Kids at Risk

Our Girls

Yesterday marked the International Day of the Girl. It’s a day to focus on girls, and issues that they are facing around the world. It’s easy to see girls as vulnerable and in need of protection but we can also see them as powerful members of their communities. Research tells us that when girls are educated, their whole communities are impacted. We can acknowledge the challenges, but also celebrate the victories. Here in El Salvador, girls are facing overwhelming obstacles. Many of the girls we work with have experienced the very worst that life has to offer in the very short time that they have been on this earth. Some have been trafficked, others abused and neglected. Many of them live in fear. The situation created by gangs and poverty […]

God’s People Giving Generously

Since moving to El Salvador, our home church has been Centro Cristiano Internacional. CCI is a large church located in San Salvador and some of our friends invited us to attend there when we first arrived. Over the last few years, CCI has opened their hearts to make the work of MTES part of their ministry and service to the community. Volunteers from CCI help feed the homeless each week, assist in the Lighthouse Project, and help us with medical campaigns. They have prayed for us and encouraged us in countless ways. They have made the courageous decision to look outside of their doors and into the darkest parts of their city, and they have loved and served those that they have encountered. Most recently, they generously sponsored a donation […]

The Ripple Effect

When you drop a stone into a pond there is an initial plunk and then the splash of water. Around the place where the stone dropped ripples spread out until the calm, quiet of the pond is completely interrupted by ripples of various sizes. No part of it is left untouched. I am seeing that violence has a similar affect on society, at least on the society here in El Salvador. Our tiny home has made international news for the worst possible reason…a soaring homicide rate. August closed with more than 900 murders. That is in a country the size of Massachusetts. As the ripples of violence spread, lives are marked by terror and fear. Some of the women who sell bras in our Free The Girls program can no […]

A Gateway of Hope

I have been reading some truly horrific things in the news here in El Salvador this week. A six year old girl was barbarically raped and murdered as part of a gang initiation rite. A police agent was brutally killed in front of his children. Meanwhile, the daily grind of violence pushes school attendance down and pulls the homicide rate up. I try to hide the paper from my children and swallow the physically ill feelings that this news brings. It seems like there is nothing left to do in the face of such reckless evil than to simply despair, give up, and wave the white flag. We deeply love this country, and it feels like it’s falling down before my eyes. How can I tell people that they can get […]

A Tale Of Two Cities

Monday night, I sat transfixed in front of my TV screen. Buildings burning, people in the streets, local leaders urging youth to go home…all of it happening in Baltimore, Maryland as protests turned violent.  I grew up in the suburbs outside of the city and it was shocking to see familiar Baltimore streets take center stage on international news. The sense of loss, anger, and frustration shown by those rioting was heartbreaking. Stories circulated on social media by local friends describing plans to target police, and showing pictures of smashed up police cars and looted businesses. Meanwhile, the local news in San Salvador highlighted recent violence against police as gangs joined forces to target them. Grenades tossed into police stations, teenage boys killed by police because of suspected gang activity. I […]

Fundraiser to Benefit Kids on the Streets in El Salvador

We want to let everyone know about a fundraiser that one of our volunteers is doing to benefit kids on the streets in El Salvador! Last year Schylie came to El Salvador to serve with us for a few weeks, and the children here left an impression on her heart. She is currently hosting a Pampered Chef fundraiser specifically designed to raise money to put toward the development of a ministry for kids on the streets here in San Salvador. We are so grateful for the time and effort that she is putting into this! This fundraiser is a great chance to get some new stuff from Pampered Chef and help kids at risk at the same time! This fundraiser is online-only and runs until April 30th. All purchases should […]

Community Food Co-Op Up and Running!

In recent weeks, all of us on staff at MTES have been discussing the importance of restoring dignity to those that have lost so much. The men, women, and children served by our programs have many things to grieve. Men who live on the streets have often lost their homes and families, women who have been exploited have lost their innocence, and children without a consistent living situation have lost their security. These losses are emotional, physical, and spiritual. Our hearts are moved, and the temptation comes to give hand-outs to those still reeling from such heavy losses. But is there a better way to restore dignity and respect? There are places where “hand-outs” and emergency relief are appropriate, but there are also places where these things can add to […]

At Risk

Risk. It’s a word that we hear thrown around in conversation. “Don’t risk it.” “Take a risk.” “At your own risk.” Sometimes the thought of a risk seems thrilling, exciting, on the edge. Other times it seems foolish and like something best avoided. We do a lot of things to take the risk factor right out of our lives. We live in homes with doors that lock, and drive cars with airbags and seat belts. We make choices about our health, our bodies, and what we put into them. We wear sunblock, and floss our teeth to lower our risks, to extend our lives, and to avoid sickness and pain. But what if you were born “at risk?” What if you stepped out of a warm, safe place and in […]

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 […]

The Fight Against Poverty

October 17th has been declared the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day was first recognized back in 1987 with the purpose of focusing the world’s attention on issues related to poverty. In El Salvador, poverty is a root cause of many issues that face our friends. Things like human trafficking, homelessness, and the potential to be victimized by violent crime are all perpetuated by poverty. A child born into poverty has a higher chance of being victimized or exploited, and ultimately of ending up living a life on the streets or in unsafe conditions. This is the case for millions of people around the world who struggle to get through each day, and have to work their hardest simply to survive. It is a tragedy that so […]

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