Yesterday I was picked up by Partners Worldwide staff person Fabiola Bettaglio; I will be hosted by her family for the rest of my stay. After breakfast she will bring me to the Conference room where the FECLAI visiting observers will be given orientation and training. FECLAI is the Ecumenical Forum of Christian Churches in Latin America, and we will be will the Lutheran and Anglican coordinated group here in El Savador. I talked with a leader of the evangelicals but they have no such participation; yes, some are forming an ACTUA group to try to encourage more civic participation.
I will try to back in this site with more impressions, tomorrow. Meanwhile, in your brouwser, you can search for news about the elections in El Salvador. And let me know if you see anything on your local broadcast news, please. Do North Americans hear much about this? (I have been asked that….)
(For information on the Vocational School Project, please go to that page) Meanwhile, on the Word and Deed Project front, yesterday I met with ¨Comptroller Hugo Aguilar. He is meeting this evening with the two pastors to go over reports and plans; I will meet again with them later. There is progress. (later, whoops…no meeting: “difficulties”)
On Sunday I am invited to attend a special occasion; I think it is the 20th Anniversary of Emmanuel Church in San Martin. If I am to preach (usually a visiting pastor is expected to) I will use the old word Ebenezer – hitherto the Lord has helped us.
A church that was used years ago was the Drenth MI CRC; they gave a $2000 gift to put the roof on the building. Pray – I will spare you a long story – that a legal property dispute will get solved fraternally, and the church can move forward.
On Monday I will meet with Resonate´s (and Back to God Hour´s) Casa Semillas offices in San Salvador. Just today the Director, Gerardo Reyes, said on the phone “I have good news…” so I look forward to nudging forward a ball I got rolling during my October visit. Pray for Brenda Diaz, a new Resonate “Caminante” (cohort/intern) and her service with Semillas; great potential. She has already preached in the Santa Tecla CRC once.
Just today over lunch I was asked a spiritual hurt question. Opportunities to minister and accompany are endless. Your prayers are so valued as you there, I here, witness to the love of God in the Lord Jesus and the Kingdom
For several reasons, I was not able to visit El Salvador this past year: I hope to be able to do so in the first quarter of 2018. I have been in not totally regular contact with the pastors there, and with Hugo Aguilar, the Santa Tecla church member who coordinates the Word and Deed Project. Monies for that ($8,000/yr) have been sent on a regular quarterly basis.
ARMA (Association for Reformed Ministry Abroad) in Michigan is the non-profit funding channel that assists by receiving and disbursing donations, issuing tax-deductible receipts. Reporting from the Project committee is expected on a quarterly basis, corresponding to the funds sent the previous quarter and triggering the release of additional funds for the next period. While at times the reporting is uneven, I keep in touch and see satisfactory advances in the field.
A very interesting development the last couple of years is the presence of the Multiplication Network, which is our son John’s ministry out of Michigan. It trains leaders and encourages the planting of new churches, using methods and materials; both churches in El Salvador are participating. Joaquin in Huizucar has a small network of some 5 satelite groups in the outlying coffee growing areas Just recently 9 new converts were added to the church.
Pastor Joaquin’s energies are largely going into these efforts, leading to a decision to put the Vocational School project on hold. There just is not, apart from the economics of it, administrative capability at this time to proceed.
Disappointing to some, but realistic until the Lord points the way to being able to develop that adjacent lot that was purchased last year.
For Contact information or if you are inclined/led to give to support this Word and Deed Project, please click on “You can help”
Thank you. – Pastor Lou