October 22nd, 2014
working hard to meet our goals!
We reached 6,000 pairs of shoes in just over 3 weeks! A little short of our goal of 6,300, but the shoe manufacturing company is happy with what they are seeing as long as that positive progress does not stop. This will be a challenge as we will be leaving for 3 week for the Stateside gathering of Envision and also four speaking engagements in churches in Montana and Wyoming! We are celebrating today (Wednesday) with a cookout!
God showed us a glimpse of why we are fighting for this ministry. This past week, we had an incident with a stolen wallet where the thief repented, brought back the wallet but was afraid the victim was going to get revenge. Instead the victim stood up in front of all the people and announced that he had forgiven him and asked that everyone else forgive him too. Amazing love and life change! Just one of many encouraging stories this week.
October 8th, 2014
Filling the van to the max with shoes!
For the past 10 days, we have recruited as many staff as possible to assist in the efforts at Metamorfosis – from the secretary at Vinculo (baby house), to Hamilton (our lawyer), to Raquel! Many, especially Richard and Nestor, have been working long hours in order to meet the production back log and save our relationship with our only customer — and thus save the program. Our three week goal is 6,300 pairs of shoes. The days have been long, but we have seen great progress and have over 2,300 pairs produced at the close of the day yesterday (Tuesday, Oct 7th) and we have been able to give jobs to several ex-prisoners and others wanting to leave a life of crime but with extremely limited opportunities. As of right now the project has over 170 years of prison time served among the staff members and several more considered “at risk” because of the previous affiliation with gangs.
Please continue to pray as each day has new challenges and obstacles as we must earn the trust of our customer by daily producing high volumes of high-quality shoes with many new workers and new management. In other words, we are bailing water and rowing at the same time. In the midst of all the physical challenges are spiritual attacks such as one worker quitting and then demanding that we pay him severance pay or he will make a (false) report to the government. On October 24, our family leaves for three weeks to be apart of three missions conferences in Montana and a conference/training for Envision site-leaders in Colorado Springs. We need to be able to leave a stable functioning team behind.
Felice, along with her brothers and sister, gave up their Saturday to “help save the shoe factory”! Felice worked with sweat rolling down her nose as she strung labels to be tagged on the shoes.
Taking some time during lunch break at Metamorfosis for some football action!
September 29th, 2014
We are faced with an urgent situation at Metamorfosis. In a meeting late last week, the shoe company we have our sole contract with told us that we have 2 weeks to complete the current orders and the orders we are behind in. This amounts to about 6,000 pairs of shoes. Without this contract, the ministry is at risk of closing down. Beginning today, nearly all of the Wired staff left very early in the morning to dedicate their time and service to helping. In addition, Ricardo has decided to step in and lead everyone through this crisis, which means he also will be working long hours throughout this week and next.
Although you may not be able to join us physically, we are asking that you cry out to God for us to be unified, strengthened, and successful in our efforts. As we fight to save this ministry as we believe we are being led by God, we also open our hands to Him who is in control.
In the battle, The Mullinax’s
September 27th, 2014
After spending almost 6 weeks in the states, going to my brother’s wedding, training in Colorado, and Atlanta to visit Northpoint Community Church, I am SOOO glad to be back!!!!! (even though it was a great trip)
I have enjoyed a lovely rainy season here in September, with cool temperatures, lots of birds singing, flowers blooming, and falling asleep to the sound of rain on the tin roof.
Every day is kind of a new adventure for me as my role have been morphing quite a bit. The latest thing I am THRILLED about is getting to work at Vinculo de Amor. I have a background of nursing, and have missed it quite a bit. I wasn’t expecting to get to do medical work of any kind down here, especially not now. I was hoping for something maybe in the distant future. Isn’t God kind like that to provide me with a way to do something I love. =) This is definitely a gift from God!!! He surprised me with this, since it’s not even something I prayed for.
What that looks like for now is spending time at Vinculo in scrubs, working alongside the niñeras, learning from them and building relationships with them. I absolutely love working with the babies, and the niñeras have been most welcoming.
Another highlight this month was getting to go to the prayer event at Metamorfosis. I love when God’s people pray together, and it is so needed out there. It was a lovely time of seeking God together, but I’m aware that there are still HUGE deficits there both spiritually and with the business. Please pray for this!
Nestor wrapping up our meeting and prayer time at Metamorfosis with Sam and Julie
One other thing I got to do was stay with the Mullinax kids for a couple days so that Ricardo and Jen could get away. It was so much fun! The kids were great, and we enjoyed our time together. The girls played “salon” one day, and another day we had an Indian dinner. The kids ate it up. Literally.
Our Indian dinner
September 24th, 2014
The dinner for the board of Vinculo de Amor was a huge success
Our days have been full lately! Calendar full, but also full of blessings! The Vinculo Board dinner at our house was a great success! People stayed well after it was over to talk! We celebrated El Salvador’s independence and Richard survived his 40th birthday! This Sunday, a private health insurance company is sponsoring a 6 and 10K run, in which the proceeds will benefit Vinculo de Amor! We will have a booth set up and some of us will be participating. Please pray for the success of this event! Please pray for us as we seek to be light to all the interesting people we are meeting these days!
