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WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO FOR OTHERS?

Today’s blog is shared by Christopher, our New Dawn Residential Program Director.  If you daily ask yourself what you are willing to do for others, you may come to find that your love for others becomes so great that it leads you to do the impossible. In the Bible, we find a similar story where some friends carried even their paralyzed friend to where Jesus was so that he could be healed. Their backgrounds and names are unknown. We don’t know where they went to church, or even if they belonged to any particular denomination. But this doesn’t matter, the Bible isn’t interested in giving us these details but rather in showing us what it is that they did. The emphasis is on the compassion and friendship that they had for […]

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 […]

TAKE HEART, DAUGHTER

  “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’  Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”                                         -Matthew 9:20-22 This passage illustrates something remarkable. It demonstrates Jesus’ care and concern for even the most intimate gynecological problems of women. Perhaps that seems insignificant, but to a woman suffering through the shame of long-term bleeding which ostracized her culturally and no doubt frustrated and discouraged her, it was everything. Gynecological […]

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 […]

RISK AND RESILIENCE IN EL SALVADOR

Every January people around the world talk about human trafficking…how to prevent it, the risks, how to identify it, and even how survivors work to overcome the traumas of being exploited. This year, as we mark Human Trafficking Awareness month, we once again turn to this issue here in our own context. In El Salvador, there are so many factors that make men, women, girls, and boys vulnerable to being trafficked. Poverty is a big one. If you are born into poverty, it’s nearly impossible to work your way out of it. Dreaming and planning for a different future just seems futile until someone comes into your town and promises you a chance in the city, or even in another country. Poverty makes people vulnerable to lies and manipulations of […]

GOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

“The Word became flesh and blood , and moved into the neighborhood.”  -John 1:14, the Message At Christmas, we celebrate the fact that Jesus moved into our neighborhood on a quiet night, in a humble and unassuming way. He stepped from the glory of heaven and down into the dirt and sorrow of life on earth. Our neighborhood is not always a pleasant place to be. There is grief here, and people get sick. Miscarriages happen, and marriages fall apart. Friendships end and tragedies take place and we are disappointed. But Jesus wanted to live here anyway because we were here…humans. He wanted to come to where we are, to show us love and glory and the only way to the Father. And that’s exactly what he did in the […]

CHANGE AT THE INTERSECTION OF PAIN AND BEAUTY

Salvadoran-American author Roberto Lovato describes El Salvador as “A tiny country of titanic sorrows.” Years of war, oppressive political regimes, crime, machismo, and gang violence have led to many sorrows. Despite these cultural and societal traumas, Salvadorans remain highly resilient, warm, caring, and kind. Pain and beauty exist side by side. In fact, the place where pain and beauty intersect is a place of opportunity.  Throughout this past year, our team has been moved more and more toward that intersection as we look for unique approaches to address these deep and historical wounds, along with the newer mental health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. For years, El Salvador has witnessed generational family brokenness contributing to addictions, ongoing issues with violence, human trafficking, problems with youth, gangs, poverty, domestic abuse, […]

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 […]

REBORN

Today’s guest blogger is MTES staff member, Cecilia Leiva de Benavides. Thank you Cecy for sharing! When we were little and talked to our siblings about what “super power” we wanted to have, there was one power that was the most desired, and that was to go back and travel through time. I think that more than once, even as adults, we have had the desire to go back in time and think of all that we could do if that was possible. That way we could correct actions that brought us unpleasant consequences, actions that have destroyed moments that could have been lovely memories, or actions that have wounded people that we really love. That was the wish of one of our clients whose son is still a baby, […]

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