Saving a Soul on the Streets of San Salvador

Carlos Pineda prays that Victor will seek the grace of God.
Carlos Pineda prays that Victor will seek the grace of God.

If it hadn’t all unfolded before my eyes, I’m not sure I would have believed what I saw.

I was on a mission trip to El Salvador, helping our Goods-In-Kind partner, Fundacion Una Mano Amiga, feed the homeless on a rainy Friday night. Carlos Pineda, who had organized this street ministry, was moving from person to person, playing his guitar, leading the people in song and praising God.

Suddenly, I heard a scream that shook me with its intensity. I turned and saw an old man approach Carlos. He had tears in his eyes and he cried out, “Señor, llévame. Quiero morir! Llévame contigo!” “Lord, take me. I want to die! Take me with you!”

The old man named Victor told us he had nothing and no one. He had worked in the coffee fields his whole life and no longer had a job. He had no family and nothing left to live for, he said. Carlos listened patiently. Then slowly, tenderly, he put his hand on Victor’s shoulder and comforted him. Together they prayed. Carlos told Victor his time was not up. He explained that everyone there was part of a ministry called by God to help people. Victor was told that if he returned to that spot on Monday, the ministry would take him to a loving Christian home for the elderly.

The prayer soothed the old man’s fears that Friday night. When I left with our ministry partners, I added my own prayer, asking God to sustain Victor. I prayed that on Monday, he would return to accept God’s grace and Carlos’ offer of a better life.

-Chris M.


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