My name is Pastor Israel Pineda and I’d like to thank you for giving. Since my church and community leaders started receiving coaching from ENLACE in 2013, we have seen transformation in our hamlet of El Cocalito through physical improvements like a reduction of intestinal disease when we installed latrines. We have built homes for our neighbors and classrooms for our local school. Perhaps even more importantly, we have seen friendships formed between church members and our neighbors. We have experienced a transformed vision and motivation in our church to focus on serving others. And it’s not only me and my community that have this vision. Your support provides coaching for over 100 pastors throughout El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nepal propelling them to impact their communities by restoring relationships with the whole gospel of Christ’s love.
The impact of these pastors and churches is getting attention in other communities. Just two days ago I received a call from Pastor Jesús Garcia, in the Barra de Santiago community, asking me if ENLACE would accompany his church as they seek to serve their community. Churches like, Príncipe de Paz Church in Guatemala sense the Holy Spirit leading them to address needs both spiritual and physical in their community but the fear of critics and stepping out of institutional tradition seem overwhelming. They don’t know where to start. I remember feeling that way in the beginning. I had such a desire to do something but I didn’t have the resources to be able to see what to do. ENLACE opened my eyes, gave me tools, and backed us up so we could work in our community. I want to support other pastors in this way.
Recently I was part of a delegation of Salvadoran pastors who visited pastors in Guatemala. What a special time it was to share ideas and practices together. We had the chance to visit Atitlán Lake where we met a pastor who speaks several local indigenous dialects. He inspired me as I saw him struggle against the perceptions of his own congregation. They felt it was a sin for him to interact with non-believers. Yet still that hasn’t stopped him from becoming friends with the mayor, who he had there with him. I loved seeing this pastor’s commitment and desire to serve his community.
Your support equips pastors like my new friend in Guatemala to overcome odds and impact their community. When pastors are supported and coached they go on to lead initiatives that reduce disease, increase income through business opportunities, build much needed infrastructure to increase safety and accessibility to jobs and schools, and neighbors cultivate flourishing relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Your support of one pastor training his church and community leaders impacts 3,000 people in the surrounding community. Thank you. Thank you for believing in the power of the Church and investing in leaders around the globe.
In each country we engage with we have met pastors with a deep desire to love their neighbor in tangible ways but they haven’t known how to start with such limited resources and experience. Your support has empowered pastors like me and my colleague at Lake Atitlán to have the tools we need to bring the vision God has given us into reality in our communities.
If there was one thing I could say to our sisters and brothers in the United States, it is thank you for seeing the need that we have to serve our communities and helping us to do that work through your support, prayers, and visits.
As of today, 101 pastors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nepal are on a waiting list to be paired with an ENLACE Church and Community Coach. Pastor Jesús in the Barra de Santiago community calls me every week, because he is so motivated to serve, not only in the spiritual realm but also in the area of people’s physical needs. He says to me, “I would like for ENLACE to help me work together with my community to help those in need.” I do not want to start a new year with pastors who are ready to go but do not have access to the training needed to impact their community.
What are we waiting for?
It costs $21 a day to train a pastor and community leaders in one community. Between now and the end of the year would you help us eradicate our waiting list by providing $21 for a day, $105 for a week or $420 for a month of training for a pastor? Would you send a clear message to a pastor- “You don’t have to wait anymore!”
Like many of our ENLACE communities, our community in El Cocalito has many projects that we want to bring about to meet the many needs we see. We can’t do this alone. Please continue helping, praying, and giving because the reality is that we need it to carry to completion the work that God has given us that we are so willing to pour ourselves out for.
Pastor Israel Pineda
Aposento Alto Church- El Cocalito, El Salvador
P.S. You can help us say “Yes” to the 101 pastors waiting to be trained to impact their communities. Would you give $21 to provide a day of training for a pastor in 2018?