On June 18, a delegation of nine people will travel from Brown Memorial to Maria Madre De Los Pobres, a Catholic parish in San Salvador. The delegation is comprised of two adult leaders (Tim Hughes and Susan Saudek), two college students (Samirah Franklin and Killian McGinnis), and five high school students (Dever Cunningham, Jake Schindler, Josephine Finney, Olivia Liang, and Shu’aib Franklin).
For nearly 30 years, members of Brown Memorial and other local congregations have partnered with Maria Madre. Brown became an “accompanying congregation” during the Salvadoran Civil War, sending delegates to San Salvador to support, witness and literally accompany members of the congregation as they faced the dangers of war.
Today, while the Civil War (1980-1992) is long over, the people of Madre face extreme poverty and the complex violence of local gang wars. Brown Memorial continues to accompany the congregation by supporting the local ministries of their parish, including an after school program, a health clinic, and a vibrant ministry for young adults. Many families at Brown are “Godparents” to children in the neighborhood of La Chacra, supporting their education and basic needs. We also continue to send delegations down to learn about Salvadoran culture and maintain relationships between our two congregations.
In this delegation, we are excited to be bringing two young people from the Sandtown neighborhood of Baltimore. Samirah and Shu’aib are members of a local mosque and are connected with Brown Memorial through the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project. They are excited to meet members of the Muslim community in El Salvador and to discuss similar challenges for young people in Baltimore and San Salvador.
“Please hold our delegation in prayer as we begin this exciting trip,” says Associate Pastor Tim Hughes. “We look forward to sharing what we have learned upon our return.”