“It can be a Salvadoran dream, or an American dream, but most important is to make sure we are aligning with God’s dreams,” shared Edgar Borja, Salvadoran ministry leader. Reflecting on their mission week, the group from Calvert Grace in Maryland was impacted by the dreams of the Peniel churches to meet practical life needs, while making opportunities to share the Gospel and grow disciples.
Education is crucial for the future of children. Accordingly, every church in the Peniel network either already has a school, or is in the process of growing one, starting from preschool. Parents who wish to enroll their children receive a significant tuition discount if they also attend church once a week. The mission team spent 4 afternoons doing teacher training and introducing effective teaching techniques. The team reported, “Before we left, teachers were already adapting new strategies to use in their classrooms.” Jobs are scarce, and competition is fierce. The Peniel churches have partnered with the government to create a job-training center. Although religious teaching is forbidden, breakfast is served to those who come early along with a Bible lesson and testimonies. And after the training, there are free ESL classes, which use the Bible as their textbook.
Soccer is a huge attraction in El Salvador. Churches develop their own leagues and for those willing to come to church once a week, all fees are waived. The Calvert Grace team brought a sports camp to the school at El Riel. In addition to Bible lessons, they rotated between 6 different sports, including Ga-ga ball, baseball, football and frisbee. They ended with giving each child their own soccer ball!
Team members reflected,
“We got to interact with a beautiful little girl and chose to sponsor her. I will always remember the light in her eyes, and later the joy radiating from the mother when they were informed of our sponsorship.”
“The children lined up and cheered for us. It was a hero’s welcome!”
“I was inspired by the Salvadorans to be intentional in meeting needs while sharing the Gospel.”
“Families, previously isolated due to violence and Covid, are coming out of the shadows. It’s a great time for STCH Ministries to be involved.”
Pray with us as we take the next steps in our partnership with the Peniel churches, and the future involvement of more partner teams.