Last year, Transfiguration Lutheran Church Mission, and several Texas Lutheran churches brought hope and happiness to many poor families during Christmas time in El Salvador. We provided 1000 food baskets and toys for adults and children. In El Salvador, an average family is composed of five members. We helped to provide food for ten days, making a Christmas dinner possible for them. In total, we were able to feed 5000 people. Here is a video that shows the highlights of last year’s event.
We brought smiles and happiness to many children. Many of them for the first time experienced a special meal of Pollo Campero, enjoyed ice cream and toys. The average salary for about 40% of these households is $7 a day. They would never be able to afford the luxury of restaurant style food. No father or single mother would be able to pay $7 per meal for three children when that’s triple the amount they would make in a day. According to the Human Rights investigation of poverty, and other nonprofit organizations, in El Salvador, the cost of living for an individual is approximately $1 per day. That dollar is good enough to provide basic needs such as beans, rice and tortillas.
This year we are organizing another mission trip to El Salvador. The trip will take place January 27 to February 7, 2019. We are asking for money to provide medicine, food, clothing and wheelchairs for the elderly and handicapped. The need is urgent. Many hospitals are running out of medication. Children and elderly are dying because hospitals do not provide proper medication. The corrupt system and government leaders are the ones responsible for this problem, but they blame gangs for this social and economic violent situation. In the last 30 years, each presidential administration has stolen taxpayer dollars and international financial support. Some of them are in jail, others are hiding out in other Latin American countries.
As you might have heard, many Salvadorians and other Central Americans are seeking to get out of their own countries. It has been in our news a lot with talks about the caravan arriving to the United States border. Many families are coming in caravans, escaping from different kinds of violence. Jesus said, “You will always have poor in your midst.” Furthermore, we have a great opportunity to help them with food and medicine.
Over the last ten months many unaccompanied children from El Salvador have come to the United States seeking food and shelter. Many of them are still living in tent camps in different places on the United States’ border.
I will tell you that the best feeling is to be present when people receive your gifts. I also encourage you to go with me to El Salvador during this time. Proverbs 22:9 shares: “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
For more information, if you want to participate in this humanitarian effort, or learn of specific prayer needs, please call me at 214-287-8590. Also, you can reach me via email at [email protected].
Pastor Pedro Portillo, Transfiguration Lutheran Church