I have many supporters, and many critics. Sometimes my best supporters are also my worst critics. I guess if I'm going to get criticized I'd rather it be done in love from those closest to me. When you open our website you see a picture of a line of children on a wall. Many have told me that it has been there too long and it's time to update it. I always say no. It's not just that I am being stubborn, but that picture means something to me and to the success of this ministry. When I first moved to El Salvador I looked to surround myself with good Christian friends. Like my Pastor, Curt Seaburg Victory Church, (victorychurch.ws if you are looking for an excellent church home or online sermon) always says "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future". I looked to surround myself with people who would support and encourage me in this ministry. Sadly I was shocked to see how many people who claimed to love and serve God took advantage of this naive gringa. Not only was I taken of advantage of (more than once I'm sorry to say) but I saw other ministries misusing funds and donations that were being sent to them to help the dear children of this country. It not only broke my heart, but it infuriated me. Of course when you are being taken advantage of, you don't recognize it immediately. It takes a moment (especially when your entire world as you know it has been flipped upside down and you find yourself lonely in a country where you don't speak the language). However, once I realized what was happening to me I quickly made changes and wised up. I asked God to help me to know the good from the bad and you know what? He sent me Oscar, A salvadorean who looks out for me. So, once I wised up I had a staff meeting. Well, it was really just coffee with the one friend who was helping me out at the time. He and I were talking about how messed up it was that so many took advantage of people's generosity. At that moment I told him that I didn't ever want that to be me. I didn't ever want our ministry to lose sight of what God's purpose is. I had no intention of becoming wealthy by obeying God and forming this ministry. I never wanted to take advantage of anyone who supported me. My friend and I prayed right there at the little wooden table in the pupusaria that we were in. We asked God to never let the temptation of money blur our reason for having this ministry. I remember my friend prayed and said "God always remind us where we came from and what our purpose is." So the picture on the first page of this website is a reminder to me. It was taken in the first community that I ever worked in. It includes the first group from Club Abide (although we didn't call it Club Abide back then. We didn't even call it Esther's Heart back then) It is also includes two children from the first mission team that ever visited us. It has our first sponsor children in it. It is a reminder of where we started. It reminds me of what our purpose is for being here. I never want to lose focus on what that is. (In loving memory of Victor whose life was taken way to soon. Your death inspires me to work harder to keep these children safe.)
To learn more about Oscar and Beth Alegria and their ministry in El Salvador, please click here!
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