Fall 2018 Newsletter

“I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”

Proverbs 40:8

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)! In September CARP began its eighteenth year working with families in El Salvador – almost a generation! We thank the local pastors of Iglesia Cristiana Cristo Centro, Francis and Zulma Batarsé (San Salvador), Luis and Susy Paz (Sonsonate), Lupita Martínez (Agua Santa), and Néstor and Isela Herrera (Nahuilingo affiliate church) for their leadership and oversight. These faithful servants are on the front lines, and it is our privilege to help them. We are thankful for God’s blessings and the support of our sponsors and friends throughout the years, and we look forward to continuing His work in 2019.

If you are not familiar with CARP’s School Sponsorship Program, it helps students of low-income families finish their high-school education in a Christian school, when possible. Sponsors here in the U.S. help pay for registration, tuition, and school supplies, in addition to vitamins and a monthly food basket. The pastors advocate for those students from their congregations who are in need. We require students to have good attendance and participate in the activities of their congregations. They must also submit report cards and write letters to their sponsor. We visit the homes regularly to assess their progress and pray for the family.

Eight-year-old Benjamín Ramos with his new soccer ball. This is his second year in the CARP Project, and he wants to be a doctor or an engineer.  He likes to draw and play soccer.  He attends Sunday school and loves the Word of God. In 2019 he will be in the third grade, and he excels in his studies.

We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God ”
Psalm 20:5

Pastor Francis Batarsé visited Maryland in February 2018. He shared this at El Shaddai: In El Salvador we have an insufficient investment in the area of education; thus, it is deficient. For this reason, there is a high degree of school desertion, which is more evident in the seventh grade. This has generated the opportunity for private schools with the greatest commitment to raise the quality of education and avoid desertion. This improvement has its costs in textbooks, bilingual studies, computer training, the commitment of teachers in the development of the student, and above all, physical safety. The country lives in moments of much turbulence; the youth are the target of gang violence. To be young in El Salvador is almost a crime.

Pastor Francis & Pastor Todd Westphal, El Shaddai Congregation.

CARP meeting: We prayed for Pastor Francis, his family, and the project.

Pastor Francis was blessed to preach at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Frederick, MD: Rev. William Wilson, Pastors Patrick & Ginger, Pastor Francis, Pastor Luke Robinson, & Rev. Shirley Parker. 

Bulldog Tenacity Does Not Quit!

Each year opens up new challenges and opportunities; and as one of our sponsors would say, “Bulldog tenacity does not quit!” In the 2018 school year, sixteen students were sponsored in the CARP Project. Fátima Alvarenga (Nahuilingo) and Melody Paz (Sonsonate) joined CARP in January 2018; and Fernando Jiménez (Agua Santa) began in April. For 2019, Ashley Durán will start Kindergarten, and Ernesto Fuentes (San Salvador) will begin first grade. Ashley Herrera (Sonsonate) will start sixth grade. 

Ashley Herrera

Ashley Durán

Ernesto Fuentes

Fátima Alvarenga

Fernando Jiménez

Melody Paz

“Consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua” (Romans 6:11).

 

Last December Walter Ascencio graduated from high school; now he just finished the first year of aeronautical engineering at Don Bosco University. Our friend Jan Palczewski (El Shaddai Congregation, Frederick, MD) traveled with us to attend the graduation. In April Alejandro Trigueros graduated with a Master’s degree in Information Systems Engineering from the Evangelical University in San Salvador. This December Josué Tejada will graduate – the forty-first high school graduate! God has been faithful to supply the needs of each family.

Significant efforts have been made to help the students progress in their studies, as well as their personal life. Recently, a group of teens participated in the Ropes Challenge Course. This is an outdoor activity focused on group dynamics and interpersonal skills, leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and trust. We feel confident that this experience will be a stepping stone in their spiritual development as they grow and mature in the Messiah.

In Philippians 2:12b-13 (AMP), the Apostle Paul exhorts, “…Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” When we give our will to God and trust Him to help us, He gives us miraculous contentment, direction, and strength to do the exact things He wants us to do!

