Hola, amigos! This month, the needs have been great, but we trust in God’s divine plan and power to help those He loves (Romans 8:28). Please read below to know ways that you can keep praying for El Salvador.
Urgent Prayer Request – Dr. Julio Valencia
For our church and CDI family, the pandemic has hit close to home. Our dear friend, Dr. Julio Valencia, has been hospitalized since June 1st with life threatening symptoms associated with COVID-19. He is the doctor at our Total Health clinic at the Soyapango CDI and has spent his life serving others. A couple weeks ago, he was transferred to a hospital a few hours away because there was no ICU space nearby. Praise God, he has not needed intubation or a ventilator and over the last week his oxygen levels and symptoms have been improving. Please pray for Julio’s symptoms to continue improving and that he would be discharged from the hospital soon to be reunited with his family. Those that know Julio, know that he’s a joyful man always cracking jokes. Thanks to technology, he’s been connecting to our online church services and his spirits are very high.
Tropical Storm Amanda
The first week of June was met with major flooding and damage caused by Tropical Storm Amanda which was followed up by Tropical Depression Cristobal. Hundreds of families lost their homes and dozens of people were killed. As the storms hit 10 weeks into the stay-at-home order, it was a heavy blow to the country. Thankfully, all CDI and church families are safe although several suffered damage to their homes. Our CDI in the Volcano suffered some damage to the perimeter walls, which won’t be able to be fixed properly until the rainy season is over (probably November). The CDIs have been able to support some of the families affected and we plan on conducting surveys to evaluate more needs that can be met.
CDI Food Deliveries
On June 16th, El Salvador began phase one (of five) to re-open the economy, the last of which to go into effect in late August. Educational institutions (which include our CDIs) have not been mentioned in any of the phases but the Department of Education has said that in-person classes would not begin until 2021. The CDIs are praying and planning about ways that we can consistently support the CDI families now that we know we won’t be able to host children for several months. A large part of this plan will be providing food packages for the entire family (using the food budget that provided lunches for the children). The CDI teachers will continue providing tutoring and other support remotely through video/phone calls and messages when needed. They are also facilitating a devotional program that would replicate the devotionals the children would normally be doing with them in person.
Chepe and I have been able to help Silvia (CDIs Director) with food deliveries in the Volcano and Soyapango where we support about 150 families with food and hygiene products. Personally, it was so nice for us because these deliveries have been the only outings (other than Chepe to the grocery store) that we have made since mid-March. Despite that, it is far from normal as the parents are terrified of the sickness that surrounds them and worn out emotionally and physically from months of reduced or eliminated income. Thank you to everyone that is a child sponsor for the CDIs. The families have been so grateful for the help and your faithful giving is making that possible!
P L E A S E P R A Y
Dr. Julio Valencia’s healing:
For his COVID-19 symptoms to continue improving and that he would be released from the hospital soon to continue healing at home.
For God’s divine provision and protection as many have lost their jobs and others are starting to return to work as the economy slowly opens up.
Church (Iglesia Gran Comisión):
Due to the financial impact of quarantine, the church has been forced to give up their offices and are now searching for an affordable option to store all band equipment, church documents, etc. Please pray for God to provide the right place to rent. Based on the government’s re-opening plan and accompanying group restrictions, the pastors are praying about when we could begin in-person services and what that would look like, although they probably won’t be until September.
Pray for God to guide us as we plan the best ways to serve the children from afar. We are confident that as we adapt and learn new things, God is preparing us for all that we will face in the months and years to come.
Chepe and I:
Praise God, we are healthy and in good spirits as we too are finding ways to serve like never before. Please pray that God would provide divine creativity and motivation to help us take advantage of this unique time in ministry.
Para Su gloria,
José and Ali