Greetings from El Salvador!

Grace and peace to you from San Salvador, El Salvador!

Nearly all of the members of our February 2014 Thrivent Builds/Habitat for Humanity El Salvador Mission Team have arrived in San Salvador. There are a few who are still in route, but they should be here soon. They may have to write a blog post at some point this week with the highlights travel adventure to El Salvador this year!


This is my third or fourth trip to El Salvador, I’m not sure. I’ve passed by the monument in this picture each time I’ve been here, but never took time to notice it before. This monument greets you as you leave the San Salvador airport property and make your way into the city of San Salvador – El Salvador’s largest.

It is of the Christ. In one hand Jesus is offering the sign for peace. In the other hand is a dove. The metal used to create this breathtaking piece of art is from weapons that Salvadorans used to kill one another during the Salvadoran Civil war. It’s a reminder of the horror of civil war and a lasting monument of hope for peace. The saying in the middle of it reads, “La Paz Sea Com Vosotros” which simply translates into English as, “Peace be with you.”

There are presidential elections taking place in El Salvador tomorrow – Sunday, February 2, 2014. It’s quite interesting to be here during this time. Needless to say, the focus in this part of the world is in fact NOT on the Superbowl tomorrow.

May our brothers and sisters in Christ in El Salvador continue to seek peace as they celebrate election  process tomorrow. May this week’s Mission Team arriving from a land very different than this find peace in their work and relationships with the Salvadoran people. And may they discover that same kind of peace in their work and relationships when they return home.

May Christ’s peace be with you,

Pastor Craig


About Bishop Craig Schweitzer

The Rev. Craig Schweitzer, of Bismarck, was elected as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod on July 17, 2020, in the first-ever digital Synod Assembly. A historic event, Schweitzer is the first bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to be elected in an online assembly. Bishop Craig Schweitzer began serving the Western North Dakota Synod-ELCA on September 1, 2020. He has always seen himself as an easy-going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in his life and the world in which he lives and serves. Prior to service in the Office of Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Craig served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND as Music and Worship Minister (lay staff from 2002-2010), Associate Pastor (2010-2014), and Senior Pastor (2014-2020). Beyond his service in the church, he has an eclectic background that is a diverse collection of musical, educational, and business experiences ranging from live concert production and promotion to recording studios and live performance to music education. Throughout all of his professional and personal experiences, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome have been a guiding light that has kept him grounded in whatever work God was calling him into – “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Bishop Craig is a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership. He also holds a certificate degree in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on September 16, 2010. Outside of his life as Bishop, Bishop Craig enjoys reading, all music, a little golf, a cold beverage with friends, and intentional times of quiet. And, of course, spending time with his wife Wendy and their adult twin daughters Ilia and Taegan. View all posts by Bishop Craig Schweitzer

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