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Colombian Election

Hello friends,3/23/18The Colombian Election Sad to hear the guerilla political party the FARC got very few votes after signing the peace accords and surrendering their guns that ended a lot of the violence. They do get 5 seats in each of the two houses of congress. They lost due mainly to wealthy and politically powerful former president Uribe’s push against the agreement by his convincing Colombians that the accords were too lenient on the FARC. One consolation to me is to remember in El Salvador when they signed the peace accords (1992) it has taken 26 years till now to have a government that cares for the poor. The present El Salvadoran president was a commander of the guerillas FLMN.Pray with me something similar can happen in Colombia soon. I just spent four days with our new granddaughter Izzy, her mother Emily and family just north of Portland in Washington. It was very special to hold and feed Izzy.She is beginning to respond and smile lots. She is just learning to roll over and…
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Preemptive Memorial Service

Dear Friend,

"My brother Evan just came down with cancer a couple of days ago, he has just a few days to live. Just found it out and we are trying to figure out how to deal with it emotionally." This is how I learned of my friend Evan's situation.

Three months later I learned from Bart his brother that that Evan appreciates phone calls. As awkward as it was I called him three times. We had surprisingly good conversations. Evan has a deep heart for justice and peace so we had some good sharing on that common ground.  

He told me his divorced wife called him every day. What grace, what a gift.

 Evan then had a pre-emptive memorial service with him there in which 30 or 40 friends and family he helped with his skill in plumbing and heating expressed their deep thanks. Evan had them play "Bridge over trouble Water" with the volume turned up. It was all very meaningful. This made me consider that every day I get closer to passing on too.

I am currently in Portland seeig m…

Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution. What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Wo…
Hello Friends,                                                                             Sick with Chikunguya Virus   I told the doctor, “I am achy all over one day and then the next day I feel better. This has happened now for the last 4 days. I am worried that it might be Dengue, Malaria, or Yellow Fever.” “No, for sure it is neither of those. Don’t worry.  You have a virus called Chikunguya which has been in an epidemic here for the last year. Take these meds; if it persists after a month go to a clinic. You can do whatever you feel up to, no restrictions on what you can do.  “Where did you get those nice shoes?” The nurse asked as I sat up on the exam table. I answered, “Like all my clothes I bought them 2nd hand.” “Do you do this because of your religion?”  “Well, I guess you could say it that way. To live a simple life has been a part of the teaching in the Mennonite church. And I just prefer to live this way. It makes sense to me.” Here is the maid Shirley Marina in the good…
Hello Friends,                                                                             Sick with Chikunguya Virus   I told the doctor, “I am achy all over one day and then the next day I feel better. This has happened now for the last 4 days. I am worried that it might be Dengue, Malaria, or Yellow Fever.” “No, for sure it is neither of those. Don’t worry.  You have a virus called Chikunguya which has been in an epidemic here for the last year. Take these meds; if it persists after a month go to a clinic. You can do whatever you feel up to, no restrictions on what you can do. Up date 9/25 a week later, well I thought the above settled things, but it did not, I am still struggling with achy muscles and just feeling sick every other day. So I ask you to pray for restoration of my health. Fortunately I have been with a family who has been very supportive and helpful, rather than in a hotel which had been the plan. Despite it I have been doing 2-3 talks most days.  “Where did you ge…
Pray for Critical Colombia Peace Talks  Dear friends, Colombian Peace talks are in a very critical point right now. You can help by praying.  Here is where things stand: The FARC the largest guerrilla group declared a unilateral cease fire on July 20. That is very good. However the government refuses to do the same, Santos the President has said that if they do, the FARC will regroup and reinforce themselves as has happened in the past. Another issue: Santos says the guerrillas who have done atrocities should be imprisoned. FARC says, only if all others like the Colombian military and paramilitaries who have committed atrocities are also imprisoned. Probably the Colombian military is strongly pressuring Santos to keep them out of prison. Colombian peace talks in Havana Cuba They have agreed on some very important points. One is how to include the guerillas in the political process. The UN and other countries are getting involved to help broker an agreement. Santos says if we can’t work out…
Dear friends,                                                 More Verdugo H.S. Conversations  “I’m a Catholic. We believe we should be tolerant of all religions.” remarked one girl. One student upon entering the room said, “I can’t wait for your talk. A friend told me about it.” Here are Mary Ann and Donald Berry, friends who hosted and gave me rides to the school. Here is their yard which they converted to desert plants to save water because of the drought. Half the water in Pasadena is used for lawns. The orange flowers came into bloom while I was there. They grew some of the sweetest tangerines and oranges I ever ate on their two trees. They live very ecological and eat mostly organic.   Another girl posed the question “But why is there so much violence and evil in the world?” I replied with, “Well something that has been helpful to me recently is to understand that God gives us free will. We can choose to come back with anger when someone does something aggravating to us.  As you kno…