December 2011: The Gifts of Sharing Ideas
As we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through
Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. II Corinthians 1: 5
I awaited the arrival of the group with excitement – it
seemed a little like the anticipation of gifts at Christmas time! I always enjoy
accompanying the groups that come to visit the Salvadoran Lutheran Church. When
a group comes, there are many gifts, like the friendships that grow into
hermandad, a Spanish word that means “partnership”, but that doesn’t
catch the whole sense. Think of partnership, brotherhood, and sisterhood all
mixed up in the same pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran food. In the same way
that the pupusa contains beans, cheese, and ground pork all mashed together
into a corn tortilla, hermandad contains different cultures, lifestyles,
languages, and backgrounds all mashed together in a common faith and hope.
A few weeks ago I was awaiting the arrival of some of the friends I had made in
the Iglesia Misión Cristiana of Nicaragua. They were coming to meet with church
leaders involved in similar mission projects. In both countries, as economic
struggles rise, access to basic needs becomes more and more difficult, and the
ability for families to provide their own food becomes more and more necessary.
Churches in both countries have programs which aim to feed families in several
communities by helping them grow their own food. The more each group shared
with the other, the greater their excitement grew, and the more they helped
solve their own challenges. At the end of the visit both groups had learned so
much from each other. They committed to getting together again next year to
advance and deepen their work, and hermandad.
We pray that hermandad grows in our congregations as well as the inspiration
of sharing in God’s love.
Green serves in El Salvador as a long-term volunteer with the Evangelical
Lutheran Church of El Salvador. He supports National Youth, with the
Family and Gender Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of El Salvador, and
also assists the Communications Program.