Ejercito de Salvación is a daytime childcare center for underprivileged children of single working mothers who make an effort to provide a solid future for their families. The children stay here 8-10 hours while their parents are at work. They are taught primarily about God’s love as a Father. They also do academic work, learn family and social values, and participate in recreational activities, amongst other things - all free of charge. Finding what to feed these children daily had definitely been a challenge! After partnering with Outside the Bowl and receiving low-cost meals, Ejercito de Salvación was able to expand their ministry and support more families in their community.
Martin is one of the children who was admitted after Ejercito de Salvación was able to accept more kids into their feeding program. He is a 13 year old boy who had failed the 5th grade three times in the past due to a low self-esteem. Highly discouraged not only because of his lack of success, but because of the harsh things people would tell him for being such an “academic basket-case”. However, this was something that the leader at Ejercito de Salvación would not accept and after arduously investing in lifting up his low self-esteem, they say that Martin became encouraged enough to believe there was hope for him too. He states that he actually enjoys putting effort into his school work now! And today he is top of his class in the sixth grade! With his new found hope, during the first semester of sixth grade, he was able to achieve the highest grades in his class.
Martin says that at Ejercito de Salvación he found “acceptance, motivation and hope.” And the caretakers at Ejercito de Salvación say, though it was challenging, it was worth it just to see Martín overcome. “He is so excited now! His life has completely changed,” they say. They thank Outside the Bowl because we help their ministry to continue to expand their reach. At Ejercito de Salvacion they challenge the kids to believe that the most important thing is that which we feed our hearts and our souls, “faith in in God and the hope we find in Christ.”
This is one of the direct intentions of Outside the Bowl: enabling ministries to shift their focus from worrying about making ends meet in order to bring food to the needy, and instead focusing on serving them in things that truly matter - their hearts and souls.
written by Vianney A. E.