Since you were all so faithful to support and pray for me, I would like to show you what you helped accomplish.
We were sent on a mission to capture stories of our innovative staff around the world. These men and women work tirelessly to help release children from poverty, in Jesus’ name.
Check out my quick summary of each country:
The project we visited was on the outskirts of the Kibera slum. This is the second largest slum in the world housing over 170,000 people living on less than a dollar a day.
Our Church partner had survived the 2009 political riots where many of their offices and buildings were burned down. They lost half their land to Muslims who took over their soccer field and playground and they also lost child information for over 200 children. Once they had relocated the kids (a challenge since no one has an address) they created a computer program to store all child data in case this ever happens again.
We visited a remote fishing village on the sea. It seemed that the red dirt spanned as far as the sea itself in each direction. This community had no access to the outside world, other than through television and magazines. It was our assignment to tell the story of a Church partner that created a computer lab that not only allowed sponsored children to learn, but the whole community as well.
Our staff at the Manado office has the highest employee engagement scores in the entire organization, according to a yearly, Gallup survey. This staff are hard working, clever, innovative and they absolutely love each other. I made the most incredible friends here and hope to return someday. Our story was to talk about how they have found ways to work in small teams to accomplish more and do it efficiently.
This trip was the most difficult to process. In a 3.1 mile radius, there are over 5,000 commercial sex workers. Our project was located right in the hear of that circle. The children that attend the have no fathers and the mothers are very difficult to reach. They are mostly slaves and were either sold into the business or inherited it from their mothers. Just outside the church men would park their motorcycles and go visit the women. They wore head scarves to hide their faces.
The women stand outside the doors to their rooms and on the opposite side of the street are their pimps and bodyguards. They are aware and ready to react anytime the police or unwelcome characters come calling.
We had to hire a contractor to shoot on the streets because it was so dangerous. I hope to tell this story well and honor the fearless project workers that go onto the streets and bring hope to the people.
Our children face two fates: boys are beaten and shoved to the side while girls are protected in order to take over the business for their moms. Both need prayer, both need hope, and all need protection.
I feel in love with this city the moment we landed. It is huge, gorgeous, and culturally rich. But the poverty here is overwhelming and the malnourishment is rampant. We visited many churches in the rule parts of Toluca. I saw 16 year old girls that looked like they were 10 but I also saw joy. These children were so talented and funny and holy smokes, could they ever play soccer!
Our story was about our partnerships with organizations that specialized in de-worming and nutrition supplements. Once the children were healed from the parasites, their bodies were able to absorb nutrition. We heard countless stories of children who started growing again and gaining weight.
Our brilliant staff in this country have created an online training system to save some serious dollars and keep project workers motivated and knowledgeable about their jobs. San Salvador is a very dangerous city and it is difficult for many of the women to get there to learn. So this is really going to help keep our staff engaged!