnate, was just the beginning. After his life and death and return to heaven, our calling, our work began. So today we consider…what is our task? The following poem was written by Howard Thurman, an African-American theologian and civil rights leader. He was one who understood that because of God with us, there is much work for those who follow him. Let us begin. “The Work of Christmas” by Howard Thurman When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when […]

For Freedom – Por la Libertad

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”      Galatians 5:1 What does freedom mean to you? Think about that…what does it mean to truly be free? For political prisoners, it means freedom of expression. If you owe a debt, freedom is having economic means. If you are locked in, opening the door is the way to freedom. For so many in El Salvador, freedom means being able to flourish, to grow, to breathe and live without fear or stress or worry. Unfortunately, the situations that face our clients pose great barriers to that kind of freedom. Their lives are complicated as things like entrenched poverty, hopeless violence, and the lack of […]

Empowering Moms to Grow – Empoderando a las Madres para que Crezcan

May 10 is Mother’s Day here in El Salvador, and throughout the month moms are honored through special promotions and advertisements. But there are moms that we know who don’t get the recognition that they deserve. These are the moms that we see everyday. They are fighters. They are strong, and they persevere. We have seen them fight for their own personal healing, and we have seen them overcome incredible hurdles. I just want to take a moment to share with you the things that these amazing moms have done. They have started businesses. They have joined co-ops to learn skills and earn money for their families. They have gone to support groups, and counseling sessions. They have learned to read, and they have learned to balance a budget. They […]

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 […]

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