Working Through the Local Church
The staff of Compassion El Salvador sees their role as similar to that of a bridesmaid helping a bride prepare for her wedding. The bride is the church. The bridesmaid helping her prepare for the arrival of the Bridegroom (Christ) is Compassion.
Rodolfo Mendez, pastor of a Compassion partner church, explains: “It is the church that has received the Great Commission. It is the church that has the duty to care for the widow and the orphan.” However, resources for poor churches to fulfill this sacred duty are scarce. That’s why Compassion comes alongside Pastor Mendez’s church, and 192 other churches in El Salvador, helping them to be what God has created them to be.
How Compassion Works in El Salvador
Compassion began working in El Salvador in 1977. Currently, more than 47,300 children participate in 193 child development centers.
Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide Salvadoran children with a long-term program of physical, educational, socio-emotional and spiritual development. Through this partnership between Compassion and local churches, children in need have the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and fulfill their potential in Christ.
The Role of a Partnership Facilitator
Liaisons between church partners and Compassion, Partnership Facilitators help partners be the best they can be at meeting the needs of the children they serve. Gladis Mejia, Partnership Facilitator for 12 church partners in San Salvador, says, “Basically, we establish relationships with church partners and support them in their different tasks.”
She adds, “Visits to church partners vary. I visit each partner at least once each quarter. Those that have recently opened or have new staff members or have pressing needs are visited more often.”
It is hard work for sure, but Gladis is dedicated to her mission of helping Compassion’s urban church partners provide opportunities for children to avoid the many bad influences in the city and escape poverty.