The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
by the Rev. Karen Castillo
Dear Bishops, Pastors, Brothers and Sisters:
We pray that you are doing o.k. and your churches, families, and friends too. We know the big responsibility all of you have, and we pray for wisdom, peace and understanding.
We are so happy to be part of a bigger community of faith, who cares, pray and walk alongside us, and we can walk alongside with as well.
In our last communication, we said that all of the activities (traveling, workshops, etc.) at ILAG were canceled for the first semester of 2020. That means that the dedication of the new elementary school is postponed until we can figure out when it will be possible. Click here to read Pastor Karen's letter from March 17. The English translation begins on page 3.
And even though it is canceled for now, we will have a small ceremony, as we want to add to the school name Pastor Esther Echeverría´s name, to honor her hard work and dedication she has given to God´s mission in Guatemala, and not just on the educational program, but in the entire ILAG. We have been witness that a part of her is in ILAG, and will remain after she will be gone, and we want to honor her life of service. We pray God to have her on this earth for many years. This was going to be a surprise, and now you know. We are making a sign to put on the wall of the new school building.
Our government has called a curfew, 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. until next Sunday. As the entire world is experiencing, things don’t look good in Guatemala. We have been in communication with all of our leaders in the communities and they are experiencing the same issues of concern: they don’t have the health care clinics close by or food. The quarantine will last until the end of March if the government doesn’t change it. Communities are taking all of the preventive measures to be safe. We have been talking by cellphone the entire week as we are not allowed to travel.
As you know, some of the communities don’t have electricity or smartphones and that makes our task more challenging. We have spent the last days on the phone for hours talking with them, sending messages of comfort, prayers, sermons, etc. We are really concerned for the future of the villages, and we are trying to figure out what to do, and how to do it, as the authorities don’t let us travel. So far they are ok, and we pray to our powerful and merciful God to have compassion, while we do our part preventing, and thinking what we can do.
With gratitude for the gift of life,