Thinking About God

WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO FOR OTHERS?

Today’s blog is shared by Christopher, our New Dawn Residential Program Director.  If you daily ask yourself what you are willing to do for others, you may come to find that your love for others becomes so great that it leads you to do the impossible. In the Bible, we find a similar story where some friends carried even their paralyzed friend to where Jesus was so that he could be healed. Their backgrounds and names are unknown. We don’t know where they went to church, or even if they belonged to any particular denomination. But this doesn’t matter, the Bible isn’t interested in giving us these details but rather in showing us what it is that they did. The emphasis is on the compassion and friendship that they had for […]

THOSE WHO SOW IN LOVE WILL HARVEST LOVE

  Today’s blog was written by Katia Peña, one of our case coordinators in the Lighthouse Resource Center.  Recently, I have seen how bountiful a harvest can be if we sow with love, and the blessings we can reap have been surprising. Sowing with love means keeping our commitment to God to share his love with others. I remember first finding a couple sleeping on the street a few years ago. They were without hope, lost in drugs and alcohol and without any reason to share love with anyone at all. But I also know our group of people surrounded them, offered them food, and invited them to the Lighthouse Resource Center to share a plate of food and a special time of connection. This couple expressed distrust, but then […]

GOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

“The Word became flesh and blood , and moved into the neighborhood.”  -John 1:14, the Message At Christmas, we celebrate the fact that Jesus moved into our neighborhood on a quiet night, in a humble and unassuming way. He stepped from the glory of heaven and down into the dirt and sorrow of life on earth. Our neighborhood is not always a pleasant place to be. There is grief here, and people get sick. Miscarriages happen, and marriages fall apart. Friendships end and tragedies take place and we are disappointed. But Jesus wanted to live here anyway because we were here…humans. He wanted to come to where we are, to show us love and glory and the only way to the Father. And that’s exactly what he did in the […]

REBORN

Today’s guest blogger is MTES staff member, Cecilia Leiva de Benavides. Thank you Cecy for sharing! When we were little and talked to our siblings about what “super power” we wanted to have, there was one power that was the most desired, and that was to go back and travel through time. I think that more than once, even as adults, we have had the desire to go back in time and think of all that we could do if that was possible. That way we could correct actions that brought us unpleasant consequences, actions that have destroyed moments that could have been lovely memories, or actions that have wounded people that we really love. That was the wish of one of our clients whose son is still a baby, […]

WHEN DEATH WORKS BACKWARDS

“When a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”        -C.S Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe We are about to begin Holy Week in El Salvador. The week is observed around the country in various ways, but this year I hope to have some quiet moments to reflect on what it means to go from death to life, and to see death itself overcome. The quote is from a children’s book beloved by many. The hero of the story is Aslan and he is ultimately resurrected. The words above come from his mouth as he shares the greatest secret of all…when a perfect sacrifice dies for a […]

Together We Give

One of the things that has continued to strike me about 2020 is the depth of global suffering. The world has been united in grief, in sickness, in sorrow, and in disappointment. The loss of family members, the closing of businesses, and the cancelling of graduations have been felt in every corner of the world. Of course, in some countries the losses have been greater, and the recovery will be harder. But there is a sense of global solidarity in suffering. There is a sense that none of us are alone in this, despite our isolation…it still all seems so heavy, doesn’t it? But what if we decided to turn the tables and instead rally together in global generosity? In global kindness? And in global hope? Every year, Giving Tuesday […]

What Are Their Names?

This week as I sat in San Salvador traffic with my kids, we noticed a woman across the other side of the street. We know her as a regular client at the Lighthouse Resource Center. I hadn’t seen her in awhile and I mentioned her name. My 13 year old jumped in to correct me. My heart sank in conviction. “You say you care about the poor…then tell me, what are their names.” This quote by Latin American theologian Gustavo Gutierrez came instantly to mind and cut me to the core. Funny how just words can be used by God’s Spirit to twist something inside of us, and funny how easy it is for our mental focus to move away from people and onto projects and programs. In a few […]

Keep Dreaming!

This year has brought hardship, but it hasn’t kept our clients from dreaming. There are still goals, and aspirations…there is still hope! It truly is the Salvadoran way, and we are privileged to be “dream facilitators” here at Mission To El Salvador! As we begin this process of reopening, we are working to help our clients reflect on what was lost, and take a moment to regroup and begin to dream and plan for the future once again. We invite you to join us in “listening in” on some of our clients’ own stories of surviving so far this year with dreams intact. When COVID struck, New Dawn had to close down and shift to a virtual model. The boys didn’t want to leave and their families weren’t quite prepared […]

Sacred Celebrations

There are frivolous celebrations, and there are traditional ones. Other celebrations are because of routine, or obligation. Some are cultural or mandated by our families. And then there are celebrations that can’t be described as anything other than sacred. Sacred celebrations are the ones that hold an air of the miraculous, that send a shiver down the spine, and pushes tears to our eyes. These are the celebrations we thought we might never see, the ones that defy fear, and chaos, and the brokenness that’s unfolding in the backdrop. In our small corner of the world, we have had the true joy of experiencing two such sacred celebrations in recent days. Moments of healing and discovery…the honoring of new things, new beginnings, and new lives. The first was two weeks […]

When Success Means Faithfulness

  “God has not called me to be successful, He has called me to be faithful.”  – Mother Teresa How do you measure success in a pandemic? How can you even tell if you are carrying out your mission? Completing your work well? Completing your work at all? Somedays over the last five months have felt like a free fall. Then a stop. Adjust course. Fall again. Repeat. Changing circumstances, new normals, and complete upheaval have been standard operating procedure. First the shelter, then emergency relief, now finally…finally a reopening plan is in the works for us at Mission To El Salvador. But we still don’t know what things will look like in a month. All of our plans and projections for 2020 have been stripped away. The missions we […]

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