Partnering with El Salvador Neighbors
The PENpal program is a part of the global ministry of Rush Creek Church. Its purpose is to connect families from Rush Creek with families at our partner church: Tabernáculo Bíblico Bautista RUSH CREEK, located in Plan del Piño, El Salvador. Partners are able to write letters to their family and pray for specific needs they may have. Rush Creek families are also able to make a small financial commitment each month to support their under-resourced family. They receive food assistance for their family, medical care, opportunity to learn a skill or trade and most importantly spiritual discipleship. This ministry helps equip families to become more intentional about building God-honoring homes.
Plan del Piño Community Profile
Plan del Piño is home to approximately 35,000 residents. The typical house is constructed of brick or mud floors with walls and roofs made from scrap pieces of metal. The community has water and electricity, but not all families have the means to afford them.
The family diet consists of beans, chicken, maize and rice. Common health problems in this area include respiratory and stomach issues. Most adults in Plan del Piño are either unemployed or have very low paying jobs. They earn the equivalent of $149 per month. Drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent and the community is troubled with violence and gangs.
Leadership at Tabernáculo Biblico Bautista in Plan del Piño
Pastor Carlos Abrego has pastored TBB for almost 15 years. He comes with a background in international business before he was called to pastor the church full-time. He is married to Jacqueline Abrego and they have two boys, Carlos and Josúe. The Abrego family ministers together through teaching and leading in worship at the church.
Pastor Carlos has developed a strong leadership team that has enabled the church to begin making a difference in their community. TBB is widely respected by community leaders and more importantly by gang members. Each weekend, they average more than 750 children and teenagers in attendance and more than 1,000 adults.
Be a part of the El Salvador Partner Network by praying
Prayer is the most important thing we can do for TBB. The partners of the church live in a community where many of us would give up and move to a new city. However, these dedicated families have made a commitment to their community. They have decided to work hard at sharing the Gospel with their neighbors and minister to their physical needs.
How can you be a part of the El Salvador Partner Network?
$35/month Provides a family* with one child: food, academic tutoring, access to workshops that teach trades and life skills, preventative medical care, spiritual discipleship and ministry expansion. PENpals will receive a minimum of two letters of communication from their family each year.
PENpals will also have an opportunity to join a Rush Creek mission team to travel to El Salvador to meet their family in person.
*Families with more than one child may have multiple Rush Creek family partners.
Many of the families at TBB are under-employed and looking for work but the unemployment situation in their country is difficult. We are asking Rush Creek families to commit to partnering with a TBB family to help ease the financial burden they are experiencing.
To become a PEN pal:
If you have questions regarding this ministry, or if you or your Group would like to make a bigger impact, please contact Tammy Birchfield at email@example.com.
A Note from a PEN Pal who traveled to El Salvador:
I have been sending money through the Pen Pal program for a few years. And that’s it. I received my letter once or twice a year, I knew it was going to a young man and his name was Daniel. I always meant to write back, but never did.
When I decided last fall to go on the trip in July, I had hoped to get to meet him and present him with a few items (I received a letter in May so I had an idea of what he liked.) What happened was beyond anything I could have hoped for!
When we arrived at the church the first day (parade day!!) it wasn’t 30 minutes before a friend came up to me with a young man carrying a sign with my name on it. It was Daniel!! He was so happy I was there and stayed with me the whole day!!
Over the next few days we spent there, Daniel was with me anytime he could be. I met his mom, step dad, little sister and his best friend Kimmy. He was so proud to share his life with me and was so interested in me and my family.
The impact that the entire community made on me is profound and I have friends and familia that will never change! I know this is not news to either of you as who could go and not be deeply affected? But the point of my story is about the Pen Pal program.. and my commitment to it. If anyone doubts the need to communicate with their Pen pal, they should speak to someone who has been there. Someone like me, that thought money was enough.