Monday, May 27, 2013

Another Pastor Letter ~ El Salvador

Here is another pastor letter I received last week. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, please at least read the end.

Dear Kevin and Jill, 

My name is Arturo Klee, pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Church. We partner with the Israel Student Center, where your sponsored child, Luis, attends. The church and project are located in the coastal zone of El Salvador, in the municipality of San Luis Talpa, Department of La Paz, El Salvador.

I sincerely thank you for your sponsorship of Luis. This contributes to his joy and smiles. God will greatly reward your disposition to bless this child.

The church and project are only about 8 km away from the beaches of the Pacific, and the temperatures are of 27-30 degrees celcius. This is a zone for cultivation of sugar cane, working in cooperatives as a way of organization in the land administration. There are approximately 400 associated peasant farmers who are concentrated in small villages where most of the children and families of the project live. Due to their location, the villages are at high risk for flooding in the rainy season.

Most of the families work harvesting the sugar cane for four months (November-March). This work does not cover their basic economic needs, so they have to work as street vendors, making corn tortillas to sell - a work done especially by the mothers. Because of the families' economic situation, the children face an unbalanced diet. 

Family disintegration occurs when the parents leave the household looking for a job opportunity, and the children live with relatives. For this, many girls start being sexually involved at an early age, quitting school, and the young people are influenced by gangs. Because of the water contamination caused by pesticides, herbicides and chemicals, many suffer from kidney infections.

It is not easy to impact this reality, but as a church and project, we are God's tool to reach out to many children with the World of God. We remember that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, and depends not only on us, but on the power of God.

The project has been of great blessing for the children in the community to cover their many needs, not only materially but spiritually. When parents discover how the project works, they realize it is not only a place where children are cared for during the week, but a place where they are covered in the spiritual, cognitive, physical and socio-emotional areas. This benefits the behavior in the family.

There are 360 children enrolled in our center, and they received medical checkups, medication, and food. In the cognitive area, they received remedial courses and are helped with their homework. They participate in the workshops of computing and pinata making. They received birthday and Christmas presents, and they are being instructed in the Word of God, so that when they become adults, they can choose between good and bad in life, becoming different young people.

This project has impacted the work team because they know it contributes to the sowing of the World of God. They also work hard, knowing that every preparation is for the purpose of giving attention to the children under God's perspective. 

Our vision for our beneficiary children is to instill in them the knowledge of the Word of God, so that it will transform their lives, improving their spiritual conditions, accomplishing the promise in Matthew 6:33. As the children are impacted, we envision a community transformed for the Kingdom of God.

In this past year we had 10 visits where 40 children met their sponsors. We have also received approximately 900 letters. I want to state how important and interesting the letters from the sponsors are for our children. They enjoy receiving them, knowing that somebody far away loves them and makes them part of their families. We encourage children to pray for their sponsors. And we pray that this type of relationship will grow, so that both child and sponsor can be impacted by God's purpose. 

Thank you for your care for Luis. I thank God that through Compassion we can have one same feeling, one faith, one Savior, and that He can be manifested in our lives. "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

Sincerely, Arturo Klee

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