THE COUNTRY / GOVERNMENT
Yesterday Mauricio Funes was sworn in, along with his Cabinet, as President for the next five years. His inaugural speech was wide sweeping, ambitious, and challenging to all sectors. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the audience and immediately after hearing Funes say that all relations between El Salvador and Cuba would be renewed, was also assured that every effort will be made to build on the good relations with the United States. The speech pointed to significant shifts in focus and efforts to turn the country in a different direction; from my standpoint, the mention of faith, hope, ethics, and values were important touchstones. Much prayer and goodwill is needed for this country that has a significant part of its population living in the United States, and seemingly intractable problems at home. This is an historic shift in El Salvador.
THE E.S CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCHES:
Just now at the end of May I formally received what is the final edition of the agreement that has been arrived at for a Word and Deed Project
which I for more than a year have been promoting and even raising funding for! It consists of a double two-dimensional effort: Evangelism / Discipleship coupled with Diaconal / Development. This is meant to be a holistic (integral) witness for the Christian Reformed Church, to produce growth and service presence in the two communities of Santa Tecla and Huizucar.
The objection to having a salaried person (mentioned below) was withdrawn. Former longtime CRWRC employee Alba Lopez will be employed on a half-time basis to help accompany this project, in everything from encouragement to training to monitoring. A third of the needed funds are for her salary; the rest will go into trainings, materials, and program expenses. The churches are making a commitment to raise a part of the needed $15,850 for the first year.
ANOTHER INTERESTING DIMENSION
Sparked by the approach of the Reformed Calvinist Church to me, for help in renewing relations with the CRCNA, I made something of a prior counter-proposal: could the two El Salvador reformed churches begin a conversation looking toward reconciliation and reuniting?! That letter has not had any formal response as of yet; please make this a matter for prayer.
Part of the thinking behind this initiative, besides the smallness of each group, is the fact that next year two significant reformed bodies will be joining in one. The Reformed Calvinist church (six small congregations) already is a member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; my hope is that the two will retake the name of either the Christian Reformed or simply Reformed Church of El Salvador and become a charter member of the emerging World Reformed Communion. That happens in Grand Rapids, Michigan D.V. in June 2010. (Update mid-2012: no formal movement on this but there is occasional informal contact between leaders.)