Fall 2015 Newsletter

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Central American Relief Project
A Ministry of El Shaddai Congregation

“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)! Through God’s grace and provision, the work of CARP continues to bear fruit for the Lord in El Salvador. Thank you for reading on; here is an update of our activities since the Spring 2014 newsletter. We traveled three times in 2014, accompanied by Tammy Woodward, El Shaddai Congregation, and Alicia Dunk, Church of the Redeemer, Frederick, MD. The upcoming trip in November 2015 will be the second one this year. Thank you, sponsors and friends, for your help in building up and ministering to the righteous remnant. We believe this applies to us: “To whom much has been given, more will be required…” (Luke 12:48).

In a country that continues to have economic, political, and social challenges, each student has a story – a history. Whether it be financial, familial, or medical, everyone’s suffering is unique. The twelve-year civil war, parents’ death, and immigration have taken a toll on the population of El Salvador; and in the past twenty years, many children have been abandoned or orphaned. Others might live in marginal communities threatened by gang violence, and some suffer from chronic illnesses. While most of the students in the CARP Project live either with their parents or next of kin, many families in El Salvador are headed only by women. For them there is financial overload and the struggle to feed, clothe and educate their children.

The Hebrew term for widow is almanah, derived from the word for “dumb, speechless,” a woman who no longer has anyone to speak up for her. The Hebrew term for orphan is yatom, and it comes from the word implying mutilation, a child whose hand has been figuratively cut off since there is no father to lead him with a helping hand (source: Jewish Core Values, Jesus and You, part 3, Jews for Jesus, August 2012). A child may not be a physical orphan, but he could certainly be an emotional one. God has given us understanding of these circumstances; and as believers in Yeshua, our mandate according to His Word is, “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3).

With much direction, encouragement, and guidance from Pastors Francis and Zulma Batarsé, from sponsors and us, we can see students rise above their circumstances, believe the truth of God’s Word, and boldly take the reins of their future. While we might question why things happen and the fairness of it all, we know that God is faithful to His children all over the world and that His Word is true. If we don’t see God in the problem, then we need to recognize His love and power in the solution, as it is written, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

The students and families in the Student Sponsorship Program are witnesses to God’s miraculous provision every day, and so their faith increases and their commitment to work hard to finish high school. Some will go for a college or technical degree, if they have the financial resources. This year twenty-seven sponsored students receive their school registration, tuition, monthly canasta básica (food staples), school supplies, and MannaBears® vitamins. We encourage them to keep up their grades, write letters to their sponsors, attend Sunday services, and Saturday youth group for middle and high school. This study group and curriculum come from CETI, the Theological Institute of Christian Studies.

Since our last newsletter in the spring of 2014, four students have graduated. They have all worked hard, and most of them are the first to graduate in their family.

In May 2015, we had the pleasure of attending the graduation of Josué Chávez (pictured at right) from an American school. He won a scholarship to study agronomy in Moscow.

Congratulations to all these students, their families, and their loyal sponsors! We know their education represents an effort on their part. Education is an investment in their future and the future of this nation. With the completion of this year, there have been thirty-four high school graduates.

Over the last thirteen years, we have faithfully answered the call of God in El Salvador to work and support the pastors who minister in San Salvador, Sonsonate, Santa Ana, and Quezaltepeque. God has opened many doors for us to meet the needs, and His supply has been nothing short of miraculous. In Sonsonate’s countryside, the Cristo Centro Church (Agua Santa – Resurrection) is getting an overhaul, the new structure built around the old one. In June of this year, Pastor Luis Paz showed us the progress: The roof was ready, and the workers were busy preparing to demolish the old structure. Thanks to all who gave to this project! It will supply a beautiful, dry and safe place for our fellow believers to worship God.

In Quezaltepeque Pastor Saúl Henríquez and the soccer coaches minister to at-risk children from severely disintegrated families. The day we were there, we counted thirty-five youngsters who regularly come to the church for meals, devotions, and literacy instruction (many do not attend school). Some of these children do not have fathers, but we as believers stand in for our heavenly Father and witness the power of love to heal the pain in their lives and bring hope and restoration. Many of the children are beginning to believe that they are accepted in the Beloved – loved by God.

In May 2015 we took donations to buy shoes for the soccer team, seen here in the photo. We are thankful to all of you who responded to this need! Team sports give the children a sense of belonging – a family so to speak – keep them busy, and help them resist the temptation to get involved with gangs. Later we watched the team in action at the town’s main field.

In August 2014 we held a health fair at the church in Quezaltepeque. Three doctors and a health professional were on site for individual consultations and prescribed medicine for each patient. The youth from Cristo Centro in San Salvador, three professional health workers, and our mission team participated in blood testing for diabetes and blood-pressure readings.

