Today was a moving day. It was the celebration of the 39th anniversary of Resurrection Lutheran Church in San Salvador. This church and this community have an incredible history. This mural celebrates Medardo Gomez’ 25th year as bishop. The quote in red at the bottom says, “God, bless the women and men that work for peace… they shall be called daughters and sons of GOD.” The likenesses of Bishop Gomez and his wife are… close!

El Salvador’s gruesome Civil War ran from 1980 when I was in my first year of college, until 1992, when I was in my first call as a pastor in Iowa. The war was marked with executions, massacres, kidnapping, rape and torture. The government typically killed anyone who opposed them, sided with the guerillas or spoke out in any way. Clergy were killed, along with journalists, unionists, liberal students, and others. Death squads dressed in civilian clothing would show up and do their dirty work. Death lists were published. People knew when a hit was put out on them.

One of those people was Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, whom I will discuss in my next post.