We were sitting in a small restaurant eating the famous El Salvadorian “papusas” when an American visitor asked Humberto Alferez, Sports Outreach Ministry Director in El Salvador, “Your work is so difficult. What is a normal day like for you and the Sports Outreach team?” Humberto smiled his crooked grin and with a twinkle in his eye he answered her question with a question. “Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling overwhelmed by fear of the unknown? Fear of your to-do list? Fear that you won’t be able to handle the day?”
Like most of us would have done, the visitor simply nodded her head and said “Yes!” Humberto’s next words were spot on, simply summarizing what it is to serve others. He said, “Sister, if we were planning our lives and our own days, we would not pick the tasks that God assigns to us. We would play it safe. We would do something we think we could manage. My staff—we feel empowered by God to do the things we cannot possibly do. Why? Because we know that all things are possible with God.”
El Salvador, the smallest country in Latin America, is also faced with some of the greatest challenges in the region. A civil war tore El Salvador apart in the 1980s – and today violent drug-gang crime is tearing it down. About 48 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty, while a very few elite live in luxury. The economy has long been in the cellar, and the country still seems as politically polarized as it did when right-wing death squads terrorized the place a generation ago. Over 2.3 million El Salvadorians now live in the USA (almost one third of the population of El Salvador itself).
Each day the Sports Outreach staff attacks these challenges with boldness and courage. From the over 700 school children they interact with daily, to the Soccer Academy and chess outreach; from the orphanage to the EmpowerMe Child Sponsorship Program. Each ministry focus is geared toward evangelism and discipleship and presents opportunity to share the love of God.
Please pray for El Salvador and the work of Sports Outreach. Would you also please consider making a special gift to support the work there? The challenges are great – but as you now know, so is the passion and desire of the staff. Join the Mission today and together, we will continue “Restoring Hope and Transforming Lives!”
Rodney L. Suddith