The Interviewers

Afflicted with Hope

The oldest camera in the world is the human eye.  It is the lens that focuses the mind and the heart.  Here presented is a series of stories from the hearts and minds of others that allows the reader to look at the world through a unique lens.  At times what one sees will be unbelievable, at times mundane, at times unique, at times so tragic that the human heart will break, and at other times lift the human spirit to the breaking point.

It is our hope that the details of each life, forcefully and truthfully told, will allow you to see the spirit of the teller.  There is neither an attempt here to offer a prescription to the world you will see, nor a polemic to the unfairness that life can bring.  The world seen through the lens of the lives here told will painfully spell out resentments, negativity, pitfalls of bitterness, wounded pride and more.  Against this backdrop you will see lives that kept on growing in goodness, service, generosity, and love beyond belief.  In hearing these stories, I came to understand the saying “to be born Salvadoran is to be afflicted with hope.”

As I listened to the storytellers, my heart kept asking, “If there is to be justice, can there ever be peace here?”  I do not know if this is a question, a statement, a declaration, or just a badly focused heart.  While some are very poor by the economic standards of the world, they cannot be trivialized by humble circumstances.  Quite the opposite, you will see a people called to do good in the world, called to make a contribution by being a gift for others.  Such is the life of Supreme Court Magistrate, Mirna Antonieta Perla De Anaya Jimenez, who rose out of poverty to now live a life of total dedication to justice for all and especially the marginalized. Hope is her moral fiber and against all odds she moves with great courage into an uncertain future.

Santiago, Sister Peggy, Eileen and others fixed their eyes and hearts, and minds on what does not seem to be possible and yet the reader will come away feeling honored to have shared their journey and called to live life larger.  I would hope your heart and mind step forward to walk with this humble people, as I’ve been so fortunate to do over the past sixteen years.  To the storytellers go my thanks!

It should be noted that we glean no financial gain from this project whatsoever. Donations go directly into Salvadoran ministries.  We have grown in passion for the work and relationships we have been privileged to build with you over the years and strive to use newer media to share these wonderful stories.  We are thankful for the encouragement and support of family and friends.

Donald J. Seiple


    Afflicted with Hope / is one of many outreach ministries at
    Saint Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA)
    30 West Main Street, PO Box 266
    New Kingstown, PA 17072

    Tax deductible donations for support of this work in El Salvador may be sent to the above address.