Urban Ministry

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOUSE?

A woman found herself in a desperate situation. Her husband was dead, and her children were up for sale. She was exhausted by poverty and injustice and the only way to pay off her debts was to sell her children into slavery.She turned to where many turn when their situations seem impossible…to those who claim to be close to God. In this case, she turned to the prophet Elisha. The whole narrative can be found in 2 Kings 4:1-7. Elisha was present in her suffering, and he listened to her sorrow. But he didn’t throw money at her problem, or preach to her or even offer financial advice. He came to her with a question that to us perhaps makes no sense at all. And Elisha said, “What shall I […]

WE ARE THE WORK OF THE MISSION

We just had a “first” in the Lighthouse Resource Center! We had our first ever graduation, and celebrated with 6 “lighthouses” that are now ready to shine! The process has had ups and down but our clients and our staff have persevered and it’s safe to say there weren’t many dry eyes at the graduation ceremony! Rosa, one of the graduates, shared her own story with everyone in attendance. She shared about her own struggle with addictions and poverty and the great hurdles she faced as a single mom fighting against years of chains in her life. But she also shared the great freedom that she found when she was seen as a person, when she was seen as someone with value. The way our staff delivered food to her […]

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 […]

OUR STREET

The picture above is our street in our neighborhood. It’s the center of our work in our community. It’s a place where we can be present with those who have questions, who have needs, and who have dreams. This is where we have the chance to look our neighbors in the eye, engage them with our words, and wrap arms around them. It’s also a place where suffering is dragged across the threshold and we must welcome it in. There is pain on this street, there is hurt. There is violence and death. There are tears in the eyes we meet, and we embrace shoulders that shake and sway under grief. Sometimes this street is a hard place to be. But we don’t set foot here without hope in our […]

IN THE CITY

There is a movement that is happening, and has been happening, all across the globe. It’s a movement into the city. People move in for jobs, for a fresh start, to connect with family, or to step out on their own. Urban environments are strategic environments for God…and for his followers.  The heartbeat of our ministry is in the city of San Salvador, and that’s because it is the heartbeat of the whole country. There is need and opportunity and culture and growth and beauty and heartache all crowded together. The city is a living, breathing movement that we can be a part of.  That’s not unique to San Salvador, but it does feel unique to cities.  I love visiting cities because they are such wonderful pictures of culture and […]

OPEN THOSE ROOFTOPS

The Gospels mention a dedicated group of friends in a few passing verses…a group crazy enough to look for any way they could to get their paralyzed friend to the feet of Jesus, who was famous by the time he came to their town. They had heard he could heal, change lives, start things new for people…and they had a friend who couldn’t walk. They knew if they could only pick him up and get him to Jesus’ feet, maybe that friend’s story would be rewritten. When Jesus came, they grabbed him and ran like crazy…probably groaning and sweating under the dead weight until they finally arrived and found the front door blocked. So they looked for another way. They craned their necks to see around the crowd, and switched tactics, […]

BBQ WITH A CAUSE

There are many things that we hope for our clients, but I think one of our biggest hopes is that they will dream big dreams. Maybe they will dream for the first time, or maybe they will start dreaming once again. About 6 months ago, I sat down to eat lunch with Oscar. He has been in and out of our programs for a few years. During COVID, he came to our shelter where he was able to jump start his sobriety. Now he is one of our “clients in transition” meaning that he is taking great steps forward in recovery, and working on transitioning back into full reintegration into society. He is committed to spiritual growth through our Bible studies, he is being coached and mentored by our case […]

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 […]

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 […]

Planting

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”  Warren Buffet is quoted as saying those words, and no doubt his intent was to make a point about business investments. But really, those words can speak to any investment. One thing I have learned over the years is that urban ministry is much more about investing than anything else…more about planting than harvesting. It’s about walking the streets to find that one available piece of fertile dirt, perhaps hidden behind a graffiti covered wall or some barbed wire. It’s about digging deep in my pocket for that seed, then casting it, maybe not even believing myself that it will take root. The planting is hot and exhausting, it’s relentless and it feels like it will […]

Mini Cart 0

Your cart is empty.