12 Aug

A friendly encounter in Brazil

Candles lit in the shape of a cross to symbolize young adults as light in the world. Photo: LWF/C. Bader
Candles lit in the shape of a cross to symbolize young adults as light in the world. Photo: LWF/C. Bader

Delegates from other countries other than Brazil attended the recent Lutheran youth gathering in Brazil. For Guatemalan Pablo S. Gudiel, the friendly meeting enabled young Christians to discuss their global mission.



It is about one year since we met for the Global Young Reformers workshop in Wittenberg, Germany, where someone mentioned a phrase that resonated with hope in our thoughts: "We are leaves that the wind disperses and gathers again after a while." God has allowed this to happen, and between hugs and sharing of testimonies about our diaconal work we have learned about being the salt and light of the world.

The 23rd Congress of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) allowed young people from 22 different countries in Latin America and other parts of the world to share their mission of being the salt and light to the world. The task we accepted was like the Prophet Samuel’s response to the Lord’s call, “Here I am, for you called me.” We took this call as a joint responsibility to work together in Christian fellowship as we carry out our diaconal work in different ways.

Christian diaconal service must be our way, and we must incorporate it as a beacon that will provide hope and relief to all those suffering and in distress. This path must be based on the principles of compassion and Christian service, just as Jesus mentioned through the Gospel of Mark (10:45) "For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

As Young Reformers, we have recognized that the task is great but we take the challenge and hope the reward will be social justice that allows peace to flourish.
Pablo Alejandro Solórzano Gudiel, Guatemala Lutheran Church

One of the symbols of friendship is the diversity we hear in the phrase: "Friends are the family with whom you choose to share your happy moments and life." But for me it is probably an incomplete sentence, because it should say friends are God’s gift despite our differences in race, ideas, language and age. We learned that we can be like a stained glass window and that each one of us in our different shapes and colors is part of God’s creation. Just like the indigenous Xokleng community taking care of the biodiversity of their land and culture, we learned that every human being is capable of keeping the flame of hope and being a light that shows how to bring change for the better care of the environment for future generations.

As Young Reformers, we have recognized that the task is great but we take the challenge and hope the reward will be social justice that allows peace to flourish. We must look at this world which lives in darkness and hope the light of our work will illuminate it and change into a better place. We are small people doing small things that can change the whole world. Go therefore and be the salt and light of the world for the wellbeing of all our nations!

 

More than 1,500 young people from 22 Lutheran churches attended the biennial Youth Congress of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB). Guatemalan Lutheran Church representative Pablo Alejandro Solórzano Gudiel was among members of the LWF Global Young Reformers’ Network who took part in the July event. The LWF Communion Office supported the meeting as part of preparations for the 500th  anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

This is a translation of a report from the Communications Network of the LWF Latin American and Caribbean region.

 

News story: Free to love and serve our neighbor

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.