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Compassion in El Salvador


Last year, Compassion International, a ministry based in Colorado Springs, CO took a group of athletes from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to El Salvador on a vision trip. The intention was to allow several athletes to interact with and see the work that Compassion is doing in the country. Matt Pirmann and Ken McKinney, leader of the trip, reached out to Soccer Chaplains United to see if there might be any gear or equipment to take down as part of the trip. Soccer Chaplains United was able to get 150 shirts and 10 soccer balls into their hands with short notice.

Compassion Team Members and NWSL athletes show the children some games and drills with a ball donated from Soccer Chaplains United.

Compassion is a long-serving organization whose mission and vision is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion’s three-cord approach is to be: Christ Centered, Church Based and Child Focused. With that in mind, Compassion’s development work with children around the world aims to be holistic in its approach. Compassion’s three-cord approach is to be: Christ Centered, Church Based and Child Focused. With that in mind, Compassion’s development work with children around the world aims to be holistic in its approach.

Nicole Barnhart, pictured in the photo at the top of the page, was one of the NWSL athletes and Compassion team members. She shared this about her experience,

The trip to El Salvador was the opportunity of a lifetime. I went there thinking that I was going to inspire these children, help spark belief and give them hope that they have the strength to fulfill their Go-given potential, but in the end they stole a piece of my heart and inspired me beyond anything imaginable.

Nicole Barnhart, Goalkeeper Utah Royals FC
Lori Krueger, looks on while a Compassion child shares

One of the members of the team was NWSL Chaplain Coordinator, Lori Krueger. For Lori, the trip was a blessing — as she had been praying about hosting a retreat for players at the end of the season. But then, the opportunity from Compassion to take athletes on this vision trip came along.

The trip to El Salvador with the athletes from the NWSL was such a special experience. It was pretty incredible to see the difference that Compassion is making to support these kids who are living in extreme poverty. I saw talent kids, living with hope and dreams because of the ministry.

Lori Krueger, NWSL Chaplain Coordinator

The athletes had opportunity to watch the Compassion work in person and to play some games with the children that are part of Compassions outreach through the various centers that they have throughout the country.

A young girl heads a ball donated through Soccer Chaplains United.
Team members were exposed to the impoverished conditions many El Salvadorans live in.

It was hard to see extreme poverty first hand, but at the same time it was so amazing to see how these people who have so little really have so much. They are so joyful and liven and gracious and their passion to live a life in Christ is unbelievable.

Nicole Barnhart

Compassion’s request was the 10th project for 2019 and the first time we have supported a project for El Salvador. One of the outcomes is a new initiative from Compassion to raise awareness and support for ongoing work in El Salvador. You can learn more through this link and opportunity. Additionally, Compassion is exploring other opportunities in other countries for athletes to “give back” to they native lands and people by coming alongside in similar initiatives.

Smiling faces were found to be in high order for many of the girls that the team spent time with.

A piece of my heart will always remain in El Salvador and I will never forget the amazing people I met and how they have motivated me to be better. Jesus showed me a beautiful example of what it means to have a thankful heart no matter our circumstances. He provides for us all and meets us where we are.

Nicole Barnhart

Remember, when you support Soccer Chaplains United a portion of your gift automatically goes to help projects and requests like this one for Compassion International. You can give specifically to help cover our costs by making a gift through PushPay — simply select Community from the selectable funds. Your financial gift helps us purchase new soccer equipment, sponsor individuals or organizations, and to cover associated costs of providing Bibles, soccer equipment, and other outreach tools locally and around the world!

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