Yes, this was a Good Friday!

It has been more than a year since we started under pandemic mode, due to COVID-19. Time, that among other things, has served as a prolonged Lent to reflect on our lives and what is truly valuable. It has been important to think about; who we are and how do we respond to the presence of God among us?

Misión Peniel has not been exempted from this reality. Rather, it has been our responsibility to live it from the perspective of responding in service to the most vulnerable among us. Which we have been able to do thanks to the participation of all of you, our partners in mission.

And although most people just currently see the signs of sickness, pain, suffering and death. Today, we affirm that we have also been given the vision to recognize the signs of restoration, comfort, hope and above all the LIFE that Christ offers us. We have been given the great opportunity to witness the manifestation of the Lord's love and care in many ways.

Yesterday, on Good Friday, when walking among the participants of the vaccination event held on our campus (and YES, we had the audacity to organize this event on Good Friday!), I came across several farm workers who expressed their gratitude for having access to the vaccination. Something that unfortunately has been systematically denied to them. But there was one encounter, which made me walk back into the office with a feeling that was difficult to explain. A feeling of happiness and success and at the same time of wondering how can we do more? It was the expression of gratitude from someone who literally told me: “Thank you for this activity, there is no better time to do it than Holy Week and there is no better day to be here than Good Friday! This is truly a Good Friday!”

Many times, we are little aware of the impact that our actions can have on others. And that is okay, that keeps us humble. But God, who is always working and regularly behind the scenes, uses those actions to make a difference in the lives of many like these workers today. Yes, this was definitely a Good Friday because it allowed us to share an extremely valuable message: Christ died so that we can have life. Christ died, so that in us the possibility of living in community may be restored. Christ died, so that by following his example we will be able to love in the same way that he has done. Christ died, not to invite us to "return to normality", which by the way is the one that is dominated by injustice and sin. Christ died, to transform us and thus be able to live the new life that in God's terms is anything, but never “normal”.

Yes, this was a good Good Friday!  May we all look forward with excitement to what God has in store for us on Easter Sunday and beyond!
Happy Easter!
Pastor Miguel Estrada

-- In This Together --
We give thanks for all who continue to sustain Misión Peniel throughout this prolonged pandemic: Our faithful volunteers (loading, delivering, organizing, distributing), SW Florida churches, our food partner agencies (Harry Chapin and Midwest Food Banks, Panera Bread, Cultivate Abundance), our community agencies (The Bridge Fund, Partners in Health, Coalition of Immokalee Workers) and all who have contributed to the mission with time, talents, resources and prayers! Partnership in mission is such a blessing!