Mission to El Maizal
Latest News and Pictures
St. Andrew’s Missioners Return from El Maizal! June 5, 2014
Jo-Ann Taylor, Susan Scheffer, Fr. Chip Seadale, Jean Powers, Jean Loud, Dianne Wilson, Tom Wilson, Bonnie Deitz
Villagers of El Maizal
Altar Honoring Archbishop Romero
- Father Chip Worshiping in El Maizal
Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser @ St. Andrew’s
April 27, 2014
Our recent Fine Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction Night tickled the tastebuds and brought out the bargain-hunters to help out our missioners to El Maizal, El Salvador with their upcoming trip! MANY THANKS to Christine White, Danny Segal and Heather Anne Slayton, and the missioners themselves, for their hard work in getting this together, and to the people of St Andrew’s Church in supporting this great mission! Current estimates suggest we tallied well over $1,000.00 toward the effort!
Karla and Wendy, village of El Maizal
The Water Filter Project
October 24, 2013
Thank you so much for your interest in The El Salvador Mission. You had mentioned when we first met with you that St. Andrews likes hands on projects. Our current project is water filters. It’s been exciting to introduce the filters into our community as the need is so great in a few ways. I’d like to give you a quick overview of the community and the water filter project.
The Community of El Maizal is located about 20 miles from the Guatemalan Border along the Pacific coastline. It’s a community that ERD made a major investment in after the earthquake of 2001. ERD Built 30 homes, a guesthouse, Church, school, medical clinic, and a well (and pumping system). The well was a much needed improvement as it gave the families a steady access to water but unfortunately, as in almost 90% of the country the water is not drinkable.
The water Filtration System is a Sawyer Product (http://www.sawyer.com/default.html). What we’ll be using in the community is the Sawyer Point ZeroTWO™ Bucket Purifier Assembly Kit (http://www.sawyer.com/water.html#water2). Dianne and I have owned and used one since April. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and has a useful life of 10+ years with no replacement filter needed. We use approximately 10 gallons per day for drinking and cooking, the literature states it can produce up to 150 gallons per day before cleaning. We have not been sick drinking this water. Community members have tried it and remark on the improved taste it has.
The most important benefit is obviously better health. We met with the Doctor who works with our community back before the mission started and clean water was her major concern. She saw many people with parasites and water borne diseases on a regular basis. This filter has a 99.9997% success rate in removing all protozoa and water borne viruses. CIS is the organization who we are working and they work with many communities using this system and are convinced of its effectiveness, as are we.
There’s also a large positive financial impact for the families who use this system. Most families buy bottled water weekly (not enough to eliminate the usage of the well water). On the average they spend about $6 a week on water, some as high as $10 weekly. Using the lower of the 2 amounts, they can expect to save $24 monthly, almost $300 yearly. To put this savings in perspective, the average good paying job in the community pays $180 monthly and most people do not have good paying jobs. Not only will the health benefits be life changing but the financial savings will allow them to improve the quality of their lives.
The community has already had 3 meetings with CIS that involved awareness surrounding dirty water and related illnesses, training on how to use and maintain the filters and their financial responsibilities.
I’ve created an excel worksheet that breaks down in detail the financial aspect of the program. The following is a summary of those finances. Dianne and I are purchasing up front 30 filter systems at a cost of $87 per system at a total cost of $2,610.00. The families are required to pay $18 for a filter and have a required parasite test before they can receive a filter; all the families know this and have agreed to these terms. Our original investment less the family’s payment is $2,106.00; this is the amount we are seeking donations for. The reason the families need to make payment is to give them a commitment to the program and have them be directly involved in helping themselves. Their means are not substantial but they can help themselves and it’s always best to reinforce their resources and abilities, instead of relying completely on help from outside sources.
I hope between the Excel Worksheets, this cover letter and the included links to various websites any questions have been answered. Dianne, I and CIS have worked together to make sure this will be a success on many fronts. Any donation will be a huge help to us as we serve in El Salvador for the next 2 ½ years.
We believe God has sent us here to do many things and just our presence and friendship has a value that goes beyond understanding. We are not just members of their community; we’ve become their close friends. To be part of providing our friends and their children with clean water for the foreseeable future brings us great joy and we ask you to be part of that.
In the peace of God
Tom & Dianne Wilson
El Maizal, El Salvador
Christmas in Edgartown Fundraiser @ St. Andrew’s
December 13, 2013
HOW GREAT YOU ART! The results are in, and all your gracious and generous giving to others over the past few months will really help so many others! This week our Outreach Committee will be sending a check to:
- Tom and Dianne Wilson, for the purchase of water filtration units for a number of households in El Maizal, El Salvador ($2,000.00!)
- The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, earmarked for the Arab Evangelical School in Ramallah, on the West Bank (200.00)
- Vineyard Committee on Hunger, to help with holiday turkey dinners for needy families ($710.00)
- Rising Tide Equestrian Therapeutic Center MV ($52.00)
Not to mention the wonderful help we did on behalf of Operation Christmas Child (Christmas for many Ukrainian children), and The Island’s annual Red Stocking Fund. Sharing the bountiful grace God gives us with others, our own lives gain abundance, meaning, and grace!
January 14, 2014
Dianne and I want to thank you very much for your very generous support towards our water filter project. In this hot climate water is an extremely important commodity and you have now secured clean water for years to come in this small community.
Much of our work revolves around the children of El Maizal and your donations have now provided clean water to well over 50 children ranging in ages from babies to older teens for the next 10+ years. Then add in another 50+ adults who also will no longer have to suffer with water borne diseases or watch their children suffer and we hope you realize the impact you have made. We can’t stress enough what a blessed gift you have provided.
As John tells us in his 1st Epistle “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
We can’t thank you enough for your actions in truth and the love of God truly abides in you all
On behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ, in El Maizal we thank you and may God bless you.
En La Paz de Dios (in the peace of God)
Tom & Dianne Wilson
The Beginning of the Journey
Tom and Dianne Wilson’s journey began as members of St. Andrews Church in Edgartown, MA. Their faith became more focused and grew when they were members of the parish. When they left Martha’s Vineyard, their journey to mission continued at St. Francis Church in Holden, MA.
It is now their privilege to return, see old friends, and meet new ones. They will give a presentation and talk about their upcoming three year journey as Episcopal Missionaries in El Maizal, El Salvador. The Wilson’s will be leaving March 14th to live in the El Maizal community and share in their poverty, fear, and isolation by standing with them and proclaiming the good news of Christ through thought, word, and deed. The mission will focus on evangelism, education, health and reinforcing self-advocacy.
This presentation about their mission will give parishioners at St. Andrews the opportunity to become engaged, in some way, in their international mission effort. As Episcopal Bishop of El Salvador, Martin Barahona said, “The future does not exist in reality, we are and we create the future.”
The Episcopal Church Mission – We are all called as Christians to the mission of God. This mission is articulated in our Baptismal Covenant and in particular the last two questions of the covenant:
• Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
• Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
To which we declare, “I will with God’s help.”
These two simple promises are excellent guides as we reflect upon what God is calling us to do, and how we should faithfully respond.
In support of the Diocese, St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden, MA and our beloved former members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Tom and Diane Wilson, we offer our prayers and support.