Showing posts from February, 2022

Celebration at the Gym: A story of dreams and determination

Sometimes, dreams come true.  This is the story of a gym. A gym made of dreams and determination. The gym is getting ready for a party! In a way, the gym story begins in Milwaukee. We have a friend, a professor at Marquette University, who was and is doing investigative work in preparation for authoring an academic paper with a focus on violence. In the course of things, she grew in understanding the impact of violence-based trauma in her own life and in the life of a small Salvadoran community. She began looking at her research topic through a different lens. Seeds were planted. Relationships grew. And so did an idea: to plant a free community gym in the center of Comunidad Romero in Tonacatepeque, El Salvador. Leaders decided to locate the gym right next to the Casa Comunal (community house)  as a sign that this gym is not a gym only for gym bros, not a gym to push diet plans or supplements, not a gym selling sexiness, but a free community gym where all people are welcome, all bodies

We Keep On Keeping On

On the last day of January 2022, a small group of travelers sat near an open window in Resurrection Lutheran Church, surrounded by a sprinkling of Salvadoran Lutheran Church pastors and synod staff.  The Salvadorans were back together after a weeklong closure of the church offices due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among office personnel. The travelers were joining their Salvadoran friends after a 2-year hiatus from travel. Feelings of love and joy in being together warmed the air.  Smiles were made with eyes, above the masks. Fist bumps and waves felt like hugs, sort of. Photo credit: Bob Adams On the first day of February, the travelers and the Salvadorans would begin a two-week Mission of Healing health education event, but on this last day of January, there was time for preparation, reflection and centering.   The Salvadoran pastors take turns leading the Monday devotional, and Pastor Francisco Aguilar was the preacher for this day.  He was about 3 minutes into his sermon when I decide