Ed Maldonado, long-time teacher and coordinator of our ESL program at Graham Road United Methodist Church, and his wife Bersy sold their home in the USA in April 2014 and moved to El Salvador to work with at-risk children in El Salvador.
Ed and Bersy are both originally from El Salvador, but have lived in the United States since the mid-1970s. In 2008, on a visit to El Salvador, Ed learned of a small program run by a local minister. The program had begun when the minister saw two children crying on the street at 8 in the morning. The young children had had no breakfast and were without any care before and after school because their mother worked long hours. One of the crying children’s father had died of AIDs and his mother was HIV+. Ed and Bersy investigated and learned that there were many children in the neighborhood in similarly dire situations.
Ed and Bersy decided to do something. With the advice and assistance of United Methodist District Superintendent Young Jin Cho, Ed and Bersy established a new charity, King’s Palace, to collect funds to help feed and care for these needy Salvadoran children. King’s Palace now operates a program that enrolls 32 poor Salvadoran children. The program provides meals before and after school, classes in English, and full medical and dental checkups every six months.
As the King’s Palace program steadily grew, Ed and Bersy felt the call to give up their new home in America and return to El Salvador to expand the program and help more children. Ed said, “I never thought I’d go back to Salvador,” but his decision to do so was “inspired by faith in Jesus, who is my strength.”
Those interested in learning more about King’s Palace and possibly making a tax-deductible donation to this worthy cause may go to their website at http://www.kingspalace.org/our-history.
Everyone in our Graham Road ESL program greatly misses Ed and Bersy, but is proud of the selfless path they have chosen.
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