Dear friends at the Anglican Communion and other churches in the world:
This is the report #6 that I want to share with you, to let you know with great happiness that thanks God, the seismic activity in El Salvador has diminished, although from time to time, we are surprised by some tremors, but the population, little by little is taking stronger security and in the middle of the disaster, we are beginning a normal life up to where one can say normal, since as we take conscience of the effects of the three earthquakes of January 13, February 13 and February 17, we realize that the most disastrous thing is that economy in the country has suffered a hard blow: thousands and thousands of small companies have had to disappear, which means that thousands of people are now without employment. Also, the normal economic activity has had an enormous depression. For that reason I said that we begin a life to a certain extent normal, but it will be difficult for many families to enter in the normality when they are without the main source of their economic revenues.
With this panorama, we have to face the reconstruction that like in many occasions, personally I have said, it is not only to build houses and to repair buildings, but of to build the community and to repair the social tissue of this country so seriously damaged for the natural disasters and disasters caused by the humans.
I want to share with you that the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador is seriously committed in the reconstruction process and it wants to bet to an integral plan of reconstruction whose first stage will contemplate the construction of 200 houses and the construction and repair of the temples and facilities of the Church which were seriously damaged.
Again I want to thank you because you have been accompanying us and I am sure, you will continue accompanying us with your prayers, with financial assistance and also with physical accompaniment, since several people have visited us to fill us with spiritual strength. Particularly, I want to mention special gratefulness to the Presiding and Primate Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States, the Most Rev. Frank Griswold; thanks to him I was able share my feelings with all my brothers and sisters in the Episcopate after the tragedies of the earthquakes in a brief participation on Monday 12 of March at the House of Bishops which took place in Kanuga, North Carolina. Those were moments of a lot of emotion and deep human and spiritual invigoration for my Salvadoran people and myself.
I Also want to mention the constant accompaniment and support from CRISTOSAL Foundation that it's exclusively committed to serve the Episcopal - Anglican Church of El Salvador. Thanks to their directors and advisory team who are people offering constant support.
I also want to thank in a very especial way to the Companion Diocese of New Jersey and their Assisting Bishop, The Rt. Rev David Joslin, because we have had them constantly with us.
Many names of people and institutions come to mind but I don't want to make of this a too long report. To those hundreds of people that are demonstrating their solidarity and affection, I keep them in my mind and in my heart. Thank you in the name of God.
I would like to inform you that the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund (ERD) has been with us from the first day of the first earthquake when the emergency began and now it is the institution that has come to walk us in the reconstruction process. Abagail Nelson, Officer for Latin America and The Caribbean, has been working with us an whole week to prepare the reconstruction plan. We trust them very much and I request you, in the name of God, to send your donations to ERD because they are our main support on the reconstruction.
We are strengthening efforts with other churches every day. I want to state my gratefulness to the ACT net (Action by Churches Together) who has been with us and we appreciate that recently, representatives from the World Council of churches and from the Latin American Council of Churches came in a pastoral visit to strengthen our faith and our hope. Here we are together with the Lutheran Church, with the Reformed Church, with some Baptist churches and we are open to carry out combined plans because we all are children of the same God and we should give unity testimony.
In the way that is possible, I will be sharing with you all happenings in El Salvador in our effort to get up strong and strengthened in a general plan of reconstruction after the disastrous consequences of this natural tragedy that we have suffered. This also qualifies us to be solidary and to understand similar tragedies in other parts of the world like the one in India, Seattle, Japan and the sad recent event of the fire in a school in Kenya where 58 youths died tragically burnt.
May the God of the life give us all the necessary strength to serve him and to love him in our brothers and sisters who suffer in the world.
San Salvador, March 26, 2001
Revd Martín Barahona, Bishop
Episcopal church of El Salvador