Daily life is a challenge for some families due to finances, illness, or an unexpected death in the family; but we are encouraged to see them press on toward the goal in Messiah. None of us is perfect before we come to Yeshua, but we are living testimony of His presence and His work: Ephesians 2:10 (AMP), “For we are God’s handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Messiah Yeshua [born anew], that we may do those good works which God predestined for us….”  

Sponsor Jan traveled with us for Walter’s graduation in December 2017.

Josué Tejada will graduate in December 2018.

Alejandro Trigueros, his parents & Pastor Francis in April 2018.

Tatiana Escobar celebrated her long-awaited quinceañera in April with a party at the church.

Camila Cerén is always elated by the cards and letters she receives from the youth at El Shaddai Congregation.

Ropes Challenge Course

Significant efforts have been made to help the students progress in their studies, as well as their personal life. Recently, a group of teens participated in the Ropes Challenge Course. This is an outdoor activity focused on group dynamics and interpersonal skills, leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and trust. We feel confident that this experience will be a stepping stone in their spiritual development as they grow and mature in the Messiah.

Walter and Alejandro working as a team.

Pastor Francis with Ropes Course participants, 8.18.

“I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”

Proverbs 40:8

I recently read a verse from Zechariah 3:2, and compared it with our life: We are “brands [sticks] plucked out of the fire.” Before we knew the Lord, we were rough around the edges, fighting God, disregarding His instruction, flaunting our sin, and ignorant of His grace, love and mercy. Now our sin is covered by Yeshua’s blood; it’s forgiven and wiped away. We are free and clothed with rich garments of salvation, robes of righteousness to the glory of our Father.

It’s gratifying to see how far some of the students have come. By faith in Jesus, they endure abandonment, hardship, separation, and suffering in life; but trusting that the Lord is on their side and works all things for good, they thrive. We can’t even compare their life to ours; theirs is not one of convenience and comfort. But the more they persevere in their studies and life as believers, the more victory they see. We are proud in the Lord when we look at their lives, their overcoming spirit, and persistent tenacity.

“My Community My Space,” a rehabilitation and restoration plan for the neighborhood around the San Salvador church, has started up. At present they are still working on a design to create a recreational “green space” near the busy avenue. In addition, a group of twenty-one youth are being trained in the cultural and entrepreneurial dimensions of food systems and cuisine.  

Our thanks to four schools that donated children’s and adults’ shoes this year: Frederick Country Day Montessori; The Children’s Center Montessori in Germantown and Rockville; and the Calvary Day School, Frederick, MD (photo below). 

We continue our visits to Benjamin Bloom Children’s Hospital, FUNCIR, where we donate vitamins for the kidney patients. Our prayers bring hope and relief to the director and his assistant. Please contact us if you would like to help them.

Each December the nursing, med students, and some professionals of Cristo Centro’s San Salvador Church help conduct a health fair for members and the public: height, weight, blood pressure, and diabetes testing. We usually see from 50 to 100 people; and for some in the community, this is the first medical attention they have received.

Ginger with Víctor & Pamela

The visit to FUNCIR made a deep impression on Jan (with Pastor Francis, Director Rodolfo Rivera and Assistant Lupita Macías), 12.17

Medical student Francis Batarsé, Jr., takes a blood sample from his Uncle Erasmo

CARP’s Continuing Work

God is still calling us to work in El Salvador! 1 Cor. 15:58 says, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” We work for Him, and His rewards are the best. And besides, they are a witness to all that God is love and He is alive! Gifts to the CARP general fund are used for many of the students’ practical needs. Please contact us to go on a mission trip or sponsor a student.

May the Lord’s blessings of peace and provision be with you at year end and throughout 2019. We thank Him for always supplying the need.

 


God bless you all,
Pastors & CARP
Project Coordinators

IN MEMORY OF OUR DEAR SISTER, MARIALVA DE MATOS: Faithful friend, sponsor, and CARP supporter now resides with the Lord. We are thankful for her life and witness.

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