Natural Disasters

A Heartache of Pandemic Proportions

Last week in our virtual staff meeting we passed from one face to another checking in and hearing updates not only about work, but also about life. We are all experiencing the same painful things. Friends who have died, family members sick and suffering, weakened bodies from personal bouts with “the virus,” and the deep heartache of not being able to grieve alongside others who are ill and hurting. Our clients feel it too. Many of them have been sick, are hungry, and have no way to provide for their families. Heartache is spreading like a virus. In a culture where so much is lived in community, being apart is a poignant loss. Not grieving a death, praying together in person, or bringing chicken soup to a loved one’s bedside […]

Human Touch

Thank you to Alexia, one of our coordinators at the Lighthouse Resource Center, for blogging today about her own thoughts and struggles working with our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. She provides great insight into unique challenges faced by Salvadorans during this time.  COVID-19 has been devastating to the world on so many levels that it’s impossible to focus on just one, but clearly one of the main ones is the way in which we relate to people. The famous “social distancing” has minimized physical contact. The use of masks, face shields, disposable gowns, and gloves have clearly marked how much people prefer (or should) distance themselves from others. The World Health Organization has created a campaign with short, but very significant phrases in order to make the world of […]

When It Rains, It Pours

El Salvador is still reeling from a tragedy on top of a tragedy. Last week in the middle of the ongoing health, economic, and democratic crisis brought on by COVID-19, Tropical Storm Amanda slammed into El Salvador’s coast and then leveled a direct hit on San Salvador causing major destruction. The storm arrived on Sunday night, and by the end of the week rain from another storm, Tropical Storm Cristobal, was also lashing the country. The rising waters left 27 dead from floods and landslides and thousands more homeless. Large chunks of highways collapsed, major roads were underwater, and just mud remains where houses once stood. The destruction was swift and complete in many communities. Many who didn’t lose everything still suffered damage from the winds and heavy rains. The […]

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 […]

Transitioning into the Next Phase…

We are so very grateful for all of you who have partnered with us over the last two months as we have ministered to our community by offering space for them to “shelter in place.” In El Salvador things continue to change each week. We are doing our best to adapt and change to provide the best care we can while seeking to navigate circumstances beyond our control. Right now that means transitioning into the next phase of our emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis in El Salvador. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and other government agencies have worked closely with us in the management of the shelter. Over the last few weeks, the coronavirus has begun to spread extensively throughout El Salvador. It […]

Stay at Home

More words from Alexia, a case manager at the Lighthouse Resource Center… A few days ago, I was talking to someone about the current COVID-19 crisis and all of its implications. He mentioned his bosses were concerned because “if their clients lose their clients, than the business would lose theirs too” since they would no longer have a need for the company’s services. The economy is being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, the quarantines, and other necessary, but extreme, security measures that have been taken everywhere. The questions of “how?”, “why?”, and “when?” exacerbate the uncertainty that we are all feeling. Many times in these days, the lack of answers to these questions have left us feeling overwhelmed, tired, and even hopeless. That phrase, “if their clients lose their […]

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 […]

Reflections in a Crisis

  The world has always been broken. But today the cracks aren’t so well hidden, the frayed edges aren’t so neatly tucked away. Our weakness rises to the surface, is laid bare. Our real souls are showing without our idols taking up space. Safety, financial security, health, sports, relationships, fitness, education, our church…all of the things that prop us up have fallen away. The world is turned upside down. Uncertainty and fear slips across borders, isn’t reserved for only the most desperate, and wraps around us all. Economies grind down, the frailty of our health care system glares out at us, the vulnerability of our bodies and souls to unseen and unknown forces can’t be denied any longer. This morning in El Salvador, hungry people spilled out of  barred up […]

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 […]

Earthquake in El Salvador

Last night we experienced a 7.4 earthquake in El Salvador. We are used to tremors but this one felt a lot bigger! I felt like the whole floor was rolling back and forth. We were fine, and in San Salvador there was no major damage reported. East of us was much closer to the epicenter and local news is reporting three deaths as well as power outages and approximately 20 collapsed homes. Please pray for those affected, and thank you for continually keeping our family in your prayers! You can read about the earthquake here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/world/americas/central-america-earthquake/index.html  

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