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INVITATION

They came in slowly at first, the ones we’ve been connecting with all year. Our friends facing addictions and trauma. The dear ones who are scrambling up the slope of healing from exploitation and years of abandonment, when hope slides away like rocks under their feet. The climb is steep and lonely and we’ve been in it together passing the ropes and sharing the load, hoping that we can do something. They came and took a seat at the table and smiled as we played the Christmas music and pulled out the games. Our clients at the Lighthouse Resource Center are also our friends and they come from all backgrounds…young to old; from years on the street to newly jobless or newly hopeless. We invited them in, and there was […]

COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS

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 […]

GROWING COMMUNITY

Pretty much everything I try to plant and grow dies. I don’t do a great job of pulling the weeds out at the right time, or giving the plants the right amount of water to drink. I don’t block the sun or allow it to shine in the right amounts. In short, I’m not very good at cultivating green things. When I think of cultivating I think of creating an environment where growth can happen. Setting things up, adding the right elements, taking the right obstacles away, and then setting the plants free to do their thing. I like to think that maybe community can work in a similar way. What if we could cultivate a community? Feed it, protect it, help it to grow? That would truly be something […]

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 […]

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