Pray with El Salvador, January 15, 2023

Pray with El Salvador, January 15, 2023

Lectionary Selection: John 1:29-42

Prayers from El Salvador

Lamb of God,
You who arrived to inaugurate the time of Grace,
To heal and cleanse the evils and sins of the world,
Be with us, Lamb of God.
In this country that transits in shadows of uncertainty,
In a reality of poverty that spurs the lives of your daughters and sons,
see your Emmanuel Baptist Church,
As your servant, to share the good news of your Gospel,
And this serves for the construction of the Kingdom of God.
For the truth to flourish and bear fruit,
Justice and Peace among us.

Mission Moment from El Salvador

Rev. Miguel Tomás Castro
Emmanuel Baptist Church, El Salvador

Our ministry of solidarity and pastoral accompaniment focuses on families affected by poverty and extreme poverty and equally by the current state of emergency declared by the Government of El Salvador in March 2022.   The State of Emergency has allowed the Government to restrict a series of citizen rights to facilitate the persecution of criminals.   We have been together with our brother and friend Ricardo Fernando Orellana in this accompaniment. Ricardo has been in charge of his family of 7 girls and boys for more than 3 months in the Cantarrana Community of Santa Ana, in the western part of the country.   That situation of Ricardo Orellana taking care of his 7 children, including 2 8-month-old babies, was caused by the arrest of Ricardo Orellana’s life partner and mother of the children, Mrs. Rosa del Carmen Mendoza. Rosa del Carmen was detained and imprisoned in the city of Metapán.

Our Church has brought solidarity aid to this family for their maintenance. Still, it is not enough just to bring food to survive. We also demand that the State release this mother because the Universal Rights of Children are violated in her detention. The Government is violating the right to protect their physical, mental, and social development. These children live practically in total precariousness. According to the universal declaration of human rights, children have the right to food, housing, and medical care for the mother and child. We do not know the conditions in which the mother of these girls and boys is. They have the right to be cared for and loved by their parents and protected against abandonment, cruelty, or exploitation.   We have demanded the government release the mother of these children, not only as a human rights matter but for humanitarian reasons. Two of the children are breastfeeding, which cannot happen because his mother is in jail.

The Gospel of Saint Matthew 25 has inspired us to this endeavor. The Scripture says, “I was hungry, and they gave me food. I was thirsty, and they gave me drink, I was naked, and they clothed me, I was a stranger, and they took me in. I was sick, and they visited me. I was in jail, and they came to see me… as soon as you did it to one of these little ones, you did it to me”.

As Christians, we are called to continue following the Lamb of God, who takes away the world’s sin, especially in times like those in El Salvador.   Let us all be followers of the Lamb of God.  

Written by The Reverend Miguel Tomás Castro is the General Pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in El Salvador.

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