Also pray for God to grant us wisdom as we seek to hire three key people: an engineer to replace the production manager at Metamorfosis (currently vacant), a permanent Director for the program (currently we have an Interim Director), and also a manager for the Premiere Transportes business. We REALLY need God to provide his chosen person for each position and especially need the production manager very quickly. Please lift these needs up before the throne!
We had a lot of fun celebrating Richard’s birthday duck dynasty style!
Richard participated in a press conference promoting this Sunday’s race!
September 9th, 2014
A member of Freedom Church here with us for the week
We are praising God today! With the help of Freedom Church, led by Keith Smith, we were able to find the leak in the pipes preventing us from getting our construction permits. It actually turned out to be 7 leaks – but IT IS FIXED! They also discovered a blocked pipe that was affecting our water pressure! Thank you for praying! Please continue to pray as we move forward in the process of obtaining legal approval to begin construction.
We also ask that you would pray for the next Vinculo de Amor board meeting that we will be hosting, along with dinner, at our house this Thursday evening. We have a full weekend ahead with this meeting/dinner on Thursday, Freedom Church dinner at our house on Friday, Hungry Church on Saturday, and then we will be celebrating Richard’s 40th birthday on Sunday!
Through your prayers,
Keith Smith (IN), leader of the construction team here with us now.
September 6th, 2014
Someone told me (Jen) in May of this year that God would be sending me some support to help care for my needs and the needs of my family. Tess joined our family a little over a week ago and has committed to helping our family as nanny for three months! She will be joining us as we travel to Montana and Colorado this fall! This is one of the ways God has provided this support!
Please pray for us and Freedom Church (Indianapolis) this coming week. They arrive today to help with construction at Wired and at Proyecto Metamorfosis. Also please pray for production to increase at Proyecto Metamorfosis so that we can arrive quickly at a break-even point.
September 5th, 2014
Processing Receipts on Finance Day
Well, we are winding down our busy group season. It’s hard to believe that our last group of the year is coming down this week. However, I’ll have far from a break in workload after their departure. Starting next week I will be hard at work trying to prepare everything financially for the merger of Wired, Love Link, and Metamorphosis. Ricardo has promoted me from Wired accountant to CFO over the 3 projects, and I’m finding I have a lot to learn and to do before the merger finalizes in January. Please pray for me to be a quick learner and to excel in an area that is pretty different than what I got my degree in (Chemical Engineering).
In addition to that, I have agreed to teach an English class at Project Metamorphosis starting at the end of September. It sounds like I will have about 15-20 of the employees in attendance and the first semester I will offer will be 12 weeks long. One of the major reasons I returned to El Salvador was that I felt God calling me to start an English school of some sort, and since then, I have been taking online classes to get my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. It’s awesome to see such a quick opportunity arise for me to gain experience – and in one of our own ministries! Please pray that I would be able to have access to all the materials I will need, for me to teach clearly and effectively as this is my first formal class, and for the employees of Metamorphosis to learn the language quickly. This is a great chance for them since many of the higher paying jobs here can be attained by knowing English proficiently.
Thanks for all the prayer and support!
September 1st, 2014
Wow. The past 4 weeks have been so full!
I travelled to Colorado to participate in the COMPASS program at Mission Training International. It was an excellent time of equipping and training. The first two weeks of the program focused on language learning, from phonetics to learning projects. Basically we learned how to learn a language.
The second two weeks of the program covered a variety of topics through many interactive ways. The topics were relevant to long term sustainability on the mission field and included transition, giving thanks, conflict resolution, family dynamics, Sabbath keeping, grief and loss, saying goodbye, and more. It was incredible to meet and bond with 70 other people in the program who are soon headed out to countries all around the world.
I am now in Atlanta doing a little scoping out of Northpoint ministries, particularly how they run their kids program. I’m hoping hoping to gain as much insight as possible for Hungry.
After all the travel, I am excited to be back in El Salvador in a week!
August 26th, 2014
Celebrating with Rootbeer floats!
Alton and Felice, along with the family, not only took the ice-bucket challenge and donated to A League of Service, in memory and honor of Cliff Williams, former Rocky Mountain District pastor in Nampa Idaho who visited El Salvador in 2009. Alton and Felice also took on the challenge to go for one year without drinking soda with the purpose of raising money for Broken! Their goal was to raise $1000 and they met that goal! This was not an easy challenge for a 8 and 10 year old, as they often had class parties in which everyone but them was drinking soda! Thank you for all who participated alongside of them as well as those who donated to Broken on their behalf!
Thank you for praying for the meeting last Wednesday with the foundation who manages the grant for the new machines in Metamorphosis. The first meeting was difficult but, after five more hours on Friday it seems the project can be achieve its objectives. Our team here is putting substantial efforts into the project and we appreciate your prayers for good production, good attitudes, more orders, and success in the campaign to get more sponsors here in El Salvador.
Click here to see our ice bucket video on Facebook or if you prefer youtube click here.