Oakland Sidney United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 25, 2018



Elmer is the child we sponsor in South America.

Every child needs someone who cares deeply for him or her, even if we are miles away…
Through Compassion International, our church has been sponsoring and building our relationship with Elmer Javier Portillo Jovel since he was 4 years old in 2007. This year on January 3rd, Elmer turned 12 years old and is in 6th grade! Elmer lives in El Salvador and attends Compassion’s Child Development Center in San Salvador. The Center is located in one of the most populated areas of the city and the country. The neighborhood is surrounded by dangerous “slums.” Housing is not decent, with overcrowding, drug and alcohol addictions, abuse, and other conditions that destroy families and human dignity. The goal of the Center is to support the children so they effectively learn skills and strategies for self-discipline, good habits, and Christian values. Children are also taught good nutrition and personal hygiene. 
Everyone at church is welcome to write to Elmer and share your stories of life in Maine. We send photos, favorite Bible verses, and stickers. Elmer writes back every time. He started as a little boy by just drawing pictures; now his letters are written in cursive.  Elmer likes his classes and workshops, and he loves playing soccer. Elmer always sends us blessings and asks for prayers for his own and his family’s safety.   If you are interested in writing to Elmer, please see Janet Dunham for the specific form that’s used for our letters.
Elmer needs our continued encouragement. Please join us in helping Elmer sustain a healthy, learning, and rewarding lifestyle. Each year our church family holds at least one “Elmer Sunday” in honor of Elmer’s life and growth in his faith. It costs just under$40 to support Elmer for a whole MONTH at the Center where he is nurtured, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. When we send a little extra for his birthday, Elmer always writes a thank you letter and tells us what he has “purchased” with his birthday gift. It’s usually shoes or a pair of pants, something for his family, and just a small sweet treat for himself. 
Maybe someday one or some of us will take Compassion’s Sponsor Tour to El Salvador to meet Elmer?!?