Pastor Pedro Landaverde lived in a comfortable neighborhood in El Salvador and led a church of well-off members. But a training program with Seeds of New Creation convinced him to make a drastic change.
He and his family left their community and moved into a neighborhood known for violence and gangs. There Landaverde applied Seeds leadership training and resources integrating spiritual outreach with social responsibility.
Founded in 2001 as a nonprofit agency to bring churches, communities, and agencies together, Seeds of New Creation was begun by Christian Reformed World Missions, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and Back to God Ministries International. Today, Seeds is Salvadoran-owned, with support provided by CRWM and BTGMI.
Following El Salvador’s lengthy civil war that finally ended in the early 1990s, Landaverde has become one of many Salvadoran Christians engaged in transformational ministry that envisions lives and society changed from the inside out.
“Local churches that used to be very inward looking . . . have caught a vision, gained new eyes to see their broader community/neighborhood and initiated responsible responses like medical and psychological attention and after-school programs,” says Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a CRWM missionary involved in Seeds’ initial start-up who continues to accompany Seeds.
“In a country in which even churches aligned behind ideological lines during the civil war, and suspicion and mistrust still govern relationships, Seeds’ Ministry Center has become a ‘white flag’ zone in which pastors and leaders from very different camps are coming together and setting aside their differences for the sake of God’s kingdom and God’s justice,” says Padilla DeBorst.
About the Author
Sarah Van Stempvoort is a writer with Christian Reformed World Missions.