Hello, I am Missionary Henry Gonzalez. We have been missionaries in El Salvador since 1997. I am originally from El Salvador. My wife Tammy grew up on the mission field. Her parents have been missionaries for forty-five years in Monterrey, Mexico. We have four children: Daniel, Joel, Brenda, and Grace. Tammy and I met in Bible college, and upon graduation I was called to go back to El Salvador as a missionary.
El Salvador is the most densely populated country in the Western Hemisphere, with a population of 7 million. Christopher Columbus conquered it on December 25, and he named it El Salvador, which means “The Saviour.” Sixty-five percent of the population is under the age of fifteen. More than eighty-five percent of the population is considered religious but lost.
After twelve years of civil war, starting in the 80s, a peace treaty was signed in 1993. Due to the gang violence, which escalates daily, over twenty years later, El Salvador still lacks much in security. The murder rate is second only to Iraq.
After three years on deputation, we arrived in Santa Ana, which is the second-largest city. We established the Iglesia Bautista Independiente de Santa Ana as the headquarters to train new converts. In 2001 we founded a Bible institute to train national pastors and preachers to expand the efforts in reaching other areas, the entire country, and the Central American region. We have started 3 churches with the graduates of our Bible institute. In January of 2014, 16 students enrolled in the Bible institute, 2 of them from the neighboring country of Honduras.
The church is a training ground for young man to be trained to go out and build churches. Our church has an average attendance of 200 in Sunday school, with 18 Sunday school classes and 3 soul-winning programs for men, women, and teenagers. We run 8 bus routes, which bring people to church every week. Last year (2013) we saw a total of 4,184 people saved ministry-wide, and we had 1,439 first-time visitors.
We have a great opportunity to reach all of Central America from Santa Ana through missions giving, missionary training, and helping men to start churches. We ask that you pray for our family, this work, and our country of El Salvador, a small country but a great mission field.