Transitions

New Life

In our last blog, we heard from one of the Lighthouse Resource Center case managers. This week, Claudia, one of the therapists working with the New Dawn Residential Program shares what is has been like to accompany the boys virtually through their addiction recovery process.  The residents of the New Dawn Residential Program have many meaningful rituals and one of those is an anthem that they recite each morning. This anthem closes with a cry of “NEW LIFE” shouted out with much enthusiasm and strength to start the day.  Well now, that phrase came to mind in those moments when they had to return to their homes because of COVID-19 and comply with the home quarantine like everyone else in the country. I remember the day that we met with […]

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 […]

Default – En Modo

Full disclosure? Sometimes my default setting becomes hopeless. Or frustrated. Maybe discouraged. Or even ashamed. Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that there are days that I want to give up. We’ve faced enough hard things as a staff that I know it’s not just me. The thing is there are some days when the broken systems around me feel like mountains that are just too big to climb. It’s like I’m spinning my wheels trying to wind up a muddy slope. It’s messy, and I end up feeling tired and dirty by the end of the day. But some days are different. This past Monday was one of those days. If you follow our work, you know that we launched the Lighthouse Resource Center back in January. We have celebrated […]

What If? – ¿Y Si?

Two years ago I stood at my desk in the hot and humid upstairs of our first building. Wedged in around boxes of bras, I stood in front of the fan by the window staring directly across the street at a large building. A “For Sale” sign had just been hung up. What if we could somehow get that space?  A year later and we were there. We were in the building, renting it, stretching each month but it was happening. There was room to breathe, to work, to receive clients, to host a small church on the weekends. Then there was the chance to buy it, to make a plan to pay it off, to make it ours. But what if there was more?  Jump ahead six months and my head […]

All The Pieces – Todas Las Piezas

Her head was bent against the woman’s next to her as they quickly pieced together a child’s puzzle on the floor. A look of annoyance flickered across her face when she realized that a piece was missing. The picture was incomplete, the image coming into focus, but still distorted. In that moment, Jon pulled the missing pieces out from behind his back and handed them to each group. Quickly, she pressed the last piece into place and looked up with a smile. There it was, the image in view. Solving a child’s puzzle wasn’t just a moment of amusement, but rather a metaphor to talk to her and our other clients about new things, transitions, opportunities for growth. A few weeks ago we made a big change. We consolidated all […]

Ending the Poverty of Community – Terminando con la Pobreza de la Comunidad

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”  The words above were said by Mother Teresa who spent her life with and for the poor. She lived with those who experienced extreme physical poverty, but she learned that there is a greater poverty still…the poverty of community. We meet so many people who have come to the end of the line, who have come up short after churning through their physical resources. They may come for food or clothing, but they stay because they are searching for a place to belong. A place to feel loved, a place to be cared for and remembered…a community. Perhaps overcoming the poverty of […]

New Dawn is Open! —-¡Un Nuevo Amanecer abre sus puertas!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we put the finishing touches on the New Dawn residential program! The new rooms are set up, and all of the new staff have been hired and are finishing up their orientation and training for the program this week. Now we all take a deep breath as we wait for the kids to move in. So much planning and dreaming has gone into making this program a reality that it’s hard to believe that we have finally come to this point! We already have one kid walking through the admissions process, and we are excited to share that *Rodrigo is that kid! After hearing his story, many of you began to pray for him, and many chose to partner […]

New Year, New Things

Happy New Year! Here we are standing at the top of 2016! It seems almost unbelievable in so many ways as we look back over the past year. Lots of things happened this year…the women involved with Free The Girls saw their businesses take off, we have seen success as several of our clients in the Lighthouse Project celebrated months (and even a year!) of sobriety, and we have seen the doors open on A New Dawn as kids begin to come in off the streets and find love and hope. So what is new for 2016? There are lots of new things! We have new missionaries joining our staff this month, we anticipate the opening of Phase II of A New Dawn, and we look forward to seeing a […]

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 […]

Finally Legal!

Last December we shared with you the news that we would be starting the process of making MTES an officially registered non-profit here in El Salvador, in addition to the non-profit status that we already have in the States. Today we are thrilled to share the news that we are finally legal! We have the paperwork in hand! It took us a few months to get things in order, and we submitted all of our paperwork in March. Our lawyer can’t believe how fast the process went, especially with an election happening in the middle of it all. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement…we are so excited to have this process behind us!

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