Prayer Updates | February 2021

Hello, everyone!

I wanted to write a quick update to let you know about the prayer requests we sent out last month. Please read below for more information.

Karla

Thank you so much for your prayers for Karla from the Volcano CDI. We were saddened to hear that she attempted suicide at the end of January but are praising the Lord that she survived and was able to receive immediate care. The CDI director and her teacher both visited her home shortly after we heard the news. She seemed encouraged and grateful for the visit, prayers and support from the CDI.

Due to the pandemic, we do not have daily communication with our students and therefore were unaware of Karla’s declining mental state. We are so grateful that she is safe and that even though this is a very serious problem, we are able to monitor her more closely and pray for her often. Will you continue to pray for her? Being a teenager is difficult and that paired with the current financial state of the country has caused many people to face depression and anxiety.

Youth Small Group (Fast)

We are so happy to report that we received a great response from our 21-day fast as a small group in January. Many of the people in our youth group decided to fast social media, unhealthy foods, or toxic relationships to help draw them closer to God and His dreams for their lives. Chepe wanted to congratulate them by delivering a celebratory snack and note on the day the fast ended. 

Chepe and I feel refreshed after the fast, as we eliminated screen time apart from work. We originally planned to fast food, but then felt that God was asking us to focus on silence by cutting out the content that would often fill up our free time. I can say that I definitely felt more at peace and rested during this time. I was able to enjoy more of God’s creation and my time with Him in prayer because I didn’t have my usual habits to fall into. It also helped us to be more productive in our day and spend more quality time together!

We are also happy to say that we are beginning monthly in-person small group. We’re fortunate to have a beautiful outdoor space in our neighborhood so that everyone can feel safe and relaxed during these meetings.


CDI

We are joyful in continuing monthly food deliveries for the CDIs and love seeing the parents (and a few kiddos!) even for a short time. Many people are still suffering the effects of the pandemic on the national economy and are very grateful for the support that the CDI provides. If you are one of our child sponsors in the Volcano or in Soyapango—THANK YOU! You are a huge part of making these deliveries happen. There is still no word from the Ministry of Education about a possible date for schools to open in-person, so keep praying!

Elections

Yesterday, El Salvador conducted elections for congress and mayoral positions to be held for the next three years. The results are still not finalized, but I am grateful that we didn’t hear reports of violence at any polling location. The political environment has been tense leading up to this election, so our prayer for all Salvadorans has been to realize that our hope rests not in politicians, policies or government, but in the One that holds all power and deserves all glory. See the picture below for a fun cultural fact! After someone votes in El Salvador, their finger is stained with an ink that lasts a few days to prevent any double voting. Here’s what Chepe’s looks like a day after he voted.

HAVE A QUESTION FOR US?

We are hoping to do something a little different for next month’s update—BUT, we need your help! Please email (ali.howard12@gmail.com) or send a message with any questions you may have for us, about anything. We will compile all questions and answers into a video to send out next month. Your questions can be about missions, El Salvador, our marriage, my process of moving to El Salvador, our personal faith stories, etc. Thanks in advance for your help!

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, it means more to us than we could express in words!

Para Su gloria,
José and Ali

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