Fall 2012 Newsletter
Central American Relief Project
A Ministry of El Shaddai Congregation
“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Say not unto your neighbor, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when you have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28
Greetings to you in the name above all names, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah! It’s a blessing to write to you again and tell you of God’s work in El Salvador through CARP in conjunction with Cristo Centro Congregations. We want to update you on the activities of the past year and share with you that CARP just completed ten years of ministry in September. We have witnessed the Lord’s goodness in building up and providing for His Body of believers in Central America. Our thanks go to the sponsors and friends who continue to donate and use their talents to bless those in need. Jesus says, “For you always have the poor among you….” The epistle of James says we honor God with pure religion when we “visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need…” (Matthew 26:11, James 1:27). Thus we have our mandate and motivation to continue our work among the poor in Central America, bringing help and relief.
At our last writing (Nov. 2011), a hurricane had hit El Salvador, causing multiple, weather-related calamities and loss of life. The power, fury, and roar from heaven are frequent seasonal occurrences. This year the East Coast of the U.S. has been pounded not only by political storms, but also the physical plummeting of Hurricane Sandy. Many have lost homes and life, and now experience more than ever how much we need each other – and the Lord!
New work – Quetzaltepeque
This past summer we traveled to El Salvador with a team of three young women from El Shaddai Congregation: Patricia Briner, Gabrielle Freese, and Daniela Raymond. God opened doors and gave us even greater opportunities to be messengers of peace and carriers of provision. This year we took our children’s feeding program to a park behind the church in Quetzaltepeque. There we served breakfast to 200 youngsters, all children of gang members. Their daily home nutrition is somewhat meager; and so under the direction of Pastor Saúl Henríquez, his wife, and co-laborers, these children gather there to eat three times a week, in addition to sports, Bible reading and discipleship. We believe that with your help, we can assist the pastors to nourish these children physically and spiritually and stop the cycle of poverty and violence. We need sponsors for this work, and so if you can help with their monthly food budget of $265, please contact us.
Student Sponsorship, Education and Bible Training
Since September 2002, the CARP Project has continued the Student Sponsorship Program, which helps students with registration, monthly tuition, a canasta básica (monthly food basket), and vitamins. In ten years, twenty students have graduated from high school. Since the last newsletter in November 2011, four students graduated from high school; three of them are studying at the university level. Pastor Luke Robinson (Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Frederick, MD) traveled with us last December when we attended ninth grade and high school graduations.
This school year (January – December), thirty-five students have been in the project; in December three more will graduate: Ever Orellana from high school; Ricardo Pérez and Marisol Alvayero from college. For the 2013 school year, Gustavo Parada will join the Student Sponsorship Program. He is 15 years old and will begin eighth grade. He has a part-time job and goes to school in the afternoon. In addition, there are two students who will begin tenth grade (high school): Kevin Molina with a specialty in hospitality and tourism (he wants to be a chef), and Fátima Laínez, who will study for a commercial technical degree. It is exciting for us to see the variety of interests that the students have and rewarding to help them reach their dream.
Last December Cristo Centro San Salvador (Pastor Francis Batarsé) began remedial classes during the “summer” break. Students attend Saturday sessions in beginning computer science, English,language, math, and reading. This year they will initiate chess competitions. Then on Saturday afternoons, the youth gather for CETI (Center of Interdisciplinary Theological Studies), an evangelism and discipleship course.
Personal Ministry with Families
An important part of each mission trip is personal ministry to the students and their families. During our home visits this past August, the Lord used the El Shaddai team to encourage each individual family.
These visits are always the high point of our trip, and they provide opportunities to build relationships and grow fruit in team members’ lives. Since the Word of God is active, alive, and able to change hearts and minds, when we pray for people, we add our faith to theirs and apply the Word to their situation and need. We believe that prayer works: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through the Messiah Yeshua” ~ Philippians 4:6-7.
