Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel
Iglesia Bautista Emmanuel, San Salvador is a Baptist Congregation that was found in 1964. A few years later, in 1968 two members of the church were sent to seminary in Mexico.
The challenges of mission work within the country in the early 1970’s as well as reflection on the reality of the gospel as well as further studies had a profound impact on the church. It resulted in a clear call to serve the poor, in fraternity as well as solidarity and justice.
During the violent 1979 to 1992 civil war, tactics that included death squads, recruitment of child soldiers and deliberately terrorizing/targeting civilians are estimated have killed over 75,000 people. The number of people “disappeared” is not known. IBE served the poor by running an orphanage “Centro Gabriel Para La Paz” to help the children of the “disappeared” as well as health programs, training for women and running a school.
Today the war is over but violence is still an issue as gangs regularly kill those who oppose them. In fact, estimates are that almost as many people have been killed by the gangs during the “peace” as during the war. To help show the youth another way, IBE runs a youth house called “Cal Pilpiill” that provides training in the arts such as music and painting, cooking and computers. It provides an alternate family to the “family” that the gangs provide as well as the opportunity for testimony/modeling of the gospel.
In parallel, there is a school that provides the official curriculum with the gospel as well as a strong emphasis on building a culture of peace to replace the current culture of violence. In addition to the church in the capital city, San Salvador, IBE reaches out to the rural areas through twelve mission stations.
Nineteen BRBC members have visited with IBE as part of a mission trip at least once.