Kenyan Resiliency: Wounded but Unbowed
In the aftermath of the al-Shabab terrorist attack on Garissa University College, Kenyans have displayed powerful love in tangible ways. Standing in long lines to give blood for the wounded, comforting the grieving, providing supplies for the impacted families and contributing money. One of the most loving and brave things the Kenyans are doing is not surrendering to fear, but choosing life instead.Continue Reading ›
He Is Risen!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. – Matthew 28:1-9 (NIV)
Guatemala, a country whose whose religion is chiefly Roman Catholic and Protestant, is deeply rooted in local traditions, making the celebration of Easter a colorful and massive one.
- Read about Easter in Guatemala.
To Ghanaian Christians, Easter is a day of remembering what Christ did on the cross for all mankind; not just remembering but knowing that it was the foundation for their salvation.
- Read about Easter in Ghana.
Easter Week in El Salvador is celebrated differently than the way it is celebrated in the United States. There is a much a different atmosphere.
- Read about Easter in El Salvador.
To talk about Easter is to talk about Christianity, and for children in our development centers to talk about Easter in Peru is to talk about a variety of traditions.
- Read about Easter in Peru.
In Kenya, children look forward to a sumptuous Easter meal in the afternoon. Easter is the one day that most children get to eat a nice meal of chicken and have a soft drink to accompany it.
- Read about Easter in Kenya.
Easter weekend is a time of great celebration in Haiti. As in some other aspects of Haitian life, it’s a combination of Catholic and voodoo tradition.
- Read about Easter in Haiti.
Alive in Christ
Christ has died. And we are united with Him in his death.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
Compassion is closed today to honor Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others — one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
— John 19:17-18 (NIV)
The Picture of a Fisherman’s Life in Brazil
Adriano is 30 years old and began his career as a third-generation fisherman when he was 15. The way he holds the net, and the way he moves along the beach toward his jangada (a kind of fishing boat), shows he is a man who knows the ocean intimately.
Easter in El Salvador
Easter Week in El Salvador is celebrated differently than the way it is celebrated in the United States. In the United States, Easter often includes the Easter Bunny and egg hunts. In El Salvador as well as many other Central American countries, it is celebrated with a much different atmosphere.
Easter feels like summer. The sun shines strong in the skies, the breeze somehow fresh, somehow warm. It is definitely the middle of the dry season in El Salvador, the equivalent of summer in northern lands. Everything around, from sale signs to music, talks about sun and sand. The opportunity to enjoy beaches that are just an hour away from San Salvador is almost here.
For a full week, students are out of school and have the opportunity to enjoy beaches, visit relatives and do nothing; it is almost the equivalent to spring break in the United States. However, there is one unequivocal characteristic that reminds every Salvadoran that it is not just a break, and that there is more than just sun and fun waiting for us during that week in April.
In El Salvador, the week of Easter is Holy Week, and the festivities revolve around Roman Catholic tradition. Roman Catholics account for nearly 60 percent of the population. Protestant (also called evangelical) churches account for slightly more than 20 percent.
Even though El Salvador does not have an official religion, since the time of colonization Roman Catholic traditions have been the most common and most practiced in the country. Easter Week is the most important celebration for the Roman Catholic Church.
“It is slightly different for the Protestant Church” says Sister Wendy, wife of Pastor Rodolfo at the Baptist Tabernacle Church of Majucla. “For most of the children, Easter Week is an opportunity to spend time with their families. People take advantage of this time to go back to their homeland and spend time with their families.”
One of the most important Easter traditions in El Salvador is Lent. During this 40-day period before Easter, named “Cuaresma” in Spanish, people fast, pray and give alms. The last week of the 40 days is called “Bigger Week” or “Holy Week.”
On Good Friday, there are two major processions. Early in the morning there is the “passion,” which is the representation or commemoration of the walk that Jesus took with the cross toward Golgotha. It is finished around noon.
Then in the afternoon, Roman Catholic churches and communities start making rugs on the streets with sawdust, which will later be part of the path where the “holy funeral procession” will pass, carrying the symbolic dead body of Christ.
The making of these rugs represents one of the greatest traditions for the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador, since entire streets and main avenues in many places of the country are completely closed. The rugs cover entire streets.
Appreciation of the rugs goes beyond religion. For Salvadorans, it is about appreciating the art and about appreciating the effort the people put into making the rugs. For Salvadorans, it is a gift, an offering they are making for Jesus.
Catholic or not, Salvadorans go out into the streets on Good Friday to see the rugs. Apart from this tradition for Good Friday, Holy Week develops differently for Protestants.
For the Evangelical Church in El Salvador, Holy Week is an opportunity to spread the Gospel to as many people as possible. If there is the opportunity to preach the Gospel and carry more people to the feet of our Lord, the church takes advantage of it and tells El Salvador the true meaning of Holy Week.
Easter in Peru
To talk about Easter is to talk about Christianity, and to talk about Easter in Peru is to talk about a variety of traditions in the country. The most common traditions began during the colonial times when the Spaniards brought their culture, and their religion, to Peru.