Recently a delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) visited the Popular Education for Health (EPES) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH), our ministry partners through our support of ELCA missionary Karen Anderson.
Karen wrote the following in her update:
The EPES team was thrilled and honored to receive the visit of the delegation from the ELCA this past weekend to share our history, current work and future. The ELCA leaders also had a lively meeting with community health groups, the newly graduated nutrition promoters and the EPES-trained advocates to end violence against women. The health groups
shared different educational campaigns and participatory methodologies with the delegation. Bishop Eaton, Rev. Malpica and Rev. Rodriguez participated in brief representations of community health activities—painting murals on the importance of early detection of breast cancer, promoting water instead of sugary sodas, among other issues. They also walked through the streets of the community of La Bandera to get to know the reality and to see some of the activities carried out by the Llareta health team. They visited the most recent mural painted by Llareta for the 25th of November—the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women. For EPES and the health groups, it was an opportunity to thank the ELCA for its long-term support and accompaniment for our work to promote justice and dignity in health.
On Sunday, I accompanied the delegation on their visit to the Park for Peace Villa Grimaldi, a former concentration camp for torture and extermination during the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet. Bishop Eaton, Pastors Rafael and Raquel were deeply moved by the testimony of their guide, camp survivor, Lelia Pérez, who highlighted the role Bishop Helmut Frenz of the IELCH played in the defense of human rights during the most difficult years of the dictatorship. The delegation visited the park and heard the horrific and painful stories of the life of prisoners held there but also heard their stories of the solidarity and humanity that sustained them in their darkest hours. After the visit with EPES and the visit to Villa Grimaldi, Rev. Malpica wrote on his Facebook: “Today I give thanks for Helmut and Lelia. I also give thanks for the courageous women at EPES.
I thank you for your support to the wider ministries of the ELCA (such as global mission), that accompanies ministries like EPES, here in Chile and programs around the globe seeking justice and peace for vulnerable and marginalized communities. The history of the brutal dictatorship in Chile; the witness and story of Lelia demands our commitment
to say: Nunca Más (never again). In this journey we are sustained by Jesus’ project for life.
We are so thankful for your prayers and support for our health ministry in Chile!
Blessings during this season of Advent,