December 2014 Newsletter page 6

From the Peace Mission’s Executive Director

By Mary K. Stevenson

Courage Under Fire


Last week I was at COAR for year-end business. I spent one evening with friends of COAR, Mike and Susie Jenkins, who have run their own NGO for the past 10 years, Epilogos. It builds housing for the impoverished in our neighboring town of San Jose Villanueva. The last two years gangs have taken over the town. They told us hair-raising stories of whole city blocks patrolled by child [gang] soldiers wielding guns and cell phones.

They told of 40 murders. Here is one: a young man resisted the gangs and a “soldier” was “promoted” by shooting him in the head. The murderers attended the funeral as pall-bearers and forced the family to pay their respects to the coffin while laughing about their crime. Epilogos and COAR are safe havens made possible by your gifts and the courage of volunteers, like Mike and Susie, and mostly, Salvadorans. Our Salvadoran employees and volunteers are not protected by US or Canadian citizenship. They risk their lives by working for the good of their country. They have been doing it for decades. What a gift to the COAR children, and to us, the example of their courage and generosity.

Thank you for supporting them.

News from El Salvador

The Border Crisis Continues Because The Violence in Central America Continues


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

-Matthew 18:1-4