Dear Supporting Congregations*,
As you head into summer with Memorial Day weekend around the corner, winter is arriving here in Chile. I am happy to see family and friends in the states returning to a somewhat “normal” life after a long winter of physical distancing and, for many, isolation. I hope you are finally able to hug your loved ones!
Unfortunately, in Chile we are still facing what they are calling the third wave of the pandemic with over 7000 new cases a day putting enormous strain on health workers, clinics and hospitals. Since early March, we have been in an extreme situation with almost the entire country in months of strict quarantine. Poor communities have been hit the hardest. Please see the article in the attached EPES Update about Covid in Chile and especially the testimonies from two health promoters about how it has impacted their families and communities.
During these difficult times, I am so proud of the EPES staff for continuing to work with passion, commitment and creativity despite having to be quarantined themselves. The Update highlights our work in the areas of food security, gender-based violence and immigrant rights to health. Thank you in advance for reading the Update and sharing it with your congregation.
I have continued to appreciate Zoom calls with mission committees from several congregations and would love to meet by Zoom with all of you to hear what is going on in your congregations and communities and to share more directly stories from our work. The EPES team is thankful for your interest in our ministry and for your ongoing love and support. We are so blessed – gracias!
Abrazos y bendiciones,
ELCA Global Mission Personnel in Chile
P.S. We have been celebrating the amazing outcome we had two weeks ago after an historic election to select representatives for a Constituent Assembly that will draft a new Constitution (to replace the one imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980). For the first time there will be an equal number of women as men, representatives of indigenous communities and people truly representing the interests of the majority of Chileans. Hope is on the horizon!
* St. John’s is one of Karen’s supporting congregations.