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Showing posts from October, 2004

Orientation

Hello, friends,
Getting oriented here in Barranca seems to have gone a lot better than a year ago. One of my best friends, Pastor David, even said my Spanish has improved. It seems as though my ability to understand and hear is better. Thank you to those who have been praying for that.

The very warm welcome I received from David and others several from the Opon felt very affirming and good. It is getting to feel like old friends when they even remember my name.

As some of you know, I came with a month-old stomach acid reflex problem that wasn’t improving even though I was taking medication. So I went to see Chan, the native doctor, who had healed me three years ago of a bug bite, and shoulder and toe problems that western medical ways were unable to help. He pressed on my stomach and had me drink tamarind juice and in two days the problem was gone. I might note that I am still bothered by my aching arm muscle, however.

One of the biggest challenges in CPT Team life is living in a h…

Bogota and to Barranca

Hello, Friends,

In hushed voices, the Mennonites I was staying told this story, which had happened just the day before. A hunted man (we will call José), who has been on the paramilitary’s (paras) do-away-with list, was kidnapped here in Bogota. José had, by God’s grace, escaped when the car broke down. In running away he fell and cut his abdomen. Fortunately, no organs were damaged; the hospital refused to give him further treatment because José was not registered in the system.

José, part of a family with two small children, was on his way to meet with a Mennonite pastor. He had suffered gunshot wounds and stabbing from previous attacks. The church has been trying to help him get asylum in Canada. It looked like he would get asylum, and then the Canadian administration changed, and they have now rejected him. It is now in appeal.

The other thing is that numerous Mennonite church people leaders fear for their safety. And so I want to beg you to pray for these concerns and for justice a…

Hope on the Opon

Hello, friends,
I just returned from three days with the Opon communities which we accompany.

For the first time ever, people from the five gathered communities began sharing specifics about the fears and problems which the ongoing civil war causes them. They told us that the guerrillas, paramilitaries, and government forces threaten their lives, steal their bananas, corn, fish, and other farm products, and disrupt health and education services.

They then shared about the things that make them feel safe: the presence of CPT, the development organizations, the government agencies, and, in the last year, the churches. Next, they talked about what they can do about the fears and problems. The one thing that stood out was that their one strength was to unite to form a wall against the armed groups.

I felt very privileged to witness that uniting taking place during those two days, in the many obvious good conversations, in sharing while eating (see the photo below) together and in talk in t…

Bogota and to Barranca

Hello, Friends,

In hushed voices, the Mennonites I was staying told this story, which had happened just the day before. A hunted man (we will call José), who has been on the paramilitary’s (paras) do-away-with list, was kidnapped here in Bogota. José had, by God’s grace, escaped when the car broke down. In running away he fell and cut his abdomen. Fortunately, no organs were damaged; the hospital refused to give him further treatment because José was not registered in the system.

José, part of a family with two small children, was on his way to meet with a Mennonite pastor. He had suffered gunshot wounds and stabbing from previous attacks. The church has been trying to help him get asylum in Canada. It looked like he would get asylum, and then the Canadian administration changed, and they have now rejected him. It is now in appeal.

The other thing is that numerous Mennonite church people leaders fear for their safety. And so I want to beg you to pray for these concerns and for justice a…

World Hunger Relief Farm

Here I am visiting the World Hunger Farm, in Waco, Texas, during the Shalom Communities Conference. I am accompanied by three friends from El Salvador. The World Hunger Farm prepares development workers for the 3rd world .