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Showing posts from May, 2011

Beyond the Walls

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Our sister church community was formed when families were brought together in the convolution of lost and landless families and the Peace Accords and refugee resettlement and strangers who suddenly became neighbors. Families were given small plots of land which had been carved off of the corners of the surrounding plantations in response to a directive of the Peace Accords to implement land reform. To their designated lots of rocky earth moms and dads and teens and little ones dragged sheets of corrugated tin and plastic, or sticks with which to construct mud and stick walls. The top of the hill was claimed for the church, Heroes of the Faith Lutheran Church, and the pathways were given the names of martyrs and heroes.

Little by little, families worked to make their homes a bit more permanent, with adobe or cement. And little by little, friendships formed, relatives joined their family members and the community grew. The little community, which was originally described as an unnam…

A Special Gift from "Mi Papá"

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At some point, we became family. Not just "sister church family" or "brothers and sisters in Christ" family, but family that is rooted in genuine love and care for each other.

My sister church pastor and I are the same age. We think alike. We joke around. We are serious. When my dad died, I grieved in El Salvador and he was with me. When my best friend told me she was moving away, she did it when the three of us were together so we could hold each other up. He has lived in my home, and I have lived in his. His mom and dad love me like a daughter. His sisters and brothers love me like a sister. We hang out. We help each other with chores. We chat over the internet. We celebrate special days together, when we can.

I had been in El Salvador for a month, partly with delegations, partly on my own, working and spending time in our sister community. In between this and that, I spent time relaxing and sharing meals at my Salvadoran family's house. On my la…

Off the Beaten Path: Kidnapped for Fun

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One day, a few of the female leaders of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church and their one male accomplice kidnapped me and took me up the side of the volcano. I had been working pretty hard for a couple of weeks, and so had they, and it was so very hot in the city. The ladies had hatched a plan and easily convinced a certain friendly pastor to be their driver, and so one afternoon we found ourselves driving up the side of El Boqueron.

The air got cooler and cooler as we went up and up. We laughed and told stories and admired the scenery along the way. We turned off at Cafe Miranda. "Hey, I always wanted to go here!" I said.

It's true. I had been up to the park at the top of El Boqueron several times, and en route had passed by the signs for Cafe Miranda, rumored to be a beautiful place, but the signs always had said "closed." The kidnapping day was my lucky day!

We stepped out of the car into the cool and breezy air. In front of us lay a beautiful complex of wh…