Today marks one year since I started working for ENLACE. I figured it was a good time to share who we are and why I wanted to work here.
I work at ENLACE because I believe that, despite evidence to the contrary, God is working to renew and restore His world. And the primary way that he does that is through His Church, not the American Church, not well known leaders, but through His people, around the world who are faithfully following Jesus’ example to love the Lord their God with all they are and to love their neighbors as themselves, even at personal cost.
ENLACE believes that the local church is the key to bringing about sustainable change and transformation in a community. When a local congregation has a vision for working with their community to alleviate poverty, it becomes an unstoppable force for good. So our work is to come alongside pastors and local leaders who are compelled by the Holy Spirit and scripture to stand with their neighbors experiencing extreme poverty and make a change.
Our primary focus is on coaching and equipping local pastors and community leaders in El Salvador, Nepal, and Guatemala to mobilize their congregations to partner with their community to collectively identify initiatives that will alleviate poverty. We provide a Church and Community Coach for 7-10 years to accompany a local church and their community. As they get to know their neighbors and see opportunities for impact, we coach them to partner with local government and other agencies. As initiatives in health, infrastructure, and economic development are identified, we offer coaching by local engineers, medical doctors, and field experts. As initiatives like installing latrines, building houses, developing poultry co-ops, and building pedestrian bridges are realized, the church and communities evaluate their work to learn and keep pressing on.
The result is local churches who are known and loved by their communities. We have local leaders with sacrificial hearts and organizing know-how engaged on community councils. Churches and communities are working together and reducing child mortality, increasing local income, decreasing water-borne illnesses and experiencing the power of caring for others above oneself.
The greatest privilege of this first year at ENLACE for me has been sitting with pastors and leaders in El Salvador and hearing their great love, demonstrated by great sacrifice and risk, for their communities. It is compelling to see a congregation of 40 people share how they are impacting thousands through a water project or hundreds by partnering with a local school. Their lives and commitment compel me to work harder to find US churches willing to stand with them and experience what it is to be the Church globally.
Working with ENLACE has restored my faith in the Church. It reinforces that Jesus meant what he said and following him truly can change the world. In El Salvador, we are on the cusp, within 10 years, of rolling back 300 years of poverty. That is mind blowing to me. My heart is filled with gratitude that the Lord would allow me to join the team at this point in ENLACE’s 24 year history.
If you would like to be involved in supporting churches to alleviate poverty in their communities, you can give to our Pair Your Potty campaign to provide 40 latrines for 40 families.
My whole job is spreading the word about ENLACE and engaging US churches to participate with us so if you want to sit down and hear more or connect me to your church’s mission department, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org