Friday, August 4, 2017

From the Field Friday: El Salvador

August has arrived. Part of me (or most of me) is mourning the fact that summer is almost over. My fun, carefree days with the nanny kids are drawing to an end. But alas, you are not here to listen to me whine about that. You are here to read another letter from a Compassion country director. Well, you have come to the right place!

Today we hear from the man who runs the offices in El Salvador. I have two girls in this country, my M&Ms; Mariela & Marilyn.


Dear Kayla, 

My name is Guillermo Munoz. God has blessed me since 2004, when I became the country director of this wonderful ministry. Everything we do helps the most marginalized, the most forgotten, and the most underestimated by our society: children in poverty. 

Guillermo Munoz 

Thank you for joining us in our fight against poverty and hopelessness. Your love, support, and faithfulness to Marilyn and Mariela make an eternal difference. I know sponsorship works. 

Compassion began working in El Salvador in 1977. We work with about 250 church partners, serving more than 60,000 children. Poverty hurts so deeply, and in the child development centers, children receive encouragement, vision, healthy food, medical treatment, vocational training, protection, and the love of God. 

Children Playing in Their Compassion Project 

El Salvador has gone through decades of militarism and civil war. Now, in the post-war period, more than 45 percent of the population lives in poverty. More than 20 percent of children under five suffer stunted growth. Our country has a low-quality public education system and low attendance due to violence. Also, more than 95 percent of the population lives in territory at risk from floods, mudslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tropical storms. Finally, our children live in one of the violent countries in the world. 

A Boy and His Mother in an Impoverished Neighborhood

Poverty tells our children there is no hope, no opportunity to have an education. They become targets of the gangs and never learn their identity in Christ. Amid these struggles, we find the local church has the vision, passion, heart, and unlimited love that only come from God. 

Our vision is to continue giving children the opportunity to rise about their circumstances and become all God created them to be. We provide programs focused on preventing children's involvement in violence, helping them to discover their potential skills and talents, and opening opportunities for academic reinforcement, workshops, and non-formal education. 

Children Take a Cooking Class at Their Compassion Project 

One example of transformational impacts is one of our pastors, who is so passionate and willing to work with the gangs. He just sits with them, sharing a meal, showing the love of Jesus, and telling them there is hope no matter who you are. Many gang members have surrendered their lives to Jesus and they send their children to the Compassion center. Now this new generation will not be the same, because they have hope! They are building an eternal relationship with God. 

A Girl Running Errands for Her Family 

Talking about relationship, the connection children have with their sponsors through letters is so valuable, because they feel loved, appreciated, and encouraged. I consider the loneliness of a 13 year old boy who doesn't have any siblings; his mom passed away, and his dad is in prison. His sponsors (a married couple) made him feeling like family despite the long distance between them. Their kind, loving words in letters encourage and bring him ope. This boy wants to be a civil engineer because his life was changed through letters from his sponsors. 

Children Writing Letters for Their Sponsors 

We believe in a better future where children can overcome poverty. We plants seeds of hope in each of them, and you are part of this through your constant care for Marilyn and Mariela. I want to express my deep gratitude for all the support we get from you. You give your sponsored children the love of God. Thank you! 

Please pray with us: Heavenly Father, give us wisdom, strength, and enough love to reach out and support children who suffer a lack of opportunities imposed by poverty. We pray for those threatened by violence. We pray for a strong and committed church that upholds the cause of children, and we pray for our sponsors, who lovingly join the mission of releasing children from poverty in the precious name of Jesus. 

Children in Their Compassion Classroom

Guillermo Munoz


Would you like to change the life of a child living in poverty in El Salvador? Would you consider sponsoring little Kevin? He is living with epilepsy and without the health care provided by Compassion, he likely would not have survived this long. Your $38 a month make a HUGE difference. 

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