Over the last number of years, it has been a privilege to meet various times with Ricardo Cisneros, the Ambassador of El Salvador to Canada. He is a welcoming and engaging representative of El Salvador, who understands the need for partnerships, while seeking to promote the resources and beauty of his home country.
During our most recent meeting, in Ottawa, Ambassador Cisneros was eager to receive an update on the work of Shelter. He knows how important it is to provide safe, secure housing that brings health and hope to families in need. It was a privilege to share with him, the positive momentum that Shelter is experiencing as we navigate this post-pandemic era. It was even more exciting to introduce him to our new Spanish language website, where among other things, he could literally see the photos of our leadership and growing staff. The evidence of our commitment to long-term self sustainability was undeniable, and so was his enthusiasm.
Showing the scope of Shelter's work in the region of San Vicente, El Salvador
His response was to simply ask: “What can I do to help?” - it’s a simple response, but no Ambassador has ever asked this before. It gave an opportunity to share the vision for Shelter, to build our 10,000th home within the next five years. This ambitious goal will see us build as many homes in the next five years, as we have in the previous 20 years, as the Lord is our Provider. Our request to the Ambassador: “Would you be willing to share our Spanish language website with the Salvadoran diaspora living in Canada?”
As we closed our time together, I shared with the Ambassador a couple of stories of families and communities transformed through the work of Shelter, by the grace of God. His response: “Could I go to one of these communities and meet these families?!” ...May the Lord bring this to pass, as we have established connection between his office and our El Salvador team. In these moments, we have learned to say that “God has a plan”! We are humbled to be a part of it. We are excited by what the Lord is doing and how He is leading in ways that go beyond what we can think of or imagine. And we invite you to find ways to participate in it!
(as published in the Shelter Helps Newsletter, June 30, 2023)
These articles are the result of having had the privilege of being involved in various kind of work, ministry and mission over the last 30 years. Since 2001, I have been serving on the pastoral staff of the SEMC in Sarnia, ON. In 2016 - graduated with a Doctor of Ministry in Global and International Leadership from George Fox University: http://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/dmin/137/