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

JCC

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