Samaritan’s Purse brings the Gospel and a new attitude to El Salvador women's soccer league

August 31, 2018 • El Salvador
Guadalupe Portillo has had her life transformed by playing in a women's soccer league in El Salvador, funded by Samaritan's Purse donors. Jose Victor Dominguez (right), who leads our efforts with the league, has seen the league transforms lives – athletically and spiritually.
Guadalupe Portillo has had her life transformed by playing in a women's soccer league in El Salvador, funded by Samaritan's Purse donors. Jose Victor Dominguez (right), who leads our efforts with the league, has seen the league transforms lives – athletically and spiritually.

Samaritan’s Purse—and supporters like you—are transforming lives by supporting soccer leagues in El Salvador.

Guadalupe Portillo has been playing in an El Salvador woman’s soccer league for 11 years. It has been a positive experience for someone like her with a troubled alcoholic past, but it’s become far more positive after Samaritan’s Purse became involved in the league.

With the financial support of people like you, we’ve worked through a local partner to provide uniforms, Bibles, and post-game snacks to all 12 teams in the league, which is based in the capital city of San Salvador.

We also invite players to occasional talks focused on self-image and career possibilities. All of this is infused with the Gospel, “our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10, ESV).

“We are trying to help the girls understand soccer isn’t just a sport,” says Jose Victor Dominguez, who leads our efforts with the league. “It can lead to athletic, professional, and educational opportunities.”

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These talks, and Jose Victor’s focus on bringing the Good News into all aspects of the league, is part of an overall effort to “change the mindset of the girls—to make it clear they’re here to play, not hurt each other. So now we’re seeing less players kick or punch each other.”

Guadalupe has noticed and appreciated the difference.

“There’s been a very significant change when you start and end a game praying,” she says. “It’s changing our mentality; the games are definitely more enjoyable because there are better relationships between the players and the teams.”

Her faith in Jesus Christ is also changing. “I was just a listener before—overhearing others talking about Jesus,” she says. “Now, I’m getting more involved in the faith. I’m changing every day and I’m following God. When you start going to church, your mind opens and you get a sense of freedom.”

As we continue to connect with El Salvador’s often troubled young people through sport, you can advance these efforts through your donations and prayers. Together, we can show hurting people in this impoverished Central American nation that “the righteousness of God [comes through] through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:22, ESV).

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