God uses soccer and Samaritan’s Purse to bring hope to violent El Salvador ghetto

February 27, 2019 • El Salvador
Thanks to the financial support of Canadians like you, Samaritan’s Purse was able to give New Testaments to these soccer players in an El Salvador ghetto.
Thanks to the financial support of Canadians like you, Samaritan’s Purse was able to give New Testaments to these soccer players in an El Salvador ghetto.

“This league is going to help the children grow in their understanding of God. They’re going to have a different mindset, that what’s going on around them here isn’t all there is to life.”

It’s one of the most dangerous communities in El Salvador, but that’s not stopped God from working through Samaritan’s Purse to bring hope, healing, and the Good News of salvation to hundreds of children.

Through our local partner, we are sponsoring a soccer league for kids and young teenagers in the middle of a ghetto of 30 apartment buildings that are so decrepit, they would likely be condemned in Canada.

Canadian donations enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide snacks to these residents of a ghetto in El Salvador.

Canadian donations enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide snacks to these residents of a ghetto in El Salvador.

The community, in the capital city of San Salvador, is rife with violence, especially at night, and police are a regular presence. But Celina Renderos sees hope, thanks to the soccer league and how it’s opening the door to children and their families trusting in God, “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:47, ESV).

We supply uniforms (which have depictions of Jesus and prominently mention John 3:16), soccer balls, and snacks for the children. Games take place all day on weekends and we gather players for prayer after every game.

When possible, we also hand out New Testaments to the older children. That gives us the opportunity to tell them exactly what John 3:16 means and how it can transform their lives for all eternity. We will spend at least a year in the community before handing over the league to local residents.

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“We’re thankful for these games because of the support you [Samaritan’s Purse and its donors] give to us,” says Celina, a 43-year-old single mother of three and owner of a tiny diner and convenience store in the ghetto.

“This league is going to help the children grow in their understanding of God. They’re going to have a different mindset, that what’s going on around them here isn’t all there is to life.”

None of these young soccer players turned down an opportunity to own a Spanish New Testament.

None of these young soccer players turned down an opportunity to own a Spanish New Testament.

As curious young soccer players listened, Celina said Canadians like you need to continue supporting Samaritan’s Purse and its efforts in struggling nations like El Salvador.

“Everything that Canadians help with—uniforms, food, Bibles—helps unify the community,” she says. “Instead of the kids thinking about getting involved with crime, they’re get involved in this league and get to know God more.”

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