Thursday, July 16, 2009

A hockey player heads to El Salvador with World Vision

One of our favorite non-Red Wings hockey players was sent by World Vision to the mountains of El Salvador. Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators had already sponsored a few children through World Vision. The charity asked him to participate in a trip to film a TV commercial that will be shown in the Ottawa area to gain more child sponsorships.

As well as working with the poor for a few days, Fisher was also able to see some success stories from sponsored children. Including a young woman who was able to sell eggs at a market with the help of some World Vision provided chickens. From this story that we found at, writer Wayne Scanlan details the trip.

In South America, Fisher was more or less anonymous, causing a stir just as an outsider visiting some of the poorest villages, barely beyond the bustling capital city of San Salvador.

``Just five minutes outside the city, there is a major, drastic change,'' Fisher says. ``Extreme poverty.''

Fisher has sponsored children through World Vision in the past, helping to pay for basic needs and education, so, when the organization invited him to see El Salvador in the flesh, he was all over it.

``I've always wanted to go somewhere where the conditions are poor, a place like Africa,'' Fisher says. ``Maybe I'll go there next time.''

The rugged Christian from Peterborough, Ont., comes by this missionary zeal naturally. Fisher's uncle, David Fisher, was the chapel leader of the Toronto Blue Jays for 29 years. Mike's sister and father have done missionary work together in Ecuador.

n El Salvador, Fisher spent the first working day visiting villages of squalor, seeing first hand the living conditions of the poor. The conditions of the land alone was a challenge.

``We went up in trucks into the mountains,'' Fisher says. ``It was quite the ride even by truck, and the local people walk in. It takes four hours for this one family just to get into town.''

He won't forget visiting the tiny shack of one family, no food on the premises and eight children living in the one room, about 10 feet by 10 feet.

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