Long Time No Talk! // March 2019

First of all, I’d like to apologize for skipping my February update! I had quite a few things catch up with me at the end of the month, but that just means this update will be fuller than usual! Thank you for your patience.


Mission Teams Update

I’ve loved getting back into missions season! We hosted an exploratory team from NorthRock church in Ann Arbor, Michigan who will be sending their first missions team ever to us later this year. It was great meeting them and of course we love sharing our passion for what God is doing here in San Salvador. 

[ NorthRock exploratory team getting in on the pupusa-making action! ]

Rock City Church in Columbus, Ohio sent the first team of the year just last week! It was such a breath of fresh air seeing old friends and meeting more people from my home church. In both Children’s Development Centers in Soyapango and the Volcano, the team built beds for children that have never had their own bed, shared the gospel with many, and gave new shoes to every child and staff member in our program–over 250 pairs of shoes!

Apart from all the extra help they bring with them, my favorite thing about mission teams is that they remind me of the “why”. By telling them my story and the story of the ministry here, God’s calling for me to continue serving here is reaffirmed and it helps me to reset my mindset when lots of tasks may sometimes distract me from the purposeof completing them.

Enjoy the pictures below and click on the link to see a recap video of their week serving with us–one of Chepe’s main responsibilities with mission teams.

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Rock City Team Recap Video!

Over the next few months, my main focus as Missions Coordinator will be to prep for the other seven teams we will be hosting by the end of the year! Please pray for wisdom as we look to plan out the teams’ agendas according to God’s will.


Child Sponsorship Update

As Child Sponsorship Coordinator, I’m in charge of keeping updated rosters for our Centers, which change at the beginning of each year. So, I’ve spent lots of computer time making sure to update all of our kids’ data as well as add all of our new children to the list. For all new children, I needed to make their profiles to send out to potential sponsors and to update our website. 

Take a look at all the children currently in need of a sponsor HERE as well as read more about our program. Would you join us in praying that God would provide sponsors for these children? A deficit in sponsorship means we aren’t able to serve these children as well as we would like, and we don’t have a lot of room to provide for extra or emergency needs. So, we are trusting God to make up the difference since we know He was the one to bring these specific kids to us!

[ with some of our little ones at the Volcano Center, many of whom are without a sponsor ]

Over the next couple of months, my main goals for the Sponsorship Program are:

  • promote sponsorship to help decrease the current Sponsorship deficit
  • send out the first of two yearly, individual child reports to sponsors (a project which in the past has taken at a least a month to complete)
  • continue to follow-up with children that have stopped attending the Center after the holidays to keep rosters updated

Holy Week Prep

Every year, members from all GCLA churches across Latin America come together in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a three-day conference. Taking advantage that most of Latin America has all of Holy Week as a national holiday, GCLA uses it as a time to connect those from different countries but all with the same passion for Jesus. This year, we will be heading to San Pedro Sula from April 17-20th to participate. We’re expecting over 50 people from our churches here in San Salvador and Soyapango to join us! 

Our youth small group (that Chepe has been leading since January), has been selling brownies and hosted a pupusa dinner to help cover part of the cost for those attending from our group. My contribution has been making over 20 batches of brownies! With seven people from our group attending, we’ve already hit our goal of raising enough to cover transportation costs! Praise the Lord!

[ one of many, many days of baking ]

Cultural Spotlight: Presidential Elections 2019

In early February, El Salvador elected a new president – Nayib Bukele. Nayib was an unexpected and polarizing figure in the race, and members of our church have varying opinions about who was the most qualified candidate. Because of the volatile nature of recent elections in Central America (Honduras, Nicaragua, etc.), there was some concern that similar riots or fraud could take place here. Praise the Lord that nothing like that occurred!

Personally, I stay out of political discussions here because regardless of who is in charge of the government, my mission and purpose for being here remain the same. Despite that, I  pray that the Lord would find ways to bend Nayib’s ear to His voice and that new ideas would ultimately improve the economic and international status of El Salvador. 

Would you join me in praying for El Salvador’s leaders, economy and relationship with the international community–especially with the United States? Gracias!

[ Nayib speaking with US Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Manes, shorting after the election ]

Thank you!

Chepe and I wanted to thank all of you for your kind words and well wishes in this new season of being engaged. We are loving this stage of life and are so excited about our wedding this fall!

We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to continue serving the local church here and advancing the gospel in San Salvador in the years to come! Please pray for us as we prepare our hearts for marriage and that we would always stay sensitive to His leading.

Your support is essential to making this possible and we thank God for you daily!

Bendiciones mil,
Ali


 

Prayer Requests

  • For wisdom and discernment as I work to plan logistics for the seven mission teams we will host by the end of this year
  • For creativity and diligence in promoting Child Sponsorship in 2019
  • For safety and open minds as we travel to GCLA’s holy week conference, “Vertical” April 17-20 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • For Chepe and I to find balance in our schedules as we continue to serve full-time in ministry, prepare for marriage and plan our wedding!

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