…join hands…build homes…change lives… Final Reflection from El Salvador

This post is being submitted by team member Susan Burrer.


Susan and Pastor Craig tying rebar.

As our teams end the Build, visually, we can see the progress of house No. 1, rising from the earthened footers to the rows of chespa-filled block and rebar walls, and house No. 2 with all the cement walls sanded and painted with sealer/primer.

Yet, it is what we cannot see that really matters. We cannot possibly know the long-term impact we have on these families…and they on us. We hear their genuine thanks and feel their gratitude in their hugs for a seemingly humble little place they can now call home…so physically life changing for them…but it is so much more. There are no words, really…we each go away with ‘something’ unexplainable in our hearts that was not there when we came to El Salvador.

May we each find a way to continue to pass on our blessings in whatever or wherever it is that God is calling us, and may we respond with “Here I Am Lord,” like the song says…


2014 El Salvador Mission Team


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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