LIGHTSHINE? Back in 2001 two lawyers conspired to form something new. One (Roger) said to the other (Paul)…. “What should we call this idea”?

Paul had no clue. It was a dark December day in Seattle. He sat in the sofa looking out into the dreary, darkness. Then the very somber clouds and a gleaming ray of sun shined through the clouds.

“Roger”…. “Let’s call it Lightshine”…. Paul went on to explain that Jesus had reminded him that His followers are ‘salt and light’ to an insipid and dark world. “Let your light shine so that men would see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. Lightshine had started in 1990 as a lawyer trying to help Romanian kids and orphanages when he was working nearby. Now (2001) it was an entity.

The purpose of Lightshine was for a few folks to band together to demonstrate ‘good works’ (practical acts of love) to an initial target audience: Orphans. And specifically orphans in Romania. Lightshine partnered with others in the beginning…. Doctors, other attorneys, churches…. Even Nordstroms sent 300 pounds of shoes via Lightshine in the 1990s (to a snowy village in the eastern Carpathian mountains). Lightshine has always partnered with others for a better result.

Jesus promised that if He be ‘lifted up’, He would draw people to Himself (which also brings each of us closer to one another). His purpose was clear: “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John chapter 17)

Laws and governments and needs changed, and in 2004 Lightshine’s initial season in Romania was coming to a close. In August 2004, Agros invited Lightshine’s founder to come to Nicaragua with a group of business types for a ‘vision trip’. Lightshine ‘Latin America’ was about to be born!! AGROS does an amazing job with the ‘big picture’ of systemic poverty: helping people survive economically… buy the own land, start flourishing businesses…. Become sustainable.

For Lightshine, we try to be like cement that fills in the cracks of the kitchen tile or garden patio blocks. Agros built villages…. Our founder went to live in one, teaching many of the illiterate kids how to read. In the process, he taught them how to swim, ask questions, and to think critically. Hopefully we all learned a little more about Jesus… and how to experience His love and to reflect it back to Him and to each other.

As you can read by clicking the buttons…. Lightshine has been and will always be about Community. Maybe the best thing we’ve done is to be a bridge and take lots of folks from the US (and a few from Europe) to Latin America to know and love some of the seemingly ‘forgotten children’ of our world.

One more reminder from Jesus…. “Lord, when did we see you naked, or hungry or thirsty….?? (paraphrased Matthew chapter 25)  And Jesus reminded us that when we give a cup of cold water in His name, we do it ‘unto Him’     Let’s do good things together! Lightshine is Community!!  

LIGHTSHINE PARTNERS (past and present):

Grisela Olivera Eklund Wife of Exec Director, Paul Eklund and best ministry partner ever!!

  • Community Covenant Church; Twisp, WA Our ‘church’ who sent us as their missionaries.   With special thanks to Gene and Janie Westlund and Pastor Jeff Palmberg

AGROS ( ) Agros helps families in Central America break the cycle of rural poverty through land access, market-led agriculture and financial empowerment


Government of Peru

With special thanks to:

  • -Hon. Miguel Angel Velasquez, Consul del Peru (Seattle)
  • -Hon. Lourdes Mendoza del Solar. (Former Vice President, Peru)
  • -Congressmen Max Mena and Jesus Hurtado
  • Torre Fuerte (girls home)/ Arequipa; Founders- Dario & Indira Quintana
  • Helping Hands/Amor en Accion (Andrew/Shannon Field, Seattle; Coco/Mati Alvan, Trujillo)
  • Dr. Niels Rygaard, Psychologist (Denmark); Dr. Rygaard provides expertise in treating issues relating to emotional damage in children suffering from ‘attachment disorder’; see:                       

Pontificia University (Lima) 

  •  With special thanks to Dr. Cecilia Thorne, Psychology Dept    (co-sponsoring Lightshine Conference with Dr. Rygaard re: ‘Ninos en Riesco’,  {“Children at Risk” Lima, Peru; November 2007)

Seattle University

  • With special thanks to Dr. Phil Thompson, Engineering Dept   (for pioneering & “mentoring” development of ‘clean water’ in Peru)

Parroquia del Espiritu Santo (Manchay, Peru)    

  • BIG thanks to Padre Jose Chuquianqui (for loving people & helping us learn how to help)

MerinsaCompany, Lima Peru (water filters, special thanks to Ricardo Yupari, general manager)

Rotary International  

  •  -Sunrise Club (Lima) & past president, Sean Walsh
  •  -Omak-Okanogan Club (Washington State)
  •  -Sean & Emma Walsh (our ‘eyes, hands and feet’ in Peru!!)



  •  See Doxa Serves ( Special thanks to Alex & Kathryn Knopes
  •  Doxa is our ‘partner’ in serving orphans and the homeless in Mexico

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