Wednesday, January 5, 2011

El Salvador 2010, A Look Back

The year 2010 brought many hardships to the people of El Salvador. A continued worldwide recession has kept unemployment high and production low. Violent crime has persisted despite extra measures by the government to confront it. The rainy season brought floods and scores of ruined crops, leaving families who already struggle to contend with high prices of beans and corn.

2010 has also seen many triumphs of the Spirit. Many Salvadoran volunteers came together to provide relief to those hardest hit by the previous year's hurricanes. Lutheran congregations in El Salvador united with sister churches from around the world to work together in our mission to build peace and mutual understanding. The Salvadoran Lutheran Chuch launched a campaign that says no to violence and yes to life.

As I reflect upon this past year, I see not only the major events, but also the small things, the friends I've made, the excursions to various parts of the country, the random events that spice up everyday life.

Here I offer a slight sampling of my many experiences here in El Salvador that my camera happened to capture. May 2011 bring us progress in our search for justice in a world of suffering. But may we take time to see the small moments, the everyday relationships. And may we discover in them the presence of God.

A soccer game breaks out on a camping trip
with friends in Chalatenango.

Children at the Casa Concordia confirm their commitment to Christ at a special church service.

A break in the church-building action gives workers
from First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Keokuk, Iowa,
a chance to relax with members of the Los Lobatos community
in Santa Ana.

On the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's death,
Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gómez joins with Catholic clergy
in an ecumenical celebration of the martyr's life.

A labor march gathers below the statues of
The Divine Savior of the World (El Divino Salvador del Mundo)
and Archbishop Oscar Romero in the city of San Salvador.

A work group from Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Chanhassen,
Minnesota, helps build a church in the community Buena Vista,
near the Guasapa volcano.

A spider.

A hike from the community Rutilio Grande leads to an overlook
of the Salvadoran countryside.

Two boys fly a kite on a soccer field in Soyapango.

A crazy Global Ministries missionary (me) plays some soccer
with the kids at the Hope House (Casa Esperanza).

The family at the Casa Concordia waits for a bus
on our way to church at La Resurrección.

Maritza shows off the breakfast she has prepared:
pupusas, tortillas stuffed with beans, cheese, veggies
or just about anything you can imagine.

The view out of my room at the Casa Concordia.
I often go on runs around the Cuscutlán Stadium in the background.

The Casa Concordia family climbs a vine at their farm in Suchitoto.

I wonder just what the fumigation intends to get rid of,
since both humans and mosquitos return to the offices
shortly afterwards.

Lutheran pastors from around the country hop on a bus
for a year-end pastor's retreat in La Palma, Chalatenango.

Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Nick, Happy New Year! Hope you are well. Many of our Wisconsin/Minnesota group will be back at Casa soon. Wish we could have joined them. Keep writing! Bruce Campbell