Notes from El Salvador
A Guest Message From Pastor Emely in El Salvador
Extravagance That is Only Possible Through Love
Esteemed members of Abiding Savior,
I greet you in the name of God our father and mother who abundantly blesses us all in the life and ministries of our congregations. In the name of the people of Pan de Vida Lutheran Church and all of the teenagers we are privileged to accompany here in Jayaque, we thank you for the economic support you have provided for our wonderful health and sexual education project.
Hugs in Christ, Pastor Emely Chavez
God is present in suffering
LUKE 17: 5-10 - The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
We look for answers in times of tribulation and anxiety. Our desperation can be so great that we doubt the power of God in our lives.
People who appear to be doing well also experience the same thing because, while their lives may be satisfactory, there is a need – the presence of God.
There is no doubt that, in those places where God is called upon, God is present in pain and joy. God accompanies and assists in making that person resilient knowing that, for people in these conditions, their great wealth is waking up each morning in full knowledge of God’s mercy and realizing that God has given them a new day where everything will be provided by God.
When we live in faith, we live in victory because we trust that God is our helper. We will never be alone when we put our trust in God. We will receive answers in our afflictions because God responds according to God’s plan for each of us. God's response is not based on what we want and not in our time, but in God’s time.
In our walk we suffer a crisis of faith if our petitions to God are not answered in the way we wish. When this happens, we are tempted to lose confidence in God's abiding presence and intervention. Remember that God does have a plan for us. God does answer our prayers and God's answers are more excellent than our expectations. Beloved, do not lose heart; continue to trust in God’s promise of faithfulness.
When we dwell on the presence of God in us, we also know that God is with the most vulnerable of the vulnerable.
We question the existence of lepers, widows, the lame and the homeless, women, the elderly and children. We know these persons are loved by God. These communities are the product of a malign structural system that daily is supported by people who look to feed their own power, ego and hard-fisted interests. We know that such a system will resist change, but if we address it together, with God’s help, change will come.
Our faith in God invites us to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable and to be open and to have empathy for their plight; to see beyond their condition and find God’s face in every person we meet.
God walks with and exists in the midst of the most vulnerable –women, the elderly and children.