Partnering During A Pandemic: The Virtual Campfire

I found four raggedy pieces of paper, ripped out of a small notebook.  Black ink on pale green paper.  At the top of the first page, in big letters it says:  Go Big or Go Home.

I kept reading:
100% All In
They gave us everything.  We have much to share.
Super Hospitality.

Dancing in Public.

People are Resources.
You look at the world in a different way.
If we speak in a stereotype, we represent that we are now the experts.

As delegations, we gather together on the porch in the after-dinner dark to reflect on our days.  I often scribble down notes and thoughts in a journal or on scraps of paper.  Cleaning during a pandemic provided a re-encounter with an evening of reflection in El Salvador.  Let's keep reading:

What
if we greeted everybody
at our church the same way
that we were welcomed here?
What would our church look like?

Though I walk through the valley, I know you are with me.

How can there be so much love after so much violence?
How do we get this level of hospitality?

Love is germinating.
It seems like the Holy Spirit is working something.
How do we discern the path?
We can ask for help.

What did you notice?



A sweatshirt and shoes flying out of an unzipped backpack
and a kind woman gathering them up
A parking lot attendant with a really big rainbow clown umbrella and our driver
working together to squeeze a big bus into a small space
Lizards and big bamboo
Loud rock music on a Saturday night on the strip is universal
Clouds above and clouds below
When you are in the lightning, the thunder is really loud
Four girls giggling over chicken
Maura's smile and voice are present in her sister
Hugs.  Really moist and really long and really strong.

Marching
with a church represented by struggling folks
a family in a doorway, do they wait for the Lutherans every year?
little kids shouting, "No to violence, yes to life!"

Atol de Elote - Corn Milk
If corn is life, then I am full of life
because I had three cups of this stuff.

When one eats, two eat.

Once you know, you can't not know.

Breaking old ways of thinking
Linking together relationships
My chains are gone, I've been set free.

Corazon.  Alma.  Fuerza.  Mente.
Heart.  Soul.  Strength.  Mind.

How can we build up our relationships when we cannot physically be together?  Let's take a minute to pull out our journals.  Let's remember.  Let's message our fellow travelers to see how they are doing.  Let's message our friends in El Salvador to see how they are doing.  Let's recall stories together.  This is the time when we gather around the virtual campfire and chronicle where we have been and dream about where we are going. 

The words in this post are transcribed exactly as written while reflecting with a first-timer delegation from a church at the very beginning of its journey in forming a sister church relationship.  

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