This week we read some sad statistics about El Salvador. This past Sunday, there were a record 23 homicides in the country of El Salvador in one day alone. In the first six days of June, 85 people were killed. The average number of homicides each day in El Salvador has been bumped up to 14 per day. That’s fourteen people each day literally dying in the streets of El Salvador. And this is a country of only 7 million people. El Salvador consistently has one of the highest homicide rates in the world.
These statistics make me sick to my stomach and they break my heart. Jon personally saw one of the “14 per day” last week in Apopa. A teenager dead on the street, lying in a pool of blood…shot dead, a victim of gang violence. Gangs are a huge contributer to this problem. Other factors include the disintegration of the family, a huge chasm between the rich and poor, and the wide availability of guns due to the civil conflict that happened here in the 80s and early 90s.
The thing that saddens me the most is that the problem seems absolutely overwhelming. What can we do? We are glad to be a part of Youth With A Mission El Salvador because they are developing programs in some of the worst areas of gang violence such as Apopa. Programs targeted to reach the youth who are those most likely to enter a life of crime and violence. But we are few, and the problem is large. We need more staff and we need more resources. Please pray that we would receive more funding for our base, and that more men and women would consider joining our team.
Please also pray for unity among the ministries that exist here. Pray that we would find ways to network, work together, and tackle this problem head on. Please pray for safety for the workers. We are very careful to stay safe in this city, but to reach those who fall victim we need to work in some dangerous areas.
And please, please pray for the youth of El Salvador. Fourteen of them are dying every day.