Greetings from Pamplona, Perú! I’m not running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but building a retaining wall for the people of Pamplona, Perú! 10 of us from our parish are here for a week on a mission of love and support. We are working with Bridges, an international organization that helps nations and peoples come together.
Father Homero had planned this mission trip two years ago, but COVID put a stop to it. I am blessed to take his place with Cheyenne, our new youth and young adult minister.
We arrived on Saturday night in Lima and got to work right away on Sunday morning. Pamplona is a poor town just outside of Lima. Dirt roads, no sewers, few lights, but a lot of love and hard work. The retaining wall is on the side of a steep hill. A road is supposed to go above it, but the hill needs to be stabilized first. The wall has been under construction for six years. We mix cement by shovel and carry it by bucket to the frames that form the wall. Neighbors of Pamplona, men, women, and children, work with us each day. I’m writing this after another long day of work on Monday.
We are with another group of young people from Bridges and a brother priest from Indiana, Father Christian. Each day we have Mass and our meals together. We are staying at a retreat house led by the Sisters of Mercy. Please pray for us and the people of Pamplona. We will be back next week.
Rev. Mark Zacker