An update from Lael C Melville, PsyD, a 2016 M.Div. candidate and president of the Perkins Black Seminarians Association, who also is blogging at “Following the Passion of the Cross to El Salvador”:

Beginnings require a starting place. All great beginnings also have an end in mind. Today we began our journey, most of us from Dallas. A small group (14 students and one one professor, Dr. H. Recinos). We ended today’s journey with our safe arrival in El Salvador.

The flight was approximately 3.5 hours. After clearing customs, collecting luggage, and about a 20-minute ride to the hotel, we were finally here. Upon arriving at the hotel we found our rooms, briefly unpacked and headed for our dinner and a meeting. The meeting reminded us of the rich history born out of struggle.

Our meeting facilitor and host for the week, Edwin, spoke of the high infant mortality rate and gang violence. He told us how we would visit sites this week that are steeped in history and struggle. Wisely he encouraged us not to judge the people or the situations they find themselves in. Edwin shared that unless one understands the essence of this struggle, then we fail to see opportunities to begin again. We will spend this week working at understanding and honoring the historical and current struggles of El Salvador.