Holidays

Christmas Update / Navidad en MTES

We had a joyful Christmas with all of our clients this year! So many of those we serve don’t have any family to celebrate the holidays with so it means so much to them to be part of our celebrations at MTES!                 We were able to throw two parties for the survivors that we serve! These girls and women have been through so much hurt and pain in their young lives, so we love to give them a chance to smile! This year we threw a party and gave gifts to 7 child trafficking survivors in addition to having a Christmas party for all the women in Free The Girls, and their children! There was such a beautiful moment at this party […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Peace / Reflexiones sobre la Época Navideña..Paz

How can we find peace in a world that is so broken? How can we breathe deep and close our eyes and be at rest in a world where children are caught in war zones, and women are sold as slaves? How can we find respite for our souls when diseases wipe out whole villages, and addictions claim lives? Where is the peace that is promised us in the candlelight? How can a weary world lift its heads to hear the angels sing? So much is wrong, so much is battered and seems beyond repair. This tension between the two Advents of Christ is almost unbearable. The weight of the world pushes down on our shoulders, and the dark blocks our sight. Into such a world was born our Christ. […]

Celebrating Freedom – Celebrando La Libertad

Today is Independence Day in El Salvador…September 15 is the day that Salvadorans celebrate freedom from Spanish rule. Watching the marches in the streets and seeing the Salvadoran flag flying around the city have gotten me thinking a lot about freedom and what that means in the lives of our friends. It’s important to celebrate the stories of freedom as fiercely as we grieve the stories of pain and loss. There is freedom to be found around us everyday…freedom from addiction, from the grinding pain of poverty, from the trauma of abuse and exploitation. Today we celebrate our friend Douglas who works every day serving others in our center…he is approaching 2 years of sobriety. His freedom brings joy to so many. We celebrate Jeremy who has struggled out of the […]

Sharing the Love

One of the things that I love about El Salvador is the way that Valentine’s Day is celebrated. It is more about love and friendship, than simply a romantic holiday. One of our staff members, Oscar Garcia, wrote this post to share a few words to reflect on this month. Check it out… We are in the month of February…a special month where love and friendship are heard and seen on every corner. Individuals make an effort to show love for their spouses, their families, and their friends through flowers, cards, jewelry, chocolate and anything that they can come up with to surprise their loved ones and show their appreciation. Throughout the month, we see worldwide expressions of love and friendship. Different cultures, countries, communities, and individuals find different ways […]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas in El Salvador is always so much fun, and this year was no exception! There is a lot of joy to be found in bringing laughter, joy, and hope to those who feel disconnected from family and community during the holidays. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to step in and minister to our clients who may otherwise feel alone during the Christmas season. We want to say a big thanks to our donors for helping to make our Christmas celebrations happen this year! We gave gifts and threw parties for all the survivors that we work with, we had a huge party in the CISNA boys’ center, and we had our annual Christmas Eve party where we invited all of our clients off the streets and […]

Donate While You Shop!

With the Christmas season in full swing, you can get two things done at once! While you are doing your online Christmas shopping at Amazon, you can make a donation to MTES! Click here to use AmazonSmile to donate while you shop!

Love Like A Gangster

In El Salvador, Valentine’s Day is called “Love and Friendship Day” and last month we celebrated love and friendship with all of the women involved in the Free The Girls program here in El Salvador. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece were visiting so they helped serve, and a group of women in the States that pray regularly for the girls helped to sponsor the party. We had pizza and candy, a raffle, and a discussion about love. The reality is that these women have received some very mixed-up messages about love. Sex is very distorted in their minds, and abuse and manipulation by “boyfriends” have further confused any notion of romance, love, and affection for them. Part of my work with them is addressing the lies about what love is […]

Getting Creative

We have been getting creative around the Lighthouse Project lately with the addition of a new micro-enterprise project. It’s a small but effective way to combine creativity with a source of additional income for our clients. This new project is a type of card-making called filigrana, and so far we are having fun with it! The cards are designed by a girl that got connected with our ministry because she lives in a transition home for girls that makes service one of the requirements of the house. All the girls in this home serve each week at the Lighthouse Project, and this young lady has grown and matured through her involvement with us. She works to design cards for a variety of occasions and holidays, and then teaches our clients how to […]

Christmas at the Lighthouse Project

This year on Christmas Eve we had two parties to celebrate Christmas and enjoy a Christmas meal with our friends at the Lighthouse Project. It has become our tradition to stay open on December 24th which is the day that Christmas is celebrated in El Salvador. For many of those we serve, we are the only family that they have, and our center is the only place they go for a Christmas celebration. We had a great time giving special recognition to those members of our programs that have stepped up to serve this year, Jon shared a Christmas message, we handed out Christmas gifts, and enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner. Our two seatings were a success, and our whole family had a great time serving together. Thank you so […]

This Year Is Going To Be Different

This year is going to be different.  I repeated that mantra to myself over and over again as I pulled out the Christmas decorations and looked over the December page on my calendar. I set up the Advent wreath with the hopes of remembering what Christmas is all about. The doing is not going to consume me…it’s going to be different.  Here I sit on the other side feeling like a total failure. Oh, we did the Advent wreath for two weeks focusing on the hope and the love. But joy and peace got lost somewhere along the way and my wreath literally fell apart. Buried. Sad and bent under a pile of gifts. They weren’t gifts for my family, but gifts that were donated for our ministry, and they […]

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