In 2008, through our relationship with La Evangelica University, Iglesia Gran Comisión (IGC) discovered an extremely impoverished community called El Guayabo. It runs up the largest Volcano in San Salvador.
To get a better idea of the needs in the area, Pastor Victor Turcios and his team discovered that the people there were living in very poor conditions, many without beds, stoves, or enough food. On top of that, the community had no access to clean drinking water. The small community school served fifty-five children, had only one teacher who taught in a one-room schoolhouse made of sheet metal with a dirt floor without water or electricity.
In order to fulfill the community’s extreme needs, mission groups began helping by sponsoring and participating in medical campaigns, bringing much needed clothing and food, and constructing bunk beds. A key part of these outreach efforts was actively sharing the Gospel with the people in this community. In 2010 Pastor Victor Turcios and Carlos Goméz (Great Commission Foundation’s Director) traveled to the community and discussed developing a support center, which would serve both the school and the people in the community. In July 2010, under the direction of engineer Carlos Atilio Córdova (Pastor of Iglesia Gran Comisión, Soyapango), Sarah Meehan de Solórzano (former Mission Teams Coordinator) and our local church staff, and with the invaluable help of mission teams, we began construction on the Children’s Development Center in the Volcano.
After 4 years of great success at the CDC in the Volcano, the local church noticed the great needs of the children and youth in a city adjacent to San Salvador - Soyapango. Soyapango is known for its extremely high rates of gang activity and dysfunctional families. This contributes to a powerful gang mentality that attracts the youth of the city by promising them a family. Knowing this, the mission to open a new center started. After months of planning and raising support, the CDC Soyapango opened its doors to 52 children in August 2015. Our goal is to show the children of Soyapango that the family of God’s Kingdom is infinitely greater than any they could find in a gang.
At Iglesia Gran Comisión San Salvador, we are committed to helping the poor and hope to produce true life-change for the people we serve. In order to do this, we know that we have to meet physical needs (food, medical care, etc.) and more importantly spiritual needs through preaching of the Gospel. We are convinced that if we serve the poor and they trust in Christ, we will be able to positively influence them with Biblical values such as faith, diligence, and honesty. They will not only have food on the table, but they will also have the opportunity to develop as integral people. With this vision, we want to help the children at the Children’s Development Centers of the Volcano and Soyapango. Through serving these communities, we have the privilege of sharing the Gospel with the people and showing them that through Jesus Christ they can restore hope in their lives.
With the support of many people, we are able to currently minister to more than 225 children in both programs in the Volcano and Soyapango. We can only help these children and others like them with your support. A child cannot officially be registered to the Development Center until they have a financial sponsor. Would you please prayerfully consider supporting one of the children in the Volcano or Soyapango who so desperately needs your help?
How can a child thrive mentally, spiritually or emotionally if they are hungry? Each day, the children receive a healthy, balanced meal to promote their growth and development. For many of the children we serve, this is the only meal they can count on.
Through our partnership with Total Health, both Children’s Development Centers provide preventative and general medical care to each child in our program, dramatically improving their quality of life. They receive regular check-ups and have access to emergency care when needed.
A high percentage of the children’s parents cannot read and write. Therefore, they are unable help their children with their homework. For this reason, our CDI staff and volunteer tutors help the children with their homework and teach reinforcement classes based on the greatest academic needs of the children.
Every child will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ at the CDIs. We strive to show them through our actions that God’s love is real and that a dependence on God’s Word is crucial in developing a personal relationship with him.
Above all, our CDIs show the love of Christ that many children in El Salvador do not know. Numerous children in the Volcano and Soyapango come from homes where one or both parents have abandoned them or siblings have been taken by gang violence, creating the idea for them that love is conditional. Our staff, volunteers and mission teams work tirelessly to show these beautiful children that although the love of humans can and will fail us, the love of Christ is unconditional and Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. If at the end of the day, each child returns home knowing Jesus loves them, our work was successful.