Justice

Fragile, Handle with Care

A few words from Alexia Rodriguez, Case Manager at the Lighthouse Resource Center as she reflects on the COVID-19 crisis facing El Salvador… When my son was around 4 or 5 years old, he loved to dress up. I put in his room a rack to hang the suits that I was buying him…Darth Vader, Spider Man, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee. But for the longest time his favorite was Captain America. I would be in my room or in the kitchen, and he would suddenly come looking for me saying, “Mom, close your eyes…Taa-daaa!” I would open my eyes, and be “surprised” as he stood proudly in his suit, mask, and shield striking his favorite superhero poses. Since we were playing together, I also had my favorite superhero…Wonder Woman of course! When […]

Faithful

Faithful. I can’t really think of another word to describe how I felt after reviewing and evaluating how things went around here in 2019. We just published our 2019 Annual Report so feel free to take a look. In the meantime, here are a few highlights: Last year we inaugurated the Lighthouse Resource Center. Since opening our doors, 350 clients have walked through those open doors, and 11.14% of them have entered into our “level system” where they have the opportunity to invest more of themselves and receive more of an investment from us. We’ve learned the issues facing these clients are complex, but we are reaching them. For our first year, we are pretty excited to see that members of our community are making decisions for change, finding healing, […]

Planting

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”  Warren Buffet is quoted as saying those words, and no doubt his intent was to make a point about business investments. But really, those words can speak to any investment. One thing I have learned over the years is that urban ministry is much more about investing than anything else…more about planting than harvesting. It’s about walking the streets to find that one available piece of fertile dirt, perhaps hidden behind a graffiti covered wall or some barbed wire. It’s about digging deep in my pocket for that seed, then casting it, maybe not even believing myself that it will take root. The planting is hot and exhausting, it’s relentless and it feels like it will […]

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 […]

One Big Story – Una Gran Historia

Sharing a story is no small thing. Earlier this month, Jon and I stood in front of a packed room to share pieces of our story, and pieces of our clients’ stories all woven together. Sharing a story is a sacred and holy thing. Especially when those stories pull in pains and joys and successes and heartaches. We were at our 2nd Annual Gala for Growth and the purpose of sharing those stories was to remind us all that we are part of one big community, we all have a part in that story. Our gala was held just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is far removed from the streets of San Salvador but there is still a community there because so many who packed that room have given, have […]

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 […]

Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking – Despertando Conciencia sobre la Trata de Personas

January is human trafficking awareness month. You may hear about this issue on the news, or imagine that is only happens in far away places. The truth is it happens everywhere…in El Salvador, in the U.S., and in every country on earth. There are many people who want to get involved, to make a difference, to bring change to their communities. Did you know that there is a big connection between homelessness and human trafficking? Between childhood trauma, addiction, and human trafficking? There are so many other issues surrounding the big problem of human trafficking. If you are interested in learning more, I want to recommend a great resource. It’s the Ending Human Trafficking podcast with Dr. Sandra Morgan from the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University. Interested in […]

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