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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 […]

Working to Stop the Bleeding

As an organization our focus is primarily on development, utilizing a faith-based model with a focus on relationships, discipleship, and long-term commitment to our community. In January we were all excited about another year of working to help our clients continue to develop and grow. But then the whole world started bleeding. In El Salvador, we pivoted to staunch the flow. Our first move was to open an emergency shelter to provide a space for the homeless community to “shelter in place” when El Salvador went into martial law lockdown. We simultaneously pivoted to move the New Dawn Residential Program to a virtual model and suspended all of our regular programs. The order came to close emergency shelters and we pivoted once again to provide assisted housing and family reunification […]

Keeping Dreams Alive in El Salvador

This past year has been unprecedented, at least in our lifetimes. When we look back at January and see all that we planned and all that we hoped it’s almost ridiculous…we made plans and we had dreams with no idea what was in store. Perhaps it’s been more serious for you or your family…you lost a loved one or got sick yourself. Maybe you counted on a project or an account that never came through, or on making that sale, or keeping that job..and here you are in October and it feels like everything is gone. So many of our clients are in that exact position. For many of them they were just starting to get ahead for the very first time in their lives. They had begun building a […]

Sacred Celebrations

There are frivolous celebrations, and there are traditional ones. Other celebrations are because of routine, or obligation. Some are cultural or mandated by our families. And then there are celebrations that can’t be described as anything other than sacred. Sacred celebrations are the ones that hold an air of the miraculous, that send a shiver down the spine, and pushes tears to our eyes. These are the celebrations we thought we might never see, the ones that defy fear, and chaos, and the brokenness that’s unfolding in the backdrop. In our small corner of the world, we have had the true joy of experiencing two such sacred celebrations in recent days. Moments of healing and discovery…the honoring of new things, new beginnings, and new lives. The first was two weeks […]

Let’s Run Against Trafficking!

Human trafficking is a major issue facing our world today. Things like violence, poverty, gender-based violence, and family breakdown are all factors pushing vulnerable women, children, and even men into human trafficking in El Salvador. Many of those we serve are particularly vulnerable to this horrendous crime. Every year in Colorado, MTES has a team participate in the Justice Run to raise funds to support our efforts to fight human trafficking in El Salvador. Those efforts include support and reintegration for survivors, and resources for vulnerable populations to prevent trafficking in the first place. This year the Justice Run is going virtual! That means that any time from now until October 4th you can run or walk from anywhere in the world! We will be running here in El Salvador […]

When Success Means Faithfulness

  “God has not called me to be successful, He has called me to be faithful.”  – Mother Teresa How do you measure success in a pandemic? How can you even tell if you are carrying out your mission? Completing your work well? Completing your work at all? Somedays over the last five months have felt like a free fall. Then a stop. Adjust course. Fall again. Repeat. Changing circumstances, new normals, and complete upheaval have been standard operating procedure. First the shelter, then emergency relief, now finally…finally a reopening plan is in the works for us at Mission To El Salvador. But we still don’t know what things will look like in a month. All of our plans and projections for 2020 have been stripped away. The missions we […]

Obstacles and Opportunities

Today Christopher, coordinador of the New Dawn Residential Program, shares some of the ups and downs of developing a virtual program over the last months.  We are about to start our fifth month working virtually with the resdients of New Dawn and their families. There is no question that when our team began this process there were many doubts and umcertainties, but from the start we have seen God’s hand working in each one of the boys’ lives. The situation we have been through has put our program and staff to the test, and we have faced challenges that we’ve never seen before. We went from being a residential program to working 100% virtually. We are anxiously awaiting the day when we can return to our buildling and meet again […]

A Heartache of Pandemic Proportions

Last week in our virtual staff meeting we passed from one face to another checking in and hearing updates not only about work, but also about life. We are all experiencing the same painful things. Friends who have died, family members sick and suffering, weakened bodies from personal bouts with “the virus,” and the deep heartache of not being able to grieve alongside others who are ill and hurting. Our clients feel it too. Many of them have been sick, are hungry, and have no way to provide for their families. Heartache is spreading like a virus. In a culture where so much is lived in community, being apart is a poignant loss. Not grieving a death, praying together in person, or bringing chicken soup to a loved one’s bedside […]

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 […]

Human Touch

Thank you to Alexia, one of our coordinators at the Lighthouse Resource Center, for blogging today about her own thoughts and struggles working with our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. She provides great insight into unique challenges faced by Salvadorans during this time.  COVID-19 has been devastating to the world on so many levels that it’s impossible to focus on just one, but clearly one of the main ones is the way in which we relate to people. The famous “social distancing” has minimized physical contact. The use of masks, face shields, disposable gowns, and gloves have clearly marked how much people prefer (or should) distance themselves from others. The World Health Organization has created a campaign with short, but very significant phrases in order to make the world of […]

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