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Southwestern

2009 Holy Ground in El Salvador

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El Salvador ‘holy ground’ launches global initiative

SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador (BP)--A single hand rises above a sea of bowed heads covering the outdoor basketball court in San Miguel, El Salvador. An older man makes his way through the narrow row of plastic lawn chairs to place his hand on Alexander Efrain's shoulder. Together, the two walk to a set of cement bleachers where Efrain recommits his life to Christ.       Although he became a believer at age 14, Efrain says he felt the Lord calling him to recommit his life during the evening rally of the San Miguel Encouragement Conference, the first element of a new Southern Baptist initiative designed to forge relationships with other conservative evangelicals around the world.       In El Salvador, Southern Baptist pastors and leaders from the United States joined Salvadoran pastors and church leaders for the purpose of building mutually beneficial relationships across geographic bounds.       "We've come not simply to tell you what we know," Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, told a group of Salvadoran pastors and their wives in San Salvador. "We've come to learn from you ... and hopefully we'll have a greater determination than ever to reach the world for Christ."       When Southern Baptist pastors and members of the SBC Executive Committee arrived in El Salvador on Feb. 2, their goal was not to lead the conferences but rather serve as catalytic participants who would encourage and equip Salvadoran pastors and teachers.       "We come as ... joint-venture connectors," said Bobby Welch, a former SBC president and the Executive Committee's global evangelical relations strategist.

Interactions ‘golden’ in conferences

SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador (BP)--Milton Segura scans the horizon. From where he sits in the back of the passenger van, the view is familiar. Up until six months ago, Segura traveled the same stretch of the Panamerican Highway every week ...

Revolution intensified Salvadoran faith

SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador (BP)--Julio Contreras will never forget the odor of burning bodies.