Pray • Serve • Love // July Monthly Update

Hola Hola, Amigos!

July was a wild ride here in San Salvador! We hosted three mission teams and finalized plans for our English Academy!

Our three teams were from Bay Area Church in Annapolis, Maryland and Rock City Church (my home church!) in Columbus, Ohio! These teams were especially fun because on the one hand, I got to see old friends, and on the other, I made SO MANY new friends! That is truly my favorite part of mission teams – connecting with people and sharing my heart for serving with them. Usually, by the end of the week, our hearts become one for the people of San Salvador (awww 💞 )

top: Hanging with Juanita + Amie from Bay Area bottom: work perk – beach days with my ladies from Rock City

Another great part about mission teams is how they support our projects. We are currently raising funds to equip our brand new Dental Clinic at our Children’s Development Center on the Volcano. Building the Clinic itself cost $40k and equipping it will cost $18k. It is because of supporters all over the world and especially mission teams, that we were able to build the clinic and are now just about $2,500 short from being fully funded for the equipment! When people come on mission teams, they are able to see the need firsthand and have a better understanding of the visions God has given Pastor Victor for His people here. If you are interested in learning more about our Dental Clinic and how you can help, click here!

Over a year ago, God gave Pastor Victor a desire to create an English Academy through our local church. After months of planning, Academia Gran Comisión is finally a reality! For the people of El Salvador, speaking English isn’t a privilege – it’s a necessity. Being able to speak English can drastically improve a person’s income from an average of about $400/month to as much as $1000/month. Not only are we hoping to improve people’s socioeconomic status, but we are hoping to permanently improve their eternal status! We will be using this Academy to share the Gospel of Jesus and invite people to church! Each student will be paired with a conversation partner – someone who speaks both Spanish and English fluently to practice with over a meal or coffee once a week. Our hope and expectation is that these partnerships will naturally evolve into discipleship relationships!

My involvement with the English Academy is as a curriculum writer and teacher (my fellow missionaries Ali and Moriah will also be teaching)! Yes, I taught high school English in Ohio for five years, but this is TOTALLY different and TOTALLY out of my comfort zone! This first “semester” (16 weeks) of classes will be a pilot/test class, and next year we are hoping to be able to purchase an actual English as a Second Language curriculum.

Click the image to follow the English Academy on Facebook and even give us a “Like!”

Click here to see a fun little video we made to advertise our open house for the English Academy! Basically, Vladi keeps telling me to change my language and finally gives up and takes over!

Now that mission team season has ended, my focus is fundraising the last bit of money for the Dental Clinic equipment, creating and teaching lesson plans for the English Academy, and…

…PLANNING MY FIRST TRIP HOME!

That’s right, folks – I’M COMING HOME! (cue 🎤 I’m coming HOME – I want the world to know, got to let it show…I’m coming HOME!)

I will be arriving in Columbus in the evening of Wednesday, September 27th and returning back to San Salvador Friday, December 8th.

This will be my first trip home in a year and a half and I AM READY. I truly love my life here in San Salvador, but life without El Vaquero cheese dip has been more than a bit of a challenge! A short list of things I miss from home:

  • Target Dollar Spot
  • YOGA!
  • Patio dining
  • Dewey!
  • But most of all, YOU!

Friends, there have been babies born, weddings, graduations, birthdays…the things I miss about home most aren’t actually things, but PEOPLE. These nine weeks home will be spent connecting with friends and supporters and spending time rejuvenating my spirit with you!

ps…live in Maryland? Are we friends through a mission trip here? I’m coming for you! I’m not sure when yet, but I am definitely taking a roadtrip east to see you guys! I’ll send details as I figure them out! 🚗💨 


– AS TOLD BY ASHLEY –

Have you ever prayed super hard for something? I’m talking like every morning, every night, in the shower, in the car, every chance you have, you’re praying to God for something? I feel that I am in a season of unceasing prayer right now. There is something in my life that I need God to come through on. I have genuinely prayed. I have enlisted my prayer warriors. I have turned to the Word of God for wisdom. But at the end of the day, all I can do is leave the situation in God’s hands and trust that He will come through in His way and in His timing.

I recently stumbled upon a message from Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina. In his message, Coming Out of the Drought, he talks about the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 18. The Israelites were in the midst of a drought, but Elijah was trusting God to make it rain. He believed God for something, but every time his servant went back up the mountain to look for rain…nothing. What he was seeing (nothing) directly contradicted what he sensed (rain).

– I am learning what it feels like to have faith –

When I look for God’s movement in the situation and see nothing –
     I praise Him again!
Still nothing?
     I sing again!
Still nothing?
     I pray again! 

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”
– Hebrews 11v1 


So I stand here praying, singing and praising the One who I trust will make it rain and bring resolution.

How can I come alongside you while you wait for your rain? How can I be your prayer warrior?


Hola? Aloha? Χαίρετε? It has been awhile since I’ve gotten any mail! Stay in touch! I would also love to videochat with you! Send me a message and let’s plan something!

Email: ashley.arend@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/AshleyElaine85
Skype: ashleyelaine85
Mailing Address: Condado Santa Rosa, Condominio Aclaraban, Pasaje Pacún #42. Santa Tecla, El Salvador (simply stop by your local post office to purchase a Global Forever stamp, only about $1.25! Just give it about 2 weeks to arrive!)

Please Pray:

  • For our English Academy! Our first class is this Saturday, August 12th! I ask for prayer for our planning/teaching committee and that God would bring us students with open hearts for His word.
  • That the last approx. $2,500 would come soon for the Dental Clinic equipment.
  • For our local church, Iglesia Gran Comisión – Due to a drastically raised rent, we are moving from our current location into a local hotel for the next year. We are currently looking for an office space we can rent to use for storage and as a classroom for the English Academy. Please pray that the move goes smoothly and that God would provide us a location for the Academy.
  • For the health and safety of all our children at our Development Centers in Soyapango and on the Volcano.
  • For plans for my time back home. There are a few logistics that still need ironed out, but the big ones have already been taken care of, Praise God!
be cheerful no matter what // pray all the time // thank God no matter what happens.
Thankful and Blessed to Work with You,
     -Ashley

Our lifegroup ladies have started having regular Girls’ Nights! Hilary recently joined our church after moving here from DC to work with a nonprofit organization here in San Salvador! She has graciously opened her apartment to us for our girls’ nights!

Adriana – Monica – Moriah – Ali – Andrea – Hilary

💜💜💜

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