Skip to main content


Here are some things that have been exciting me in the development of a relationship between the Protestant Church and Christian Peacemaker Team.

In a lot of ways I imagine developing church relationships is not as exciting to hear about as our encounters in the Opon. However, it seems to be something that I am being called to do, and I have come to see developing these relationships as an important part to building peace here. I hope you can appreciate it. The Team here has been trying to do this for over a year and a half now. So they have really emphasized to me that this is a great, important, and historic event in the life of CPT and the churches here. Peter Stucky, the President of the Colombian Mennonite Church, told me, ¨We have been waiting a long time for this; this is an historic event. ¨

November 21 and 22, 2003 I attended a protestant Ecumenical seminar on Biblical Peacemaking, which I mentioned in an earlier letter. We broke into small groups to answer questions regarding peacemaking, using texts on political change from I Samuel 8, Romans 13, John 11 and John 18. From these texts we did a study of the history of the relationship of church and state and how it related to our present day world and particularly Colombia. The big question was, “Where does each have jurisdiction?” One of our conclusions was that the church’s role is to watch that the state is serving the good of society. When it is not, the church should be a prophetic voice to call it back to do that.

The format, in which they came up with their own answers, really engaged the participants. Toward the end of the time, individuals spontaneously began making little speeches about how they appreciated the weekend and all the good things they learned. There was spiritual electricity moving around; people were really excited. One sister said, ¨I had a lot of questions when I was urged by my pastor to attend, thinking I wasn’t interested in politics. But now I see that it is part of the Christian call, to get involved in peacemaking and building a better society. This is being part of bringing in His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.¨ A brother said, “We as churches have always worked alone on our own little thing, but we need to unite and work together to build the kingdom here and now in practical ways.¨

Since we were together for two days away from any of our work, the workshop enabled us to get to know each other quite well. I shared my photo albums with many of the participants; this gave them a much clearer picture of our work in the Opon. It was this sharing of photos that moved David Quiroqa to say, ¨I want to go with you to the Opon before you leave.¨ I developed several good friendships during this time. I also shared my journey to CPT; this sharing helped us connect with each other.

November 30, 2003: I attended the Baptist church, and continued to build relationships there. I was impressed with the authenticity of the people there; they had a lot of personal interaction in Sunday School and member participation in the worship. While I was there, Eberthy decided on the spot to go along to the Opon on Thursday. Also she took both Peace Pilgrim’s books and said she hoped to use the coloring book in the Sunday School during December. She had a real interest and enthusiasm for promoting the peace message. She also took the literature on violence in the family from the Personaria, which I had gotten at the Bizarrte. I also met Fabio, who is a director of a Christian School, and he took me to see the school grounds. He said they would be interested in our coming and speaking to the local community about peace. If they buy the school ground, they want to name it Martin Luther King School.

Dec. 4 ,2003 Today, Pierre, Erin, and I went with David Quiroqa, the Bapist Pastor, and Eberthy Jimenez

(David´s sister-in-law) to do a Protestant church visit to the Opon. In each of the homes we visited, we were welcomed heartily. People expressed a genuine gratefulness for the visit and the spiritual orientation that David often did. He often inquired about their lives and would use that as a springboard to connect his message to their lives. He pointed out from these inquiries that the Opon people themselves are a good example. He shared that his vision was for them to form an ecumenical church and for them to develop their own leadership. The conversation was often filled with lots of good humor. Many times he shared personal experiences from his own life. He made a point that he was not there to preach a certain denomination’s doctrine, but to encourage the development of people’s personal relationship to God. He said we need to develop our human potential, which is one of the great lacks in our society. He often sought out each of the persons present, even the children, and tried to connect to each of them in some way, particularly those that might have been on the edge of the conversation. We ended each visit with a joint prayer which he asked a different person to lead each time.

Sometimes he was bit more forward than I would have felt comfort with in asking people where they were with their relationship with God and praying. Eberthy said ,”Praying is just like talking to your dad.” But over all they were a Godsend for this visit. It was more than anything we could have hoped for in regard to a pastor who is connected to the people. He and Eberthy have real gifts in this area. .

Thanks for your interest in the work here.



Popular posts from this blog

A Temper Tantrum

Dear friends: A Temper Tantrum On a shopping trip to Aldi’s I noticed a mother with a girl who was two and a boy who was one sitting together in her cart.. The boy was having a temper tantrum. I know how embarrassing that can be. Besides she was just beginning to shop. So I thought maybe I could help settle him down. So I went over and tried to talk to him. But he would have nothing to do with me. So I just started talking to his sister. “How old are you? What’s your name? How old is your brother? . “What is his name? She replied “Noah.” Hearing his name the boy started to quiet down and pay attention. After some more question and answers the kids and I shook hands and said goodbye. Then we both did our shopping. We passed each other several times. The kids would say “Hi” and wave each time we saw each other. Then as we went through the checkout the mother remarked, “Thank you so much, what is your name?” the kids waved saying “Goodby…

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…

A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief

Dear friends, A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief 3/4/19 “Would you turn that mirror in on your side in so it doesn’t get knocked off.” said Juan to me. He then added “I have to tell you a story about that mirror. I was at a stop light and a guy come up and just broke off the mirror. I saw police nearby so I told them.” “They went and found him and brought him to me. They said to me, well here he is you can hit him or do whatever you want with him. Beat on him as much as you want. I said I don’t want to beat on him. That just didn’t seem right. They then called and another policeman who also said go ahead beat on him this is your chance. That might straight him out.” “They then got a commander who brought a bat and said well now you can beat him go to it. I than talked to the fellow and found he was very poor and stealing things as a way to survive. So I felt he was already in a deep in a hole. I didn’t want to push him any deeper.” “The pol…