Sometimes the fruit doesn't look like we expect it to
AFEBES honoring & caring for retired pastors
For all of you El Salvador lovers, I have exciting news!
After so many prayers, so many challenges, and so many attempts to “do partnership right”, we have fruits! Let me explain.
When I arrived in El Salvador in 2009, Marta of the Baptist Women’s Association of El Salvador (AFEBES) asked to have coffee and talk. We went to the famous Mr. Donut for café & pan dulce. I found Marta to be kind and very committed to the ministry of AFEBES. I also found her to be a “solver” and a person of integrity. Thus began our friendship and working relationship. Later, Marta invited me to come & see how AFEBES was ministering to women, children & seniors.
You should know that AFEBES is one of the oldest Salvadoran Baptist groups, and has my deep respect for serving faithfully in spite of divisions and economic hardship. What impresses me most is that, even though this gently aging group of women struggles to keep drawing in the younger generation (just like ABW groups in the States), they have clarity in their vision to raise up a new generation of leaders. This is no easy task since the entire child and youth population of El Salvador is automatically considered “at risk”.
Months after our first coffee, Marta approached wondering how she could find funding for a camp program for kids coming from difficult communities. We wrote a proposal, and through the generosity of White Cross, were able to find support for this program.
When I left El Salvador 11 months ago, one of my biggest joys was that we had been able to find annual funding for AFEBES social ministries, something they could count on each year. But then that joy soon turned to frustration when we got hung up in details. Project proposals didn’t fit the donor specifications. Visions weren’t aligning. Needs were great but the money was burning a hole in their pocket because they didn’t have the required approvals.
To my great joy, last week we worked out all of the hiccups, and AFEBES came to me with not one, but SIX excellent project proposals! Each project focuses on prevention and holistic well being for children, youth, and families in communities with limited resources. Within just a few days we were able to find funding for 5 of the projects and we continue to dream for the future.
Myself, and the women of AFEBES in El Salvador, are profoundly grateful for the generosity of White Cross, ABW, and for your generous gifts to international Ministries & our partners in mission. We rejoice in your faithfulness even when fruits seem to take a long time ripening.
Want to hear more about what AFEBES is doing in El Salvador? Check out their projects on the White Cross website for more info.