Thanks to the Rev. David Brandos, ELCA missionary in Mexico, for sharing this update.
During the past couple of weeks we here in Mexico have been living with the restrictions established by the Mexican government over the influenza outbreak. We were caught by surprise on Thursday night, April 23, when we learned that classes at all levels would be cancelled on the following day because of concerns about so-called “swine flu.”
We had big plans for Saturday, April 25, since the first three woman graduates of our Lutheran Seminary were going to be ordained together in a special service here at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd as the first Lutheran woman pastors in Mexico. Because of the flu situation, there were questions as to whether to proceed or not, but we did. The attendance was much lower than we originally expected, since the government was heavily discouraging any type of large public gathering like a church service. You can see in the photo of the ordination how a number of people were wearing surgical masks.
After almost two weeks of no school, no religious services, no restaurant service, and no other activities involving large numbers of people, things are now returning to normal. However, what has been most difficult for the majority of people is not so much dealing with health issues but with the disastrous effects that all of this has had on the Mexican economy. Many people here have been without work. Foreigners are now afraid to come to Mexico or to have any contact at all with Mexicans, even when they are perfectly healthy. For a good article on these problems, see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8035802.stm
Please continue to remember all of us in your prayers, including especially those who have been hit hardest by this crisis.
—David Brondos, ELCA Missionary in Mexico
on May 12th, 2009 at 5:55 pm
The Swine Flu news has died down, but along with three others, I flew to Honduras on April 28. We were cautioned to wear masks in the Houston and Tegucigalpa airports. We had masks with us, but as a group, we decided not to wear them when we arrived in Tegucigalpa. We didn’t want to greet our friends from the Lutheran Church in Honduras wearing masks. Reporters from a Tegucigalpa newspaper (La Tribuna) were at the airport upon our arrival. As we were warmly greeting our friends, including Janet Alcantara who serves there, with handshakes and hugs, we didn’t realize our picture was taken. It appeared in the paper on the 29th as part of a full page article about the flu. The caption under our photo noted we were not following the proper precautions! Other photos show “masked” employees at the airport. I know it was an important, serious matter, but we’re all well and the article becomes a unique keepsake from another blessed experience with our brothers and sisters of the Iglesia Cristiana Luterana de Honduras.
Kathe Peterson, Honduras Mission and Ministry, Northeastern Minnesota Synod