How can you justify telling a child that God loves them if that child is hungry, sick or spends the majority of their time alone at home because his father abandoned him and his mother leaves early to work every day? How can you tell that mother that God loves her when she doesn't have enough money to properly feed her child or buy him medicine that he needs and she had to get used to the pain of leaving him locked up alone in the house because she doesn't have anyone to help her watch him. That is one example of hundreds of heartbreaking stories of poor families on the San Salvador Volcano and in the city of Soyapango. For that reason, Great Commission Church in San Salvador founded two Children's Development Centers to give these families and their children hope and a place of opportunity. Now, more than 225 children receive a hearty daily meal, medical and dental care, tutoring and most importantly the opportunity to hear the gospel, receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and learn Biblical values that have the power to create dreams for a better future.
The process in the Volcano from empty land to construction to the CDC inauguration
The Children's Development Centers as places of hope and opportunities have been possible because of the support of many friends and partner churches. We always remember fondly those who were vital in the beginning stages of the CDC: Duane and Carol Smith, Brad and Annette Barret from Stonebrooke Church; Steve and Janice Onken, Greg and Mary St. Cyr, and Casely Essamuah from Bay Area Community Church; Chad and Katie Fisher, Nate Eckhart and John Ransom from Rock City Church; Bill Trout and Steve Hutmacher from CedarCreek Church; Trey Dunham, Kirk Hass and Karen Allen from City Church; Steve Hayes, Steve Gray and Lisandro Trevino from New Life Church. Thanks to many other leaders and members from each church that joined a visit with a Mission Team, including: Andy Gish, Dax and Kelli Welsheimer, Jamie Byrum, Rich Durflinger, Johnita Dickerson, Diek and Nylca VanDillen, Peter and Jessica Kuyatt, Jorge and Sarah Solorzano, Ron Dutton, Josh Shirlen, Jim and Cindy Casey, Kap Otten, Jon Kiser, Graig Austin, Kevin Rogan, Chris Gentz, Tony Pierson, Trevor Cuffe, Dr. Eva Gregory, Dr. Gene Bailey, Wendell Pohl, Kristina Walters, Chad Whisenant and Matt Baringer.
Even though some of those leaders have not been able to visit us again or the Lord has guided them to bless other needs in other parts of the world, each one of them along with the members of our local church are heroes for selflessly giving of their love, time and resources so that the children at our CDCs may have hope and place of opportunity.
The development of the facilities at our Volcano CDC is almost complete according to the 2020 plan. We are only missing the Workshop Center to house entrepreneurship and computer classes which will cost $40,000 to construct. However, the challenge always remains of maintaining the facilities and the most important thing is that our work with these children is long-term. Many of our children are currently in need of a sponsor and on average our sponsors are able to give for about two years before we need to find a new sponsor for them.
We pray that God would always move generous hearts of those in our local church, partner churches, their leaders and their members to promote child sponsorship, send Mission Teams to work with the children, support our medical and dental clinics and to keep opening new CDCs in the future.
Thank you to all of you who have been a part, are a part or will be a part in the future of founding and developing wonderful places that build hope and opportunities called: Children's Development Center.
Pamela from the Soyapango CDC Angel and David from the Volcano CDC