Today is the 32nd anniversary of the assassinatio of Monsignor Romero. The common lectionary comes in cycles so I understand the following connection as an amazing coincidence, yet I can’t help but take some prayerful time to consider the lectionary’s gospel passage for this Sunday, March 25, 2012, contains John 12:24, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This, I have learned, is the final piece of Scripture Monsignor Romero preached on March 24, 1980, in the sermon he gave right before he was shot dead through the heart.
Much fruit has been born of this man.
Click-thru to our El Salvador 2010 global trip blog posts.
A year ago today, UTS students, staff, faculty, and friends were marching with thousands of people from around the world to remember Monsignor Romero and the Christ-like sacrificial love he offered to the suffering Salvadorans. On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while giving mass and his life and work are still very much a part of the culture of El Salvador, as well as to those who celebrate liberation theology as vital Christianity and who stand in solidarity with those who suffer injustice.
On Tuesday, March 22, US President Obama and El Salvador President Funes went to the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador where Romero is buried. You can read about and see pictures of the visit here. In the meantime, take a moment to read this brief biography of Romero from USCatholics.org, brows the El Salvador 2010 trip archives, and know it is possible to be Christ-like in word and action.
Tuesday night’s event went really well and the pupusas were delicious. We sold over fifty tickets and most every item on the silent auction sold, bringing our total donation dollar amount to over $1000 for various El Salvador causes. Thanks to all who attended. Oh, and I snapped a photo of Professor Chris preaching!
Professor Chris thanks everyone for coming.
The students and faculty who went to El Salvador this semester ask you to join us for dinner, a silent auction, and worship celebration on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at United Theological Seminary (3000 5th Street NW, New Brighton, MN 55112).
6:00pm-7:00pm Dinner with a traditional Salvadoran menu of handmade Pupusas, flour and corn tortillas, homemade guacamole, black beans and seasoned rice, chips and salsa, icy drinks, fair trade coffee, and dessert.
6:00pm-7:30pm Silent Auction of beautiful artisan crafts from El Salvador (proceeds benefit projects in El Salvador)
7:30pm-8:00pm Presentation sharing the experiences, strength, hope, and courage given to the students of the UTS Global Justice trip to El Salvador.
8:30pm Final Auction Bids take place.
Dinner tickets are $10 per person, $7.50 per student. To purchase tickets, contact any UTS student who was on the trip, pick them up in the UTS Cokesbury Bookstore, or call in your reservation to Adam Pfuhl at 651.255.6161. For more information, contact Diane Light at 920.229.1470.
The preliminary hearings in the case between the El Salvadorian government and Canadian mining company Pacific Rim begins today. Claiming protection under regulations of CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, Pacific Rim claims El Salvador is in violation of rules as it tries to limit what work it can do in the country. At stake? $77 million. International business precedent. Innocent lives. You can get much more information on this story than I’m able to provide at “Tim’s El Salvador Blog.”
Please keep the rights of the Salvadorian people in your thoughts and prayers as this international business case begins.
For all of the emotional moments we had on the trip, there were a lot of funny ones, too. Here’s a little bit of levity from my eyes. I encourage others on the trip to share some of their favorites, too, and hopefully those will appear in the comments. Here are ten funny moments I experienced on the trip to El Salvador, all off the top of my head and in no particular order:
“I need you to take your seat, ma’am.”
Professor Chris engendered some impatience more than once and from more than one flight attendant on the flight down as she tried to take a head count. Their collective air of pleasant sternness finally got her to sit down so we could take off. Don’t worry, Chris, we all made it to El Salvador safely!
“I have no ******* idea what you’re saying, man.”
While listening to President Funes speak, a man kept giving me a big smirk until I finally engaged him. He said something to me in seemingly complicated Spanish and I attempted to respond back, saying “Hola, como es ta?” He looked at me a long time and with a burst of liquor breath said, “Pfft. I have no ******* idea what you’re saying man.” Turns out he spoke English and from our short conversation I think he had lived in the US a whle. I know my Spanish, what exists of it anyway, is horrible, but it was a moment of surprise, nonetheless.
“Say cheese… WHOA!” Continue reading
Jimmy McCarty wrote a post on the God’s Politics blog by Jim Wallis about his impressions of Romero. In this post, you’ll see an imbedded video from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart detailing how a board of education in Texas decided whether or not to include Romero in the textbook. As McCarty writes, skip to 2:29 if you want to miss adult humor and go straight to the subject at hand.
I cried when I watched this. It’s yet another way I’ve found it difficult to control my emotions in the last 48 hours since returning home. It’s the “disappeared” comment that really got me. But I must say, it’s for good reason, as that video aired the night before we left on our trip and this woman truly lives in her willful ignorance. It really makes me sad.
If you don’t want to read McCarty’s article, here’s the link to the video directly.
What do you think?
Just wanted to say I’ve put up the photos for days 05-09 for you to check out, dear reader. I’ll have the other updates I promised up over the rest of the week.
We have returned stateside, safe and sound. There’s not a lot to tell about this final day of the journey, but here’s a little peak into how we traveled home and how I felt being back in the US after nine amazing days in El Salvador.
“Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory”
We awoke in the 3:00am hour, most of us having taken time to pack and shower the night before. With so many new gifts, repacking became a little adventure unto itself. Many of us brought extra bags or split up luggage with others who had extra room. Tim got clever and put his gifts in his suitcase and his clothes in a garbage bag (he had sneaking suspicions the flight attendant who give him a flippant look when he brought it on the plane may have put a hole in it on purpose but we’ll never know…). I ended up leaving two small bags of laundry with Cristina as a donation to make room for the gifts I purchased and am hopeful my clothes will come in handy for someone.
There was a little drama, too, in that the second van didn’t arrive to take our luggage. Our guest house hostess, Betty, volunteered to drive her pick-up truck for us, though. Somehow, we heaved all of our luggage aboard and headed out to the airport. Sara and I had a fulfilling conversation about married life and what it’s going to be like back home on our drive and we have solidified a powerful friendship we wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for this trip. For all of the powerful experiences the group has had, it is the lasting friendships which will hold those memories dear and our hearts accountable upon our return to privileged life in the US.
The redundancy of security checkpoints in San Salvador was frustrating, in that we had to show our passports to check in, then to enter security, then to enter the waiting lounge. Oh, and if you wanted to leave the lounge to see the mural down the hall depicting Romero with children – the mural President Funes stood in front of at the unveiling, asking for forgiveness on behalf of the Salvadorian government for the killing of Romero – then you had to stand in line and once again show your passport. It didn’t help that it was early and (I can’t speak for anyone else) I was grumpy, I suppose. Thankfully, the mural itself took away much of my stress and it’s photo-realism style really captivated me. Continue reading
We’re back, safe and sound, and while I haven’t posted about Friday’s travels yet (I got plenty of sleep last night!), I want to leave a quick note about what to expect on this blog over the next few days:
- A post about El Salvador Day 09.
- Photos added to Days 05-09.
- What it’s like to be back in the US after experiencing the marginalized and grossly underprivileged.
- Small tweaks to posts made by me to add more details.
- Comments posted by others who went on the trip, lending their own stories, memories, and emotional takes on our travels.
- Posts about post-trip reading from a post-trip perspective.
- Information about our upcoming auction/fundraiser.
- The winner of our Globalization contest.
- And when that’s all over, it’s time for posts about the upcoming Chiapas trip.
So sit tight, dear reader, and stay tuned. I’ll have plenty of new writing and photos for you soon.