Winter 2021 Newsletter

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“It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect” Psalm 18:32

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). In Psalm 29:11 it says, “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” God has been faithful to His people in El Salvador during this difficult year. He makes all things possible! In the midst of the pandemic and a strict, 178-day lockdown, three students graduated from high school, and we added three more students for 2021.

The Lord orchestrated our time so that we could make one trip in March 2020. It was a productive trip and a full twenty-three days of work: We visited students in their homes; donated vitamins to the Bloom Children’s Hospital; gave away shoes; assessed a home in need of repair; programmed our informational meetings with CARP students and their families in San Salvador and Sonsonate; attended the last in-person church service; and helped a family move their store at the local mall.

On our last scheduled day, all the member pastors of Alliance International Ministries – AIM – came together for the ordination of Pastor Pedro Ramos, Chalchuapa, Santa Ana, northwest of the capital. His church is called Ministerio Cristiano Horeb (Horeb Christian Ministry), part of Cristo Centro. A rejoicing spirit of praise flowed from their church building that day. Horeb Church’s music instruction and sports ministries benefit children and youth involved or threatened by gang involvement.Camila, Ashley, Andrea, and Daniela are part of the worship dance ministry in Sonsonate. Andrea is new to the CARP Project for 2020 and will begin private school. She is the daughter of a 2006 CARP graduate, 12.18.

The CARP Sponsorship Program continues in 2021 with twenty-one sponsored students. Margarita Orellana is new this year, as well as Jonathan Daniel and Daniela Ramos, all from Santa Ana. We are excited to welcome them and thankful for their sponsors. In addition to tuition, they receive a monthly food basket, school supplies, and vitamins. Praise God, for He continues to bring the increase!

The ordination of Pastor Pedro Ramos by Pastor Francis Batarsé: Jonathan Daniel, Pastors Francis, Pedro, Evelin, & Daniela, 3.20

Margarita Abigail Orellana is new to the CARP Project. The seventh grader lives in the Department of Santa Ana, loves to draw, and care for her dogs and turtles. She wants to study graphic design.

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord”

Psalm 31:24

Food for Cristóbal, 6.20.

Food for Beatriz, 6.20.

Food baskets for Pastor Pedro’s congregation, 7.20.

Food supplies were scarce because shops were closed during the pandemic. But Pastor Francis received
help from the Quaker Friends of Canada, who donated eighty food baskets; and he delivered them personally to those in need in San Salvador, Sonsonate, and Santa Ana.

During the lockdown, Pastor Zulma, her daughter Ivonne, and granddaughter Nalani made goody bags for the children. In September Pastor Zulma delivered them in the neighborhood around the church. She was moved … some mothers cried with joy and gratitude as she approached.

Pastor Zulma with children from Tutunichapa, the neighborhood adjoining Cristo Centro Church, 9.20.

House Of Bread

After September, work continued at El Inicio (The Beginning) project near Acajutla, Sonsonate. Pastor Luis Paz’ wife Susy conducts literacy classes on-site (Special Preschool Program PEPE). Additionally, Casa Semilla (House of Seed) has supplied baking supplies, equipment, and an instructor for a start-up bakery at the small ranch; most of the students are women. The goal is to create a cottage industry and working farm to benefit the residents, all with the goal of discipleship, evangelism, and the establishment of another Cristo Centro congregation sometime in the future. We are praying that many will draw near to God and persevere in their new faith.

Bakery at El Inicio, 11.20.

GRADUATES

Three 2020 high school graduates have just begun their university studies this January: Fátima Alvarenga (nursing) and Judá Bermúdez (systems engineering) will attend the Evangelical University in San Salvador. Fernanda Hernández (software development engineering) will go to the Franciscan Superior Specialized School (ESFE) in Sonsonate.

El Salvador was locked down during our March trip until September. The police and military strictly enforced the quarantine, and most in-person activities of churches and families were suspended. Although some essential residents kept working, most spent six months without personal outside contact. Sunday services converted to a virtual platform. However, despite widespread job loss and layoffs, the CARP Ministry continued to pay tuitions and food. Casa Semilla (House of Seed) of the Reformed Church USA furnished start-up funds for six families so they could create small businesses.

Help For The Needy

Hurricanes Amanda and Cristóbal pounded El Salvador in late May: downed trees, high water, homes wrecked, mudslides, power outages. A year’s worth of rain fell in three days!

Cars floated down the street, 6.20.

Cars floated down the street, 6.20.

House demolished by hurricane Amanda, 6.20.

House demolished by hurricane Amanda, 6.20.

Waves engulfed the fishing pier at La Libertad on the Pacific Coast, 6.2

Waves engulfed the fishing pier at La Libertad on the Pacific Coast, 6.2

“It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).

 

Our thanks go to three schools that have supplied shoe donations for the past eight years: Frederick Country Day Montessori and The Children’s Center Montessori Schools in Germantown and Rockville, Maryland. We had the occasion to hand out some shoes in March.

Youth class at El Shaddai Congregation with their  cards for Camila, 12.19.

Youth class at El Shaddai Congregation with their cards for Camila, 12.19.

New shoes for the pastors’ little neighbor, 3.20.

New shoes for the pastors’ little neighbor, 3.20.

CARP’s Continuing Work

Pat and Ginger

Pastors Pat & Ginger Powers, El Shaddai Congregation Frederick, Maryland

Pastors Francis & Zulma Batarsé Iglesia Cristiana Cristo Centro San Salvador

Pastors Francis & Zulma Batarsé Iglesia Cristiana Cristo Centro San Salvador

Remembering back over this last year, there was so much to learn, so many habits to develop self-discipline, opportunities to help others, and ways to show the Lord’s love. The first exhortation was, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). This past year was not only a battle of our flesh, but our spirit to keep ourselves encouraged – animated and passionate, as it were – in the face of change. The world looks different now. We had to train our hearts to be steadfast in Him, not giving in to fear, but victorious and praising Him in the midst of the battle. Forgive us, Lord, if we were not still enough….

Tremendous thanks to our sponsors and supporters: With your contributions, we were able to finish the year well – and have sufficient stores to launch 2021. Please be in touch if you want to help financially, or with vitamins, or travel with us. Gifts to the CARP general fund are used for many of the students’ practical needs. We pray you have a blessed New Year 2021 in the Messiah’s love.

God bless you all,

 


God bless you all,
Pastors & CARP Project Coordinators

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