To learn more about Salvadoran Pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes, and for information about contributing to support their ministries in El Salvador, please visit

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shekina Youth Bike-A-Thon and Report from Nora

Hola! I'm Nora and I recently got back from a delegation to Santa Ana, El Salvador, to visit Iglesia Bautista Shekina and to continue to develop the relationship between the congregation there and Central Baptist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The youth there asked me if I would send you all, as friends and partners in their ministry, an email to update you on what they're up to these days.

As always, the youth have been actively involved in the inner workings of the church. There are youth representatives on many of the boards, some of whom report on behalf of those boards to the pastoral committee; they also play the music in the service. As far as community efforts go, the youth have been integral in the church's outreach workshops and have held events for the neighborhood children as well.

The main focus of their efforts, though, is a trip to Costa Rica. After unsuccessful attempts to take a delegation to the United States, they've decided to focus their aims more locally. Over Holy Week in mid-March, 25 youth from Shekina are hoping to travel to visit a sister church in Costa Rica. Their friends there are willing to pay any expenses that will be necessary during the trip, such as housing and food, so the youth group is now working towards bus fare to make their dream a reality.

In order to do this, Shekina is holding a bike-a-thon to raise the remaining funds. At $90/person the total needed is $2,250. They have already raised $400 through fruit sales, and one $90 ticket was donated. Through the bike-a-thon they are hoping to raise the remaining $1,760, and hopefully more to cover any fees at the national borders or any unforseen expenses.

The bike-a-thon will be held on February 17th after church. For each dollar donated, a member of Shekina will complete one lap. Though this is an event meant specifically to benefit the youth, all of the members of the church get involved; those who can't bike walk. While we are unsure of the exact length of the laps, I am told it takes about 10 minutes to complete one walking.

If you are interested in sponsoring the youth in their efforts, the information about donating is at the end of this email. I also have a directory of the youth with their current pictures and email addresses for those of you who would like to see the faces of those you are helping or be able to contact them directly. If you have any questions you can email me or José Luis, the newly elected president of the youth group (he speaks English, for those of you who may be a little rusty with your Spanish).

The youth of Shekina want you to know that you are always in their prayers and they thank you for your continued support.

With love from the south,
Nora P. and the youth of Shekina

* For specific details about how to make financial contributions for the Shekina Bike-A-Thon, send an email to