Sorry for the long week without a blog… but I had a small delegation here. Three from the Compañeros group visited us. They are the coordinating committee in Central Iowa for the Our Sister Parish mission. Each volunteer member is a representative of their church who has a partner/sister relationship with a canton (village) here in Berlin. (Although not all of the churches who have partner communities here in El Salvador attend the monthly meetings). There are about 8 people who consistently show up. And 3 of them are from one church!! The hope is always that there will be at least one rep present from each church. This way, the churches can better see the bigger picture of the mission, bounce ideas off each other and help provide the support the Pastoral Team needs. Partially it is the concept of ‘many hands’ but also, we think it is important for the individual churches to have a better understanding of the entire mission. There is more to the overall mission than their individual church/community partnerships.
The Compañeros group assists the Pastoral Team with their support of the economic development projects that the Team is involved in and the huge variety of works that are done independent of the partnerships.
Anyway – 3 representatives of Compañeros were able to come and sit face to face in meetings with the Pastoral Team. It is such a joy for that to happen. It solidifies the mission. It helps both groups to realize we are all working with the same vision: always God first. That is number one. Serving the poor of Berlin is side by side with the first.
Some of the conversation was difficult – but in the end I believe our bond was strengthened.
It was a good week. The Compañeros members typically are their church delegation and mission committee leaders so they have lots of background and knowledge of the mission. They also know and love the members of the Pastoral Team. There was lots of laughter and friendship shared this past week. And of course, that makes the more difficult conversations easier.
We visited 2 cantons for 2 of our delegates who have a partnership with them. They were able to touch base with their communities. Get a mini- face to face report of the recent projects and work being done. And of course, greet and re-kindle the friendship.
We walked to both San Lorenzo and Alejandria - two communities in which some members of the Pastoral Team live. Now our three Compañeros know the daily walk of some of our Pastoral Team volunteers. Not easy walks!!
We visited Ilobasco and San Sebastian – two towns famous for its pottery and woven goods respectively.
We had several meetings – getting updates and planning for future water filter work, getting updates on the future school in Brisas del Sol … putting our heads together to better all our work with delegations and the communities.
The week FLEW by!
One of the Compañeros (Joe) stayed behind. He is a part of the St. Boniface church group and they will be here tomorrow. He made good use of his time by being here for both delegations with a little time in between with his Salvadoran family.
So that is it for now. I need to get my head ready for the next group. It might be a slow blog week while they are here also …
Maybe I’ll at least try to post some pictures each day… just to give you something to look forward to.