His Love is Steadfast // January 2018 Update

Hello, all!
And just like that, 2017 has come and gone. I hope everyone’s 2018 is off to a peaceful, positive start as we look forward to what God will do in and through each of us this year. 


Snowy Christmas

I was able to spend three glorious weeks in Ohio over the holidays to spend time with family and friends. Thank you for your prayers for safe travels-I had no issues with delays or lost luggage! Our Children’s Development Centers (CDC) are on break while the kids are out of school in December and January, so it was the perfect time to get away for a bit and hang out with some of my favorite people in the world. 

[ squeezing all I could out of my precious niece, Elaina ]

Gearing up for Mission Teams

Since getting back to El Salvador, I have definitely not had a lack of work to do as we are in full mission team planning mode! This is my first year as Missions Coordinator, so I’ve been learning a lot about the process of getting a missions team from the confirmation of the dates to the week they will be here serving with us.

I spend a lot of my time answering and translating e-mails between our international partners and local staff. I also work to coordinate all of the logistics for their time here (hotels, meals, transportation, activities, etc.). So far, we have seven teams confirmed to come this year with another 5ish potential teams. 

[ with last year’s team from CedarCreek Church in Toledo, Ohio; expecting the Lord to do great things in this year of mission teams to come! ]

CDC Enrollment Days 2018

The other big project I’ve been working on this month is with enrollment at our Children’s Development Centers. As our CDCs gear up to open for regular classes, our CDC Director Silvia de Turcios (also my host mom, Pastor Victor’s wife and all-around superwoman), hosted a parent’s meeting at both of our CDC’s. From there, the parents (or adult responsable for them–many of our children are taken care of by someone not their parent) enroll their children to be a part of our program for the year. 

As Child Sponsorship Coordinator, I am responsable for making sure that our class rosters are accurate and up-to-date. This helps me to send regular updates to our current sponsors and also promote sponsorship for our children that are currently in need of a sponsor! Sponsorship is the main source of finances used to pay for the CDCs’ monthly expenses (food, Salvadoran staff salaries, school supplies, etc.)

What really happens at our CDC? What does “sponsorship” mean? Well, sponsorship consists of a $45 monthly donation and provides four main benefits for the children in our program:

  1. Nutrition: a healthy, daily lunch and multivitamin
  2. Medical + Dental care: the children in our program can see the doctor at our on-site Total Health clinic and the dentist at our Dental Clinic for regular check-ups and free consultations as needed.
  3. Tutoring: provided by our full-time teachers. We are not a school, but we supplement the public school education our children receive, which very inferior to the one found in the States.
  4. JESUS!: We evangelize to all of our children and their families. We also run our CDC on Biblical principles and teach our children about what it looks like to live life according to Biblical values.
If you or anyone you know is interested in sponsoring a child at one of our CDCs, you can email me at ali.howard@reliant.org. You can also see the profiles of children currently in need of a sponsor on our website by clicking HERE!

[ you could make the difference in the life of a child like Katherine through sponsorship! ]

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

This year has already brought many new things into my life: my role as Missions Coordinator, a fresh haircut, and the yearly wave of motivation brought on by the New Year to “do better” in one or several areas of my life. As I started planning out goals and tasks to be done, I started to feel overwhelmed. Then, I was reminded of God’s Word.

His love is powerful and constant, and He is merciful. He’s okay if I don’t get everything perfectly right, He is just asking me to try. He asks for our best not to impress anyone else, but because He deserves it (Galatians 1:10). So, if you’ve felt like you’ve been drowning in resolutions or expectations for 2018, give yourself and little grace and take some time praying and asking for God to reveal what HE wants you to do this year


No matter how near or far you are from me, you guys are essential to my ministry work here in El Salvador. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!

Bendiciones,
Ali


Prayer Requests

  • For wisdom and discernment as I coordinate with our local team to plan for Mission Teams 2018.
  • For our children at the CDC–to start off the school year strong and be motivated to be diligent in their attendance at the CDC.
  • For myself–the shifting of responsibilities has made my schedule a little more unpredictable. Please pray that I can adjust quickly and find a good rhythm to honor my ministry responsibilities and time in my relationship with God.

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