Health fairs are now part of most CARP mission trips. In December 2014, members of Cristo Centro San Salvador set up medical stations in the lot adjoining the church. It was the day of the congregation’s anniversary, and so many people came from Sonsonate and Santa Ana to attend the celebration. The testing was free, and people could take home printed information about diet and disease prevention. It also gave congregational members who are nurses or nursing students a chance to serve others and practice their skills. Our plan is to have another health fair in December 2015. We continue to thank God for the families from El Shaddai Congregation who donated the machines and supplies.

The younger children could not hold back their enthusiasm to try on the shoes donated by students at Frederick Country Day Montessori School, Frederick, MD. These four little girls were overjoyed to try them all; they’re pictured on the right with their selections.

So many people have blessed the families in the CARP Project with clothes, household items, and shoes. In addition, they give toward adult multivitamins for some of the older students and their parents. We have been taking donations of calcium with D-3 and 3M Micropore tape to the kidney patients at Benjamin Bloom Children’s Hospital. In June we visited The Foundation Against Chronic Renal Insufficiency (FUNCIR) director and his wife, Rodolfo and Cecilia Rivera, and office administrator Ana Lupita, who made a banner for us. Our friend Eduardo came to see us, too. He had a kidney transplant in 2004 and is doing very well, has finished high school, and has a job at a grocery store.

Again this year we give thanks for God’s miraculous provision for His people in El Salvador, especially the children. CARP is a hands-on ministry; we personally travel there to encourage believers and oversee the work. Our teams are always a blessing to those we visit, and we are thankful for the adventure and the work of the Holy Spirit as the team prays. Sponsors who travel with us get to see up close the work they are supporting. Alicia Dunk, a high-school senior from Maryland, went with us in August 2014 and again in June 2015. She is a talented videographer, and made a seven-minute video available to view at Alicia Dunk/El Salvador Mission 2015.

To the middle and high school youth group at El Shaddai Congregation, thank you for sponsoring Alex, a fourth grader (pictured below center with his great grandmother). Please pray for him and his family, for health, protection, and provision. We know that many would like to travel with us but can’t, so we appreciate your financial support and prayers as we go out. God continues to fill our cup; He is our source and faithful supplier of our needs. In Philippians 2:3-4 it says, “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (The Message Bible). All the work of CARP is for the glory of God. It doesn’t matter if you graduate with honors and all the praises of men if God doesn’t get the glory. The Kingdom of God doesn’t consist of food and drink, material gain and selfish praise, “…but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can each life be enriched and have hope for the future.

God bless you all,

 

 

Pastors & CARP Project Coordinators

Eleven-year-old Tamara Chicas is new to the CARP Project. She’s an excellent student, likes to read her Bible, sing, and help around the house. She was baptized in May 2015.

Pastors Francis and Zulma Batarsé, Iglesia Cristiana Cristo Centro San Salvador, are directors of the Central American Relief Project in El Salvador.

Block walls go up around the rear of the church in Agua Santa, 8.14.

Work progresses on church façade in Agua Santa, Sonsonate, 6.15.

In May 2015 we took donations to buy shoes for the soccer team.

The team in action at the town’s main field.

Four little girls with shoes donated by students at Frederick Country Day Montessori School, Frederick, MD.

Please ask the Lord how you can make a difference by giving to CARP’s general fund for these needs:

  • Agua Santa Church – flooring pavers to complete the interior
  • Books (all students buy their own books)
  • College tuitions (eight students)
  • Reading glasses
  • Spanish Bibles for students and for seniors (large print)
  • Vitamins for Bloom Hospital kidney patients
  • 3M Micropore tape
  • Widow fund (we give each one $10 monthly)

“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

“You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God…” 2 Corinthians 9:11

December 2014 Graduates

Samuel Batarsé
Law School

Raquel Olivares
Health Field

Carlos Ponce
Fleet Auto Mechanic

José William García
Machinist

December 2015 Graduates

Ester Avendaño
Information Technology

Kevin Molina
Academy of Cuisine

José Batarsé
Academy of Cuisine/Math Teacher

Gabriela Rodríguez
Academy of Cuisine

Fátima Laínez
Nursing

Marisol Alvayero
Public Relations

The middle and high school youth group at El Shaddai Congregation sponsored Alex, a fourth grader (center with his great grandmother).

August 2014 – After the soccer game with Pastor Francis (center), Manuel, Ever, Marisol, Francis, Jr., Carlos, Josué, René, Marlene with René, Ivonne, Tammy, Alicia, and Pat (left to right).

Alicia Dunk taking blood-pressure readings while Tatiana records them.

Pat and Gaby take a blood sample, 8.14.

Patrick, Alicia, Ana Lupita, Ginger, Eduardo, Cecilia & Rodolfo at Bloom Hospital, 6.15.

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