Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in our sister church's strategic planning meeting. About 25 church leaders gathered to create ministry plans for all of the different aspects of church life. The church leaders are divided into commissions: Diaconia (service - which includes helping with the worship service, cleaning the church and outreach); Women & Family; Men; Youth; and a new commission for Madres Jovenes. Each group developed objectives and strategies with a ten-year timeline into the future.
The goals set forth were realistic and impressive. What especially caught my interest were the men's goals. One of their areas of interest is community nutrition. They joked around a bit that their program needed to start immediately with the nutrition of the leader group (a call to eat lunch!), and then continued with plans for family gardens which could grow into a community movement to grow healthy food. This idea is especially fantastic since most families have no land. The idea is to grow tomato plants in little corners around the homes, to grow herbs and greens in pots, to make use of whatever soil and light and water they can. The men also had ideas for a community health center and a center for children under age 5 which would include a daycare.
After the commissions shared their ideas with the whole group, it finally was time for lunch. Earlier in the week the women had asked me what kind of food would be good. We thought for a while, and then I suggested pupusas. "Pupusas?" they asked...for lunch? Is that OK? Apparently pupusas are more of a supper thing, but I could eat them all day any day! The men were right to be calling for lunch because everyone was so hungry and the small of the hot, cheesy pupusas was calling to all of us.
When I was handed my plate of pupusas, I noticed that mine were a little bigger than those of everyone around me. When I broke into one, I realized that I had pupusas con queso y laroco!! This is my favorite kind of pupusa, and my friends Julia and Sonia had arranged this little surprise. There was no fanfare or anything, just a little smile when I looked over and they knew that I knew that a special effort had been made. This was the most touching moment of the day...friends organizing a little special secret. What a great way to end the month of amor and amistad!