December 2021 newsletter
Ann Greig, El Salvador
Greetings from the Soy Program!
I want to wish you all God’s peace and blessing as we continue to have moments of difficulty and sorrow. In El Salvador, the situation with COVID-19 is hitting very hard, claiming the lives of many people, including 12 priests. We must continue to take care of ourselves, not let our guard down, and keep the faith and hope that the COVID reality will improve. For me, it brings to mind the comforting words from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.”
We celebrated Children’s Day on Oct. 1 to share a little joy and activity with children, who have so few options during the pandemic. We played games, with prizes of course! We enjoyed a snack together and then — the most essential part for the children — the breaking of the piñata! A good time was had by all!
Thank you for all your support for my ministry and sustenance this year. Including the workshops and education access for 20 families, you have blessed the complex and challenging life of many families in the San Ramón area, giving testimony that Christ lives in solidarity.
Our workshops in chocolate preparation, the creation of piñatas, and jewelry making are now completed. In the next three months, the women will learn embroidery, which will be the last in our income-generating workshop series. The women who participated now have some new skills to generate income and are optimistic. It has been a mutually rewarding experience for the facilitators and the participants. In the photo on the back page, taken at our first embroidery workshop, we send you all a Merry Christmas greeting!
Thanks to your support, I have now worked as a Maryknoll lay missioner for 39 years in Latin America (Peru and El Salvador) and continue in mission! To make sure this experience will be available to others who have a missionary vocation as well, I want to promote Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ new “Walk With Us” campaign. This campaign aims to motivate new missioners to take the message of Jesus to new areas and implement new projects for the benefit of people, promoting their dignity as children of God and seeking their integral salvation.
With additional missioners, we can bring more hope and comfort to remote and forgotten places. We need your generous contribution to this project of Jesus, evangelization, and above all, the human promotion of our brothers and sisters most in need, in whom God is present in an extraordinary way.
For this reason, if it is possible, I ask you to donate to the “Walk With Us” campaign. You can donate all or part of your donation to the campaign.
On a personal note, I will be participating in a swimming event at Lake Ilopango on Dec. 5. A dear friend, Hector Lopez, a swimming instructor and Red Cross lifeguard, passed away from COVID last month. To honor Hector, a small group of us will be swimming a total of 3.5 kilometers at a lake where Hector trained swimmers, so I have started preparing for the event! No doubt, Hector will be smiling down on our group!
To close, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. I hope that you will be able to spend the holidays with your loved ones. Let us continue to keep one and another in prayer.
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.