To celebrate this Mother's day, ENLACE interviewed a mother and daughter who came together to El Salvador on a service team. Their story is one of courage and healing. ENLACE wishes Marlene and all courageous mother's around the globe, who set amazing examples of love for their children, a Happy Mother's Day!
Over the past several years, churches with whom we've worked have discovered that raising tilapia fish is an effective way to provide a high-quality source of protein for families and serves as an effective source of income when surplus tilapia is sold at market. Tilapia reach full maturity at only four months of age, and they require only two pounds of food to grow into a one-pound fish. Their speed of growth combined with strong local demand for this kind of fish provides a sustainable business opportunity for families who participate in the tilapia fish pond program. Many churches are hoping to help their neighbors build ponds this year. All contributions to the tilapia cultivation program provide the materials, fish, feed, and training required for a family to start its own tilapia business, allowing them to generate sustainable income and provide for their families.
A donation of $350 helps one family to eat better, live better and enjoy running their own business!
Meadowbrook Church in Champaign, IL, made their seventh trip to El Salvador to support community transformation in the region of San Martín. This year they were divided into two groups. A medical team provided health consultations to 399 patients and eye exams to 713 patients. Meanwhile, another group built eco-stoves benefiting about 55 people in the area. The support and friendship of Meadowbrook Church continues to foment amazing transformation. Thanks for serving alongside your beloved friends in El Salvador!
The roots of poverty are found in broken relationships. When the Church understands that its mission is to restore relationships to each other and to its community, miracles happen--homes are built, health is renewed, clean water flows, hearts are forever changed. It's happening now in El Salvador!
In the poor, rural village of La Estancia, a small church had a big vision: to provide healthcare to its surrounding population of 2,000 people. Two churches, one in the U.S. and one in Singapore, came alongside and helped to make this vision a reality. A new and improved clinic was inaugurated in January 2013. Watch this video to see what happens when churches befriend each other and support the mission to serve those in need.
The adventurous and socially aware Visual News, a collaborative online effort of Column Five Media, recently featured the Cooking Up Love eco-stove project for Valentine's Day. In this article, beautifully written by Benjamin Starr, Managing Editor of Visual News, you can discover the "spark" that brought ENLACE's eco-stoves into being.
Northeast Christian Church from Louisville, Kentucky, sent its first serving team to El Salvador to accompany the Tabernaculo Biblico Salem Church in El Espino. The nine-member team worked at the Miraflores Public School to help prepare the foundation for a perimeter wall which will make the property more secure and safe. The team also enjoyed spending time with community members during home visits and an even had time for an impromptu baseball game.
Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois sent their final serving team of 2012 to San Jacinto in the Santa Ana Region. The dedicated six-member team joined Zurisadai Church, helping with a water project and ministering to the people of the community as well. Team member Joy Bork said, "This experience really helped me see how the local church is the hope of the world. Through pairing together with ENLACE and Zurisadai, I was able to be a tangible representation of Christ's hands and feet in the community of San Jacinto."
As Head of Finance at CREDATEC, ENLACE’s credit union and sister organization in El Salvador, Israel Meléndez, 30, is the first person to acknowledge that there is much more to his job than providing small business loans to hardworking, poor entrepreneurs. “My role,” says Israel, "is not only to offer loans, but also to offer friendship to clients and to be someone they can count on...What I love most is motivating and coaching entrepreneurs and having the satisfaction of seeing that, with God's help and the support of CREDATEC, their businesses thrive."
Dreaming big despite humble beginnings is something of a theme for Israel. He was born in a rural community to small-scale farmers and despite their poverty, he had big plans. He worked his way through High School as a janitor at an elementary school, often sleeping on the couch when his work schedule became overloaded. As a recent High School graduate, he landed a job with a local development organization as a credit officer where he learned how to work with small business owners by providing loans. While working there, Israel heard about CREDATEC and got excited about the fact that he could help people grow their businesses with loans and technical assistance but also minister to them spiritually. He joined the CREDATEC team in June 2006. Soon after he began an MBA in Finance.
According to Ron Bueno, ENLACE’s director, “One of Israel’s greatest strengths is his innovative approach to marketing and sales. He also listens carefully to clients in order to help them create a solid plan that will grow their businesses.”