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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cielo Azul -- New Solidarity Fund

The new Cielo Azul Fund is launching a fall campaign to insure that the work of peace and justice that Baptist pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes have been carrying on will continue to grow. For five years the Orantes Fund has supported the Orantes family in their pastoral work; now Cielo Azul is committed to an even broader level of support not only for Ruth, Alex and Victor Hugo, but for the programs that have arisen out of their ministries in the communities where they work.

In the weeks and months after the March 2009 election of Mauricio Funes as President of El Salvador (“the first President to support the needs of the poor in 150 years,” as one Salvadoran activist put it), we have had great hope for the future of a people who have struggled so long for a dignified life free from political, economic and criminal violence.

Our choice of a new name (Cielo Azul means“blue sky” in English) is an attempt to symbolize this new reality. And there are signs of a move in that direction in a recent report from Alex:

For next year, students in public schools will receive uniforms and school– supplies, shoes, food and milk from the government. This will reactivate the small tailoring and shoe shops It will benefit small businesses that sell school supplies. It seems to be an excellent sign. People are happy, full of hope by this news which is leading to fresh preparation within each school.

But the latest report from Alex on increasing violence in El Salvador is a reminder that hope can be very fragile. More than ever, our friends in El Salvador need spiritual and material support to continue build communities based on faith, justice and service to all who are in need.

Please consider a gift to the Cielo Azul fund in order to send a message of solidarity to Ruth and Alex and the communities where they work. See the new blog at for information on how to contribute.