For the past several months I’ve been cramming conversational Spanish. Thanks to Ms. Pimsleur and her podcasts, my lessons take place in the car every day. I now know how to ask where to buy a gift for my children (if I had any) and how to order hot coffee in a restaurant!
The reason for the cramming is that in a few weeks I’ll be headed to El Salvador with a delegation from the MetroDC synod. Connections
This trip will make several important connections I think. First of all, it will be a connection with our sister synod. As a result of civil war through the 1980’s and then natural disasters including Hurricane Mitch in the 1990’s, an already poor country was left even further impoverished. The sister churches I will visit help minister to the homeless, to the poor, and to children.
The trip is also important because it makes a connection with the neighborhood around Good Shepherd. The Salvadorans who live and work in our area send money back to family and friends. In some cases, 90% of what they earn is given away – their generosity is astounding!
Even closer to home is the connection with our custodian, Hector Hernandez and his family. Hector has lived in the United States for 27 years, but both he and his wife Anna are from San Miguel, El Salvador. Hector and Anna are even more excited than I am (if that is possible!), for me to see their homeland.
Finally, there is a connection to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the United States as thousands of unaccompanied children have arrived at our borders from Central America. These children bear horrific stories of gang life and other struggles in their journey to the United States.
Beyond compassion, I don’t know how the United States ought to respond to the current crisis. I don’t know how to end gang warfare or stop corrupt politicians or prevent natural disasters. Building relationships with people to learn more about the issues can be a start in working toward solutions, however.
So I continue to cram so I can learn as much Spanish as possible before I go. I doubt I’ll be wanting to order hot coffee in August!