Saturday, February 8
In recent years, Central America’s smallest and most densely populated country, known for its volcanos and world-class surf, has made headlines for something else: violence. Considered to be one of the most violent countries in the world, just last April El Salvador celebrated its first homicide-free day in three years! More than two decades after the signing of the Peace Accords, El Salvador still wears the social and cultural scars of a brutal, 12-year civil war.
A generation of young Salvadorans has tried to find its way in a context where corruption, drug trafficking, and gang-related violence are the new normal. The Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES) is responding by reaching out to youth and young adults entangled in gang culture or at risk of becoming so. IRCES has partnered with other Salvadoran churches to support the Pastoral Initiative for Peace, an effort to unify support for a peace process that began with a negotiated truce between warring gangs in El Salvador.
Since the truce was enacted in February 2012, gang violence has dropped significantly. In phase two of the process, weapons are being handed over and violence-free zones designated throughout the country. Working ecumenically toward a culture of peace—together with youth and young adults—is to live into God’s call to be agents of peace in God’s world.
—Kristi Van Nostran, PC(USA) mission coworker, San Salvador
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Joining Hands Network El Salvador: Kristin Van Nostran, facilitator
Joining Hands Network El Salvador: Doris Evangelista, coordinator • Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador: Rev. Joel Berdugo, moderator
Presbytery of Des Moines, with the Berlin Parish in San Salvador
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Loving God, give us the strength, will, and wisdom to follow the path that leads to life anew, along which the swords of violence and hate are transformed into plows of peace, hope, and love. Amen.