The Lighthouse Project

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…Joy / Reflexiones sobre la Época Navideña..El Gozo

Joy to the world… Tidings of great joy… The word joy seems to be wrapped up in every part of the Christmas season. It’s on gift bags, and Christmas cards. It’s even scrawled across ads of large screen TVs and new clothing. We know that on that first Christmas the angels proclaimed it and the shepherds sought it. But on that silent night, what kind of world received our humble King as he lay in infant sleep? A hurting world, a dark world, a world waiting for…something. The real joy of Christmas was not to be realized for years to come. The real joy was just a promise on that first Christmas. A promise that we can hold on to during our own dark nights. A promise that lets us […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Love / Meditaciones de la época Navideña…Amor

The great miracle of Christmas is that “God so loved the world.” He did things in an upside down way…put heaven aside for human skin. He knew that because of love, He would become one of us, to save us, to bring us back to Him. This great miracle, made so many other miracles possible. Those miracles that are around us all the time. Love in action. Love with skin on, walking around casting light into a dark world. At the Lighthouse Project, there is one such miracle that shines. His name is Carlos. Love was not something he remembered from his childhood. He was abused by his own mother and step-father and by the age of 10 he was on the streets. There he suffered more horrific abuse and […]

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 […]

A New Way of Seeing Things

It’s easy to take things for granted in life. One of those things is the ability to see clearly. Even if we wake up with blurry vision, we reach for our glasses or contact lenses and then we are ready to go. We can even get a simple surgery that gives us clear vision for life if we want. The thought of having to live with poor vision is one that we really don’t need to entertain because of the resources available to us. For our clients in El Salvador, things are not so easy. Many of them live on the streets or in extreme poverty and corrective lenses are a luxury that is simply not available to them. They don’t have the money or insurance coverage necessary. As their […]

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 […]

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 […]

Creating Community

It’s a rainy morning in San Salvador. The rain runs over the gutters, and up through the manholes in the streets. It is pouring and cold. For those who sleep on the streets, it has been a long night. For those who sleep in small, rented rooms it has also been a long night interrupted by leaky roofs and drafty breezes. Our clients begin to walk into our center around 8:00am. It’s warmer inside and they gather around a table for their morning’s work. They are making cards…rolling strips of paper into flowers, animals, and Christmas designs. They work to glue the tiny strips of paper, and to match colors. They are being paid for their work, and they are also enjoying a sense of community. Light laughter and constant […]

Six Months and Counting

So many times I’ve met men and women on the streets and wondered how they got to that point. What happened to them? What have they gone through? Our friend Douglas recently shared his story with us, and we want to share it with you. Douglas’ path to life on the streets began as a 17 year old boy. He tried drinking, then kept drinking. By the age of 25 he was also experimenting with drugs. His life started to slowly spiral downward as alcohol and drugs fueled wrong choices and bad behavior. Time and time again Douglas would shake off the addiction for a month or so but then it would grab hold of him once again. By 2007 his family had enough and they kicked him out on the […]

Gone Fishin’

One of the things that our clients truly look forward to is the chance to get off the streets and out of the city for the day. A few weeks ago, we took a group of guys down to La Libertad to fish off the pier. They watched the fishermen come in and out with their catch, they ate some seafood, and they tried fishing themselves. They loved it! Fishing is not for the impatient. It takes time, and there are no guarantees. If the fish aren’t biting, a fisherman could stand on that pier all day long gazing into the blue water and waiting for something to grab hold of the bait. The truth is, that our work sometimes feels like a long day of fishing. There are no guarantees and […]

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