Missions

Waving the White Flag

We may all be weathering the same storm, but we are certainly not all in the same boat. I’m not sure where I first heard this sentiment over the past few months but it surely rings true in El Salvador. The unique challenge of this COVID-19 crisis is that it is a crisis unlike anything that we ever expected to face in El Salvador. I suspect that many working cross-culturally might find themselves thinking the same thing. We were tentatively prepared for an intense tropical storm, an earthquake, civil unrest, an uptick in violence, and other possible scenarios. But to experience something so devastating while the rest of the world also was thrown into chaos seemed unfathomable. Yet, here we are living through these extraordinary days. The COVID-19 pandemic has […]

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, […]

Ten Years On…

This past November marked ten years since we, the Snyder family, stepped off a plane and into our new lives in El Salvador. See that picture? It was taken of our family shortly after we arrived in El Salvador. A decade on and here we are. Life doesn’t look like we thought it would…but it rarely does anywhere, does it? I think everyone who chooses to live their life on a mission does so with the grand idea that they will change the world somehow, or have some impact that echoes in a profound way. The truth is that it really doesn’t work like that at all. Instead, if we choose to live our lives on mission then the world we step out into is the very thing that changes […]

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 […]

To the Volunteer Coming from Outside – A Los Voluntarios que Vienen de Afuera

Today one of our summer interns, Savanna Groft, is sharing some of her thoughts about her volunteer experience, as well as some words of wisdom for anyone thinking of volunteering with a non-profit organization.  Most credible texts, whether the Bible, a journal article, or some other scholarly work, emphasize that real change happens from the inside out. Jesus made it very clear that what makes us clean or unclean is what comes from within our hearts, not external things, like food, that we put into our bodies (Matthew 15:11, 17-20). Scientists, even those who think nurture plays a big role in our lives, will tell you that nature, or what exists within us, is integral to our development. The same concept applies to cultures and social systems. I came to El […]

Jesus Was A Medical Missionary – Jesús Era Un Médico Misionero

Today we welcome a special guest blogger, Mary Frances Morris (pictured below left). She was recently in El Salvador providing healthcare to our clients as part of a medical team from Mission To The World.  Jesus was a medical missionary. The Gospels repeatedly state that Jesus went about the towns teaching, preaching, and healing. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36 NIV Jesus also tended to hang out with the outcasts, or the marginalized, such as the tax collectors, lepers, and prostitutes. He even called the children to Him. […]

Thank You For Serving With Us!

It’s definitely “back to school” season which means that the summer is wrapping up! We want to take a moment to thank the teams that have served with us this summer. We appreciate your willingness to come serve in a context far outside of your own. There is much debate about the positives and negatives of short-term service in another country, which brings up many valid points. There is potential for both parties to be damaged in the process, but there is also potential for great partnerships and understanding to be forged. We have been privileged to partner with some great organizations over the years that have provided a long-term investment into El Salvador. We welcome teams to our site that are interested in working to help strengthen and encourage […]

What Is Our Mission?

Mission to El Salvador. That is the name of our organization, so what kind of mission are we on anyway? There are so many potential missions in this tiny country, so many things we could be doing. The list of needs and possible areas of service are endless. How do we find clarity and focus in our calling? Over the last few months, we have spent a lot of time thinking through these questions, and you may notice that we have a new look that reflects the conclusions that we have drawn. The thing is that we want to fulfill our mission well, and we want to live out a calling that is sustainable. Our work is far more about long-term journeys than simply short-term solutions. Walking with people out […]

Teamwork

The summer is really starting to wind down. The kids are back in school, and we will only be hosting one more summer volunteer team. It’s been great to partner with so many churches and organizations this summer and they’ve plugged in well to help us further the work that we are doing. I’ve also been so impressed with all of our staff members. It’s been less than a year since we transitioned out on our own here in El Salvador and this past year has been about building a team. We’ve prayed and searched for people who have a vision to see people walk off the streets of San Salvador and into new purpose. It’s a job that requires years of personal investment with very few payoffs. We are […]

Crossing Paths…Some Thoughts on Hosting the World Race

Part of our role includes hosting volunteer teams that want to serve in El Salvador. This past month we hosted one such team from the World Race. The World Race is an intense 11 month mission trip around the world to serve the “least of these”, and each month features a different country. They spent the third month of their journey with us in El Salvador. This team of seven were servants in every sense of the world. They spent the majority of their time working at the Lighthouse Project, and so they spent literally hours this month hanging out with our friends from the streets. They simply loved them. They loved them through a listening ear (despite the language barrier), and through countless cups of coffee and games of […]

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