El Salvador church ministers to children in high-risk community
In a small church located in an area with high crime rates in El Salvador, a group of children and preteens are learning about God’s love.
Valle del Sol Iglesia del Nazareno has about 25 active members, and its building space is about 50 square meters. Every Sunday, a group of 25 to 30 children and preteens go to the church for Bible studies and a snack that the members of the church prepare for them. Only about 15 percent of the group are children of church members.
“We are in one of the most dangerous areas and continuously besieged by crime in our country on top of coming out of a difficult situation left by the pandemic,” said Jesus Montes, Nazarene Discipleship International president at Valle del Sol. "But we continue to glorify the name of God and are looking for ways to reach more people with the message of salvation and holiness.”
Cecilia Díaz, NDI coordinator at Valle del Sol, said the leaders desire that the children and pre-adolescents will learn to love and trust Jesus, enjoy being in the church in their free time, and become a blessing to their families who still do not know the Lord.
As is common in the community, children and adolescents are left alone all day since their parents or guardians go to work very early and return late at night. According to Diaz, the children’s living situations are precarious, so they make sure that the snacks they share with the group are very substantial.
"God has been good, and we have managed to maintain the children's attendance," Díaz said.
At the beginning of the pandemic, services and meetings were stopped, but the church board met to pray in the church. When the children and adolescents noticed it, they were anxious to their Bible classes again. So nine months after closure, the church resumed its meetings.
“Our service to God in this area was God's answer to our prayers,” Diaz said. “We have been surrounded by a blessing in the church with the children.”
Currently, 12 children attend the church on their own initiative, and every Sunday they arrive with their Bible and a masks, ready to receive their lesson.
"We pray and ask for your prayers so that God continues to provide the resources to work more and more with the community and that more people can know Jesus, bringing a transformation of holiness to this community with so many difficulties," Montes said.