December 2021 newsletter
Larry Parr, El Salvador
Merry Christmas from El Salvador!
I hope that you all are having an amazing holiday season.
One of the important themes of mission is the idea that we are all called to walk together in the journey for a more just and compassionate world. Mission is not just for those who go to another country, but instead a calling for all who believe in the mission of Jesus.
We are called to stand in solidarity with those on the margins and together denounce injustice. Only together can we help to create a world full of justice, inclusiveness and love. In this way, everyone is called to be a missioner in their own way and use their unique gift to help build the reign of God. Those that support our ministries through prayers and donations, as well as all of our local partners in the communities, are all missioners walking together and doing their part to help construct a better world.
It has been such a privilege to be able to walk with Salvadoran youth as they struggle to find opportunities and work to better their community. Salvadoran youth face a lot of adversity. Violence, gangs, poverty, lack of support and resources are just a few of the issues they face on a daily basis. It means so much to them to know that there are people all over the world walking with them in solidarity on their journey to transform their community.
I have seen this theme being lived out by college students in the small town of Las Delicias. A group of four college students — César, William, Yadira and Stanley — have been volunteering every Saturday with our Dean Brackley tutoring program. This program provides tutoring for high school students in the communities so that they can have opportunities to go to college. These four students all were participants of this program when they were in high school and were able to reach their dream of getting into college.
Despite having so many challenges, they now have decided give their time to help the next generation. They provide in-person mentorship for the participants and walk with them on their journey to realize their dreams. All four enthusiastically spend every Saturday morning accompanying the children with their online tutoring from the university. They are truly walking with younger students and helping to create more opportunities in the town. Their presence means so much to the kids that they are mentoring. They are examples that someone from a marginalized community can reach their dreams and also still work hard to transform their community with opportunities for the next generation.
These young people embody the spirit of mission. It is such a privilege to walk with them on their journey to reach their dreams, and now they are the ones who are accompanying the next generation on their path to build a better future. They are living out their faith by giving support and hope.
This could not happen without all the support and prayers from people in the United States who are walking in solidarity with our students on their journey to face their challenges and accomplish their dreams.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support of our ministry with the young people of Las Delicias. I would also like to invite everyone to participate in Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign — it is a great way to be a part of all the amazing work our missioners are doing across the world.
I am so grateful for your continuing support of my ministry. During this season of giving, I would like to urge you to consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign. This new campaign raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us.
A group of donors has already pledged to match the dollars raised by this campaign 2-to-1. That means that every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. This campaign will ensure that Maryknoll Lay Missioners will be able to continue to send and to support missioners like me in the years to come. Please pray for the success of this campaign and if you can, please donate at the “Walk With Us” button below.