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 to have them back either! Here is what one of the boys’ mothers had to say about the pandemic:
“During the quarantine, we couldn’t open our stall in the market and we had to use our savings. I had to take my son back, but because of the support of New Dawn, I’ve noticed a lot of spiritual growth in my son. I dream of seeing him continue his academic process so he can finish high school and then go to the university.”
Of course the family dynamics changed, but this mother was able to witness the transformation of her son right before her eyes as he connected virtually each day with the New Dawn staff. Yes, they have suffered economic losses but they are dreaming of new things to come and working toward those goals. Her son actually just graduated and we will be continuing to work with their whole family as they move forward to regain what was lost for an even better future.
“Because of the COVID, I could reinvent myself.”
These words were said by Rafael, one of the men who stayed in the shelter. When our emergency COVID shelter closed, he made the commitment to continue on his recovery journey and we have continued to walk with him. He just celebrated six months of sobriety, and we couldn’t be prouder! For him, the opportunity to reinvent himself, to start fresh, has made all the difference in his life.
Rafael dreams of growing closer to God and looking for a job as a driver or a security guard in the future and we are committed to doing everything we can to help him get there!
For children, the long quarantine in El Salvador has meant that school has been a challenge. For parents attempting to somehow make ends meet and keep their kids in schools, things have been nearly impossible. Trying to do school on cell phones because there is no internet, or figuring out how to buy school supplies are just a few of the obstacles. But this hasn’t stopped moms from continuing to dream for their kids’ futures! One of our clients shares her own story of pandemic struggles and hopes:
“The truth is the being in quarantine, without being able to leave the house to work caused me a lot of stress and anxiety. We know we aren’t alone because God has put this place with so much blessing into our lives. My dreams are to finish fixing my house up, and to provide my daughters with what they need to continue forward through this. That is what I want most, and to keep growing as a person.”
Perhaps, the unexpected blessing of COVID has been the new relationships that we have formed. There were some members of our community that we didn’t know before March. One of them is Balmore. Now we have gotten to know him well, to see his young family grow, and to encourage him to stay sober and keep dreaming. Here is a glimpse into what he is dreaming about for the future:
“For the future I want to be able to have a house. Small, and pretty, but my own. I want a motorcycle for my family. I dream that my son will never know the dark side of life like I had to know. I want to teach him the way to live, and I want us to be a normal family.”
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about listening to all of these dreams is that they are so different and personal to each life! Throughout the roller coaster of this year we have worked to speak love and worth into the life of everyone that we serve. We want them to know that they are deeply loved and cared for by God and by us. Their lives have value and purpose. They can heal and they can plan to make things different…there is freedom for them. Freedom to grow, to reinvent themselves, to live differently and to dream about a new tomorrow.
If would like to partner with us as we work to help our clients keep dreaming, you can do so by clicking here! Thank you so much for your support!