What does the Lord require of you?

Today we walked with our brothers and sisters of Berlin as we continued to learn the story of El Salvador’s past and hopes for the future. During our travels and walks today, we visited El Mozote, the small village where, in 1980, 1,000 men, women and children were brutally massacred by the military. The military policy during this period of the Civil War was referred to as “draining the sea to catch the fish”. The military believed the villagers were providing food and other resources to the guerillas and that by destroying them, the guerillas would be forced into the open. The United States provided the military one million dollars per day to fund their efforts to halt the revolution, in the name of stopping communism.

From El Mozote we traveled to Perquin Museum where a former member of the guerilla resistance shared with us the history of the twelve years of armed conflict from the guerillas’ perspective. A tour of a guerilla encampment, with its tunnels, armaments, and communication equipment gave us a sense of how the guerillas lived and fought.

Following our visit to the Peace Memorial near El Mozote, we walked to the Creation Mosaic where Blanca, a member of our Pastoral Team, lead a reflection on remembering the past, and fighting the indifference that can allow it to happen again. Blanca eloquently described the task of El Salvadorans and all Christians as helping “to make the martyrs’ dreams come true”.

We can help make sure that the sacrifices of the martyrs were not in vain by fighting against greed, violence, and climate change, always remembering how these issues disproportionately affect the poor.

The question is, what will WE do?

Doug and Julie Olson