Opportunity to sow into a local family
On our schedule this past August was a visit to see six-year- old Sharlene (a sponsored student) and her family. Her dad is a musician and member of the worship team at Cristo Centro, and he has faithfully served in the congregation in that capacity for the past fifteen years. The family recently moved from a house in an undesirable part of the city to a piece of property given to them by a grandmother. There the family lives in a neat and orderly campsite. They are trying to earn enough to begin construction of a small house. The Lord put it on Pastor Francis’ heart to help Sharlene’s family get under cover, and we are currently gathering funds to begin the first phase of construction. It is advantageous to have an adequate house with four walls and doors that lock to protect them from the weather and intruders. If you can help supply some of the seed money necessary to begin construction, please contact us.
Benjamin Bloom Children’s Hospital
For the last eight years, the kidney ward at Bloom Hospital has been a regular stop on each mission trip. To lighten the load of the patients’ parents (most are single mothers), we take them vitamins (calcium, D3 and iron). Until children receive a kidney transplant, parents have to pay for their care, and it is prohibitively expensive. Life is hard: A mom or dad has to work, transport their child to appointments, hold down the home front, and try to earn enough money for treatments. Emotionally, it is devastating.
Gabrielle, Patricia, Daniela, and I were all allowed to enter the dialysis treatment ward and pray for the children. Gabrielle is pictured here with Roxana, a ten-year-old patient. The disease had robbed her hearing and speech faculties, but as we stood by her, she giggled and smiled. The parents and staff are always very receptive to our visits; our prayers are always received with tears of thanksgiving. These are a people who have put their hope in the living God!
We want to thank Pastors Francis, Zulma, Luis, and Susy, as well as our home Pastor Todd Westphal at El Shaddai, for ten years of fruitful work and a sound working relationship. As shepherds of their congregations, they know first-hand the needs of the people and the proper way to shape the ministry. We look forward to helping many more students in El Salvador. There is still much work to do, and so we pray that you will partner with us. We believe we are having an impact, and God is raising up a righteous generation. One-hundred percent of the money donated to CARP goes for the needs of the students and their families. We take nothing for airfare or salaries. This is a mission built on faith, and it is a good mission field in which to sow. Thank you for your continued concern and love for the students in El Salvador. Your blessings give their life hope, perspective, and a purpose. Heaven knows and we know how important these children’s lives are for the Kingdom of God.
We wish you a blessed Hanukkah and Christmas season. Yeshua is the Light of the World; God incarnate came to Earth and died to set us free! Whatever the New Year brings, His plans for you are good. “…the plans of Yahweh stand forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations” ~ Psalm 33:11.
God bless you all,
Pastors Patrick & Ginger Powers
CARP U.S. Project Coordinators
Yaquelin with her pet chicken, Agua Santa (Sonsonate), 8.12
Team members with Sharlene’s family, 8.12
Gabrielle with Roxana at Bloom Children’s Hospital, 8.12
Pastors Francis & Zulma Batarsé, Francis, Jr., and Ivonne, Cristo Centro San Salvador, 12.11
Pastor Luis & Susy Paz, Eleázar and Melody, Cristo Centro Sonsonate, 8.12
August 2012 team: Pastors Francis Batarsé, Ginger & Patrick Powers, Patricia Briner, Gabrielle Freese, and Daniela Raymond
“A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation. They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this ” Psalm 22:30-31
Gabrielle, Patricia and Daniela with one of the children, Quetzaltepeque, 8.12
One of the young boys enjoying his breakfast, 8.12
Pastors Luke Robinson, Francis Batarsé and Luis Paz with José Luis Juárez at his 9th grade graduation, Cantón Tonalá, Sonsonate, 12.11.
Pastor Robinson with Carlos Ponce and his mother, San Salvador, 12.11. Carlos also graduated from 9th grade.
Summer school studies at Cristo Centro, 12.11
The team prayed with Raquel for physical healing, 8.12
Alex and Claudia needed prayer for health and finances, 8. 12
Daniela and Patricia dressed to enter the kidney ward, 8.12