February El Salvador Newsletter
El Salvador - Pastor Oswaldo
Beautiful San Salvador, El Salvador is one of 516NOW’s newest target communities. Our partner in this community is Pastor Oswaldo Aristides. Upon first meeting Pastor Oswaldo, one immediately senses his energy, faithfulness in service to the Lord, and ease with which he connects with people. During my delightful day with him, these qualities were strongly confirmed.
Pastor Oswaldo leads a thriving young church and has a passion for ministering to the broader community. He works to improve not just spiritual lives but the economic, social, and educational lives as well. This is what makes him such a good fit for 516NOW.
As with our two target communities in Nicaragua, the first program we have initiated is Smiling School Kids (SSK). SSK has proven to be a very effective way to introduce a community to 516NOW and build trust with the residents. San Salvador SSK will operate similarly to those in Nicaragua. Recently, Pastor Oswaldo and five others visited Palacagüina to see first hand how the program operates under Yanerling Loza, our SSK Director there. The San Salvador program will also include some local additions.
San Salvador’s program will be run by a team of nine individuals, all volunteers who share a passion for working with children. In addition to uniforms, shoes, backpacks, and school supplies, children will attend formal academic support classes taught by three volunteers who all have teaching experience. The classes will include basic English and computer instruction. Three times per year, the children will receive a free preventative medical checkup by two volunteer medical professionals. Finally, as with all of our programs, all activities will focus on Christian-based character values without proselytizing.
Pastor Oswaldo’s vision for a partnership with 516NOW is expansive. In the next newsletter, We will tell you about two other programs: A comprehensive and integrated program for women and his dream for a Christian Formation Center.