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El Salvador

September 24, 2012
Oh the wonders of technology! The long post I was in the midst of suddenly disappeared. Must have been too long. El Salvador cannot be easily summarized in a short bit of space. Our experiences ran the gamut of getting an introduction to the young Methodist church to witnessing sites of martyred priests who were killed during a wartime in which the government hastened to quell any possibility of a peoples revolt. In and through all of this weaves the beauty of the Mayan people and culture, a people who h…

ave struggled for survival, for the right to grow food to sustain themselves on land they had lived for generations. The bounty of El Salvador was quickly discovered by European and US capitalistic interests who wanted to make a profit at the expense of a humble and illiterate population. Our host and guide was Juan de Dios, president of the Methodist. The Methodist church is a mere 18 years old founded by a missionary and now under the leadership of Juan, a man of clear vision and dedication to the people of his church. The Methodist church has a strong presence in the western part of the country including a number of congregations in dangerous sections of San Salvador, the capital, nearly controlled by gangs. Juan maintains a careful balance of Wesleyan piety and works of mercy, encouraging small weekly group meetings and regular religious and theological education. The small churches we visited had strong outreach programs which included medical clinics and nutrition and health education. Juan speaks flawless English and was able to educate us not only on the history of the church, but also on the history of the country. His dedication to an El Salvador Methodist church which pays particular attention to cultural diversity and strengths left us with a clear image of just how much the Methodist churches of Latin America have to teach their North American brothers and sisters.
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