The last trip to El Salvador

For overr 20 years now I have kept in close touch with the two small Chrisitan Reformed Churches there, raising money for a church building, a pastors house and some land. Capital investing has been around $85,000. I’ve been making yearly trips and since 2008 have carried out a joint Word and Deed ministry project with the churches. Well over a hundred thousand dollars has supported Gospel witness and work there, as well as mentoring and encouragement of leaders.

But things change, and this Thursday (Jan. 25) I leave on my last trip there. I hope to do three things:

Re-align ministry patterns, and help the churches to enter a relationship with the national NGO Semillas de la Nueva Creación. (In English that is Seeds of a New Creation, which is also partially supported by Resonate Global Missions) Hopefully that will help the ES CRC form a closer link/bond with our denomination, and be on a more institutional footing. I do plan to be supportive of that with some fundraising, always via ARMA.

After leading a devotional next Monday at Semillas, I have plans to make a quick nostalgic side trip to Honduras. You all know of the office there of the Association for a more Just Society. In front of that new building is a tree planted with a plaque in recognition of my late brother Mark, a donor and Board member. I have long wanted to see that tree; I will also be visiting leaders of ASJ and of the Honduran CRC. (A side note; my visit coincides with the intial visit by the new Director of ASJ, Rev. Kyle Maynard-Schaap; pray for him in this new role.)

My last weekend in El Salvador, beside meeting with churches and leaders, I hope to participate for my sixth time as an International Observer for the country’s presidential election on February 4. That takes place every five years; this year is more complicated in that against the Constitution the current president Bukele is running for a second term. Look it up and read about that.

So I’m reporting this and am asking for your prayers for the trip, for my health (which is better), and that the Lord’s guidance and blessing will be in all the matters that will be dealt with.

While I will have access to my host’s computer/email, time likely won’t allow much correspondence. But I will try to respond to your emails along the way. And my prayers will be with you; I am much aware of your important role in that over these years.


-Lou W

We see through a glass darkly

We see through a glass darkly

“We see through a glass darkly” – St. Paul 

YOU  HAVE ACCESSED the home page of the North America support effort for the Christian Reformed Church of El Salvador, and other related ministries; “bienvenido“!  This support is in both mentoring and monetary dimensions, please join in prayer and partnership.


INTRODUCING myself and this ministry effort:  Yes, welcome to this site, from former missionary to El Salvador, Rev. Lou Wagenveld (D.Min.) 1995-1999.   Other places of service with wife Mary Anne have been Argentina (13 years), California (15), and Mexico (2).  Please spend a little while with me on these pages.

 BACKGROUND:  Some will remember the 12 year civil war in the 1980s, and the major earthquake of January 2001 in El Salvador that killed over 1000 people, most just a mile away from the Christian Reformed Church of Santa Tecla. The old colonial era building was so badly damaged it had to be razed to the ground.  This was a building that a Michigan work team had helped restore and refurbish just two years earlier and where a new congregation was forming.  During my time of ministry in El Salvador, I was privileged to meet and mentor two young leaders who have since been ordained:  Rev. Joaquin Ordonez and  Rev. Carlos Mejia. 
 Joaquin was leading the rural town church in Huizucar. Carlos in his initial contact with our mission,  made it plain that he is convinced that the Christian faith from a Reformed world and life view perspective is what his country very much needs. 

 THE LEADERS: With his small but growing congregation and new leaders in training, Rev. Mejia sees a hopeful future and a real role for the Reformed faith in Salvadoran life.  While the lack of an adequate facility severely hampered congregational life and growth, the new building has given them renewed vision and expectation (see below). The current President of the ES CRC is the recently ordained Rev. Ordonez, pastor in the rural town of Huizucar. 

 THE OPPORTUNITIES: We – you who read this and I – can help. If you love the reformed and evangelical faith, and have a heart for this small country and church, you can be part of the picture.  Next are two pictures of the new building to replace the old one in Santa Tecla (the city church).

After the earthquake of 2001 – promised help never came… 



 In the picture are some of the leaders; Pastor Carlos Mejia on the left, next to him elder and longtime leader Samuel Montano and wife. In the middle, in gray; yours truly, Lou Wagenveld.


 Dedication of the new building April 2006




 On the right is Rev. Eduardo Aparicio from the Costa Rican Christian Reformed Church, who earlier had examined and ordained Pastor Carlos. Later Pastor Aparicio helped prepare Joaquin Ordonez for ordination.


This is the front (notice the CRC symbol) of the Huizucar CR Church which was started in 1979.  It is led by Pastor Joaquin Ordonez (white shirt and cap) and his equally hard working wife Gloria Rosario (seated).  With elder Alfredo Palacios (blue shirt) they are leaving in the back of a pick up truck after the morning service to attend to another recently started church in Maria Victoria. The town of 4000 is the municipality for another 10,000 people living in small villages and hamlets scattered around in the hilly coffee plantations up to 3 hour walks away.  The name of the town in Nahuat means “Thorny Path” and the church has experienced some of that as well, so see the Christian School tab for more.