These past five months have been a journey for us all… despite the fact that most of us have not left our homes! (except for essential trips to the grocery store and daily walks for our health and sanity). During this time, the weeks are difficult to distinguish, and as we thought about sending an update, it felt as if we had little to share. El Salvador remains “closed”, with no flights in and out, schools and businesses closed, and quarantines keeping people at home. We, Eliberto and Molly, have remained in our routines of working from home and limiting our interactions to phone calls and Zoom. Despite feeling that we had little “news” to share, we wanted stay connected through some sort of update. As we reflected on this time, there are several emotions or themes that have accompanied us and even a few notable events we want to share with you. We hope these give you a glimpse into our “Covid world”, and inspire you to reflect on and share your own experiences!
After some twists and turns, we are thrilled to share that we are expecting our first baby in October! This has been quite a journey, but we are grateful for the promise of new life. While we originally expected baby boy would be born in El Salvador, our plans have shifted and we look forward to the support we will have from family and friend here in the DMV as we adjust to a family of 3. Although this pregnancy has been different than we imagined, with quarantines, working from home, and virtual midwife appointments, it has been the greatest joy and light in the heaviness of Covid. We are so excited and so grateful for this gift.
Some other things that fill us with gratitude during this season include: being physically close to Molly’s parents and sister’s family, lots of phone calls with family and friends, our engaged and diverse church community FBC Silver Spring, a new apartment and place to call home, lots of walks and nature time, and for Molly, the chance to sing for our streamed worship services on Sunday mornings.
We are all lamenting during this season. We mourn our unattainable expectations for 2020 that became impossible due to Covid. We lament the unexpected deaths of so many. Some of our deepest moments of lament over these past few months are noted below:
In June International Ministries provided matching funds to all new monthly partners for missionaries. We first thought “What a difficult time for this campaign! Our world is struggling to survive a pandemic and the US is devastated by racial injustice.” Yes, we were. Yet people still generously partnered with us for the work of MVP in El Salvador. In the midst of such chaos and struggle, you all, our friends and family, found value in this work for peace in a tiny Central American country with people most of you will never meet. You chose to become part of MVP. We are so thankful for the 12 new monthly partners who are now part of our MVP family, and the gift of over $4,000 matches by IM for our work for peace. The financial support is definitely a huge gift, but above that, the reassurance that we have a great community walking with us and supporting us as we continue to work for peace is incredible. What a reassurance of our mission and calling, and of our growing MVP family. Thank you to all who form part is this family; we are so grateful you are on this journey with us!
As difficult as it is to express our uncertainty and doubts with words, there is release and freedom in naming these questions
bouncing around our heads:
These are just a few of our uncertainties these days… take time to share your own questions with those close you. We are not alone in our doubts and fears.
After a hard hit, “un golpe” as we say in Spanish, we often get a sense of hope. Of course we first experience the immediate effects of the hit, the pain, the frustration. And sometimes it takes a while to move through these feelings of pain and defeat. But most of us manage to get back up, and with that rising, we can claim a sense of hope. Our hearts are heavy for all the pain in our world, for the loss of life and the loss of ministry. Yet there is a sense of excitement as we begin to imagine what comes next. It’s a chance to reflect, a chance to hit the reset button. What should change? How can we use this crisis as a springboard into something stronger, better? It seems that we are still in the process of getting back up, perhaps with one knee still in the ground. Yet the hope that we will rise, that we will regain what has been lost, and that we can even exceed beyond where we left off in March can feel exhilarating. How does Covid change us personally? Our families? Our communities? Even our world? We are slowly learning and will continue to discover what newness is born out of this pandemic. One thing we are certain of – we want to be active leaders in the discovery that is to come, shaping our paths forward with a strong emphasis on peace and community. We may not be there yet, but the prospect is something to be excited about, something to fill us with hope.
We hope this update gave you a snapshot into our minds and hearts these days. Our daily routines have not changed much since March, but we hope you can feel connected to us and to your own communities of support during these days of isolation and separation.
May we continue to be people of peace, caring for ourselves and our neighbors as we hold all that is and all the unknowns to come.
Thank you for being part of the MVP family.
Peace and hope to you,
Eliberto, Molly, & Baby Boy