Radical Hospitality

A reflection by a former delegate from First Lutheran Church of Duluth, partnerned with San Antonio Los Ranchos in El Salvador.

Painting.emfI did want to write a short message reflecting upon how the delegation trip in 2010 has left an impact upon my life.  I’ve shared this with many people, including members of my present congregation, but in a big way, the Sister Parish El Salvador trip was one of the deciding factors for my enrollment in seminary to pursue ordained ministry.  As we learned about Archbishop Oscar Romero and how God took this relatively soft-spoken, bookish priest—hardly one to rock any boats—and led him to encounter the risen Jesus Christ among the Salvadoran people who were experiencing such hardships, so much that his heart was changed and his heart became one with the heart of the people, I found that if God could take this imperfect man and change the world through him, God could certainly work through me.  I enrolled in an online seminary program several months after returning and have often spoken of this delegation trip while discussing with others my call to ordained ministry.

The other big way that it left an impact on me was the experience the hospitality of our host family.  Reagan and I stayed with the Serrano family (Miguel Serrano had received a scholarship) and I will forever remember how honored I felt as their guest—honored in ways that I knew they were making a sacrifice on their part to host me—and that they were glad to do that.  Their actions taught me about the sacrificial nature of radical hospitality—the kind that Christ has shown us in the cross—making room for us at a real cost.  And, yet, despite the cost, joy can be found there.  The Serrano family were powerful preachers to me and I thank God for them and for all of your efforts in making that delegation trip possible and maintaining the Sister Parish relationship between First Lutheran and Los Ranchos!  It has been a joy to be a part of…

– B.D., April 24, 2015

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Building community across borders.
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