Saturday, February 10, 2018

Confirmation of Our Friend Briseida on February 3, 2018

Briseida Cruz Miron, who visited Good Shepherd (with Luis) a couple of years back, has some news!  She has chosen to be an official member of the Lutheran Church in El Salvador.  Though she originally had plans to graduate from divinity school last fall, that’s now planned for this coming fall.  After that, we’ll see if she feels called to be ordained.  With Pastors Carlos and Vilma as mentors, she is in good hands indeed, and may God guide them well.

Briseida is employed by Habitat for Humanity in the capitol city of San Salvador, El Salvador.  She works as the Faith Partnership Coordinator.  She visits us every year at our work site and usually stays to share a meal with us. 

Meanwhile, our next visit to El Salvador is planned for Saturday, July 28, to Sunday, August 5, 2018.  To save on air fare, it would be best if 9 people could commit by the end of April.  So far, Jim Hack, Bob Clark, and I intend to go again, and Nicki Kyle plus two friends have expressed a strong interest.  That’s six and counting, two-thirds the way to the magic number of 9!

Don Block’s January brunch was a big success and raised some well-needed funds.  In addition, Tatiana Shustova hosts another recital at Good Shepherd on Sunday, March 25.  

We’re also planning on holding the Dinner, Silent Auction, Bake Sale event later in the Spring.

On Saturday, February 3, 2018, Bris approaches the altar for the Rite of Confirmation at Cristo Rey (Christ the King) Lutheran Church, Santa Ana, El Salvador.  She is accompanied by an unidentified woman, probably a sponsor, plus Arzobispo Manardo Gomez (Archbishop of El Salvador).  Our long time friend from the Getsemani Women's Co-Op, Beti, is seen in the background on the right.

Bris is greeted at the altar by Pastors Carlos and Vilma.

 Communion is offered by the Arzobispo (Archbishop).  Beti looks on.

 Bris receives her Confirmation candle from Arzobispo Gomez. 

Bris is presented to the congregants of Cristo Rey Lutheran Church.
Pastor Vilma on right.





Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Christmas Wood Stove for Our 2017 El Salvador Family


While helping build a home with our Habitat family last August, it came to our attention that they needed a new wood stove for cooking to put in their new house.  We were thrilled to share with them a monetary gift on behalf of the people of Good Shepherd for the purchase of a new stove.  Jackie and Josue are pictured above in Jackie's mom's house with the new stove.  A festive tablecloth is already in place.  (Note that the 2018 intended visit dates are Saturday, July 28, through Sunday, August 5.)

Jackie's husband, Francisco, is seen below with his family at an event last August.


From the Habitat office in Santa Ana:

"Now this beautiful family has a new Eco-Stove that saves wood, is healthier for the environment, and safer for family members who cook.  Juan Francisco Diaz Reyes, his wife Jackie, and their son Josue now have a brand new stove for cooking in their new home.  Jackie received the stove and told us she was very happy, thankful, and blessed.  It was like a dream that became reality because both the house and the stove had been in their prayers."

Praise God for stirring the hearts of members at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to reach out with generosity through the Holy Spirit to meet needs as we encountered them on the ground in El Salvador.


The receipt for the $200 purchase is dated December 1, 2017.  "Doscientos dolares" = two hundred dollars.  "Escolar con rondos" means "school model with wheels".  In the photo above, part of the chimney remains un-assembled on a nearby table.  Below are two photos of Jackie and Josue in front of the finished home.  For photos of the new home interior and dining room table, see the Good Shepherd Facebook page here .  It's hard to believe the house is about the size of a two-car garage.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Visit from the Women of Getsemani Co-Op

The Getsemani Co-Op (local spelling) was formed with the help of Thrivent several years ago.  They now help each other make and sell a variety of goods, plus they make micro loans.  They typically provide our noontime meals at the work site, they visit us with their things to sell during the week, and come to the Thank-You event on the Friday concluding our work week.

Left to right, Beti, Dinora (Co-Op Head), Griselda (soap), and Verilise.

The goods sold by the Co-Op are all locally produced from natural products like seeds and plants.  Pictured are bracelets, necklaces, and soaps.  The soaps are new, and consist of versions that include coffee, chocolate, lemon zest, or coconut.  They hope to be set up on a web page by next year so orders can be placed on line.  We ordered our coffee from them to bring back to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign, IL.  You can buy a bag in the Narthex for $10.  In addition, Marilyn has some earrings that you can buy.  Profits go back to the Co-Op.

Dean and Adriana, who remember each other from last year.  Though obviously adorable, Adriana is also fun and funny.  She is Beti's niece.

Adriana laughs easily, and Lorraine made her laugh a lot.
Adriana is not a giggler; instead, she laughs boisterously.

Marilyn, Adriana, and Lorraine engage in drawing with colored pencils, a very clever idea brought by Nicki, which the kids all liked very much.

Remember Beanie Babies?  We had some to give away to kids, and we gave Adriana a duck.  Flor insisted that it would be hilarious if we told Adriana that the duck was named "Pollo", the Spanish word meaning "chicken".
Flor was exactly right, and Adriana thought "Pollo" was just terrific.

 Our group with the Co-Op Women, and their kids.

Construction Photos

We brought the house to the point of having floors poured, the roof put on, and the final coat of paint applied.  We look forward to seeing the completed home some day.

 How things started out Monday, August 7, 2017.  Julio, head mason, tells us what we will be doing all week.






















The result at the end of the week is a structure ready for floors, a roof, and paint.
 

The Friday Aftenoon Thank-You Party

Every year, Habitat concludes the work week with an event where they invite the masons, the volunteers, some Habitat staff, plus the Co-Op ladies to enjoy lunch and a party that always includes kids and a Pinata.


Francisco and Josua.

Bris looking on.

Vanessa, Francis, and head mason, Julio.

Francis, plus some ladies from the Women's Co-Op, named Gethsemane.  Dinora, Lolita, and Beti are pictured, left to right.

Francis, Jim, and Julio (head construction mason).

Alex (mason #2) presents Dean with a thank-you certificate.  Just that very morning, we worked together on the job site.

AJ and Lolita, from the Co-Op.

Francisco (from the family) and Bob.

Francisco and Alex.

Jaquline and Deb.

Nicki and Dinora, head of the Gethsemane Women's Co-Op.

Marilyn and Beti, from the Co-Op.

Angela and Jackie (from the family).

Lorraine and Jackie.

Jim, Group Leader, and Julio, Head Mason.

The pinata causes a ruckus, as Oscar, mason #3, looks on below.