The close of the year brings natural moments for reflection. We think about where we’ve come this year, and about where we are going. The photo above was taken on Thanksgiving Day when we gathered together in the Lighthouse Resource Center to share a meal and reflect on all of the things we are thankful for. Our clients at the dinner, and our residents in New Dawn, had so many things to share.
They expressed gratitude for life, and opportunities, and the love and friendship they have received. They are thankful for hot meals and fresh starts and for Jesus. He is after all the one that makes it possible and our hearts center on him in this season as we reflect on Christmas and the light that he brings into our world and into our souls.
We are counting our blessings too as we reflect back on 2022, and we wanted to take a moment and share some of the biggest impacts that happened this year:
Five residents graduated from the New Dawn Residential Program. That is a new record and it marked our 20th graduation in the history of the program. We have been full all year long with a waiting list and over the last month we have welcomed two new residents. Drug and alcohol abuse is a crisis in El Salvador and we believe early intervention makes a big impact.
We launched six “lighthouses” into the community. With our first graduation from the “level system,” our program for change within the Lighthouse Resource Center, six “lighthouses” set out to make an impact in their families, their communities, and the lives of those around them. We are grateful for the opportunity to invest in these lives through Bible studies, therapy, job training, and so much more.
Seven survivors graduated from the Free The Girls project. Seven women received the training and care they needed for reintegration into new jobs and a new life outside of exploitation and the commercial sex industry. How amazing to see these women empowered and moving forward into a new kind of life.
Our Bible studies and spiritual resources have been growing. We have seen people eager to learn about God and know what his word says. We have also seen them encouraging one another in the midst of difficult moments on the street. This year, 32 clients made a decision to follow Jesus! We were able to add a Spiritual Life coordinator to our staff this year to continue to develop spiritual resources for both our programs to offer this support.
We have seen our therapeutic resources expanding. Our support groups for both men and women and our addiction support group have been expanding steadily all year. These groups provide support for those healing from trauma and addictions. We have also seen change and transformation happening through individual therapy in both of our programs. We had opportunities for several of our staff members to receive addiction training this year so that we can offer better support to our clients in recovery. Sometimes the process to healing takes times but it’s so worth the investment!
We paid off our building. After four years of making payments on our second building that houses the Lighthouse Resource Center and our administrative offices, we were able to make our final payment! It’s so exciting that Mission To El Salvador owns both buildings and has no debts.
This year as we count our blessings, we are certainly counting all of those who have donated, prayed, and volunteered with us this year. Our work is completely funded by donors so we thank you for your impact in El Salvador in 2022! It’s not too late to make an end of the year gift and help us get started on our 2023 impact! You can do that by visiting our donation page here.
Wow! 32 people making a decision to follow Jesus—praise God!