After her husband lost his job during the pandemic and then losing her sister a year ago this month, Felicita was in the depths of incredible pain and sadness. “But God never left us.”
Lightbrite Coffee Roasters is one of the miracles behind ENLACE’s new monthly giving program. It is the business that roasts our specialty Central American coffee each month, which is shipped to doorsteps across the U.S as a thank you for ongoing support.
Meet Joel Kelderman. He is a real estate investor and ENLACE Board Member. Read on to learn how Joel began to work with ENLACE and why he values its work of transformation in the world.
Finding trustworthy non profit organizations that truly make an impact in the world is as important today as ever. Even as the problems associated with the recent pandemic combine with long-standing issues of poverty creating a devastating blow to extremely vulnerable populations, opportunist organizations demonstrate a credibility gap, a vast difference between what is promised and what is delivered.
ENLACE was established in 1993 and has always strived to demonstrate its trustworthiness both financially and operationally. Every year, as our funding has grown alongside the number of churches and communities we serve, we’ve been so grateful to our donors for their faith in us and in our reporting. We are so thankful to be at the top of their charitable organizations list. This transparency will never cease. To this end, we invited ENLACE CFO Frederick McGough to address our most common questions with regards to ENLACE’s use of gifts.
For many of us there have been times in our lives that we’ve heard a story or met a person or come upon a situation and been moved to give money or donate from our own resources. At other times we have been so moved that we want to take on an even bigger role by advocating the cause to others. We have a conviction that if more people knew about this need, they would also want to help. The vision of seeing more and more people combine their resources to make an even greater impact is both exciting but also daunting.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 - New International Version (NIV)
Imagine a world in which curiosity and respect for others different from us were normal. What would it be like to live in a community that enjoyed diversity and welcomed a multiplicity of cultures? In some ways, it’s easy to imagine. I like being valued. I enjoy seeing others experience a life of peace and happiness. For me, as soon as I imagine it, my heart expands and my breathing actually feels deeper and easier.
One of the coolest things about working in community development for over 25 years is that you get to see and experience moments in which the world truly acts like a global community.
2019 was a topsy turvy year for many of us. It was a year full of heartache and hope across the globe. From ENLACE’s vantage point, the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border was an endless source of grief.
As parents and caregivers to children, we all identify at some point with Elizabeth Stone’s well-known quote, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
The first time we send our kids into the wild unknown at any stage--whether it be their first day of kindergarten, a first sleepover or trip to a summer camp, or dropping them off as 9th graders to High School and then saying goodbye at college--our hearts seem to simultaneously expand and contract with something close to physical pain as we contemplate all the potential experiences that they may navigate without us being present.
We know that obstacles will come in many forms, and we desperately hope they will be able to encounter, steer through, and emerge, if not stronger and wiser, at least whole. And when they do undergo painful experiences, the empathetic pain of our heart living outside our bodies is acute indeed.However, as we grow into our parenting, we come to realize very quickly that as much as we wish we could, we cannot fix every bad experience or minimize our children’s suffering. We are faced with our own limits, and we begin to come to terms with the fact that our ability to protect our children from heartaches, setbacks, and struggles can only extend so far.
1. the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
Homes Transform Lives for Generations
"Working alongside church leaders and volunteers in El Salvador as they helped to build homes in their own communities was an experience I'll never forget. I came on a missions team to help build a home. I left knowing that the heroes were all the women and men in the local church who, despite their own poverty, put the needs of their neighbors first. They gave up their time from work, donated tools, and helped with childcare to build homes together that will last these families a lifetime and beyond! I can’t imagine a better way to spend my vacation time!"
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
– Anais Nin
For just about all of us, it’s hard to imagine a life without friends. Some of the best ones have accompanied us through our lives in times of plenty and in seasons of difficulty. Others may have graced our lives for just a short while, but in that time something brilliant grew and we are forever changed.
The lauds to friendship are plentiful, and to most of us, as noted by the author Linda Grayson, the only thing better than a friend is a friend with chocolate.
There was a time early on in ENLACE’s history that Ron and I would host service mission teams without the incredible staff we now have. Those years were extremely demanding and, as in all small businesses/organizations, it was all hands on deck much of the time. So it was quite common for our children to accompany us as we navigated the roads and byways of El Salvador, facilitating service teams.