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Showing posts from November, 2004

Soldier for Peace

Warm greetings,Friends,

Here in Barrancabermeja a friend from the Baptist church told me, “It is CPT’s example that got us churches out of just praying and into doing something for peace and the poor. Keep it up. You are very important to the churches. We are praying for CPT.” On November 26th there is meeting of all Protestant churches to discern how they can work together to work for peace and on behalf of the poor.

Here in the Opon the farmers say how important our continued present is for their security. They say how grateful they are to have the Barranca churches and a church development agency now active in the Opon. It is such a blessing to witness their uniting to stand up against the armed groups. This is a most hopeful sign for a lasting peace in the Opon. I am humbled that it has been enabled, for the most part, because of CPT’s presence.

I hate to ask for money, but as you know I could not give my full time to peacemaking without your help. It is getting to the end of the ye…

Vigil and Slides

I recently was invited to give a presentation with my slides to a secular high school class. I was surprised at the depth of their remarks and questions. Here are some of them:

“That must be dangerous. Aren’t you afraid?” I responded, “Yes, it is dangerous, and it is something you need to feel called to.” They then asked, “How can you tell whether you are called?” I told them this story. “Four years ago in January I sensed a call upon reading a CPT email request for more help in Colombia, which included a note that it was very dangerous. And when the feeling did not go away in June I finally started talking to my Pastor, family, and church to test whether it was the Lord. And to my surprise they all affirmed it. And here I am.”

I told the story about the first ever mass in the Opon last year and how grateful the people were for it. The Baptist teacher friend who had arranged the presentation said, “You know, here in the city we have churches in every neighborhood. How many of us tak…

A Message from a Dream

Recently CPT received a message from a person in Trinidad encouraging us to study the book of Joel. About the same time, one of our CPTers received a message through a dream for CPT. The CPTer who had the dream told a prayer group from her church about her dream and about the message from Trinidad. Her church came back with the message that God is calling us to continue our good work and that CPT needs to give attention to the teachings of the book of Joel. Joel describes natural disasters, encourages crying out for God’s help, and forecasts the restoration of everybody and creation.

The disasters mentioned in the book of Joel seem to be similar to the state of the world with all the war, violence, and natural disasters happening like the present flooding in the Opon. Things really seem to be falling apart.

Some quotes that have stood out for me are: “Grieve you farmers...all the crops are destroyed; Give orders for a fast...and cry out to him; Come back to the Lord your God; Gather …

A Lively Sunday

Today was an unusually lively Sunday. I went to a church where I knew some people because I wanted to make contact with them again. I enjoyed the warm welcome which they gave me. See photo.

The worship services here are quite different from what I am used to, and some of the differences make it hard for me to understand. One of the differences is the high volume loud speakers, which particularly make it difficult for me to distinguish the words. In addition, my church vocabulary is somewhat limited. Today the congregation was praying and singing and I understood very little. My thoughts were,” Why am I here? This doesn’t make any sense. They are just putting on a show, pretending to be religious.”

Then the Lord seemed to say, “Just accept what is going on, stop judging, and concentrate on me.”
And through this He seemed to show me that He was there, and to say, “Maybe these people can teach you something about worship. You could benefit by learning to worship as they are doing. Jus…

Paramilitaries

Dear friends,

250 paramilitaries invaded Alto Carnaval, Colombia, under the pretense that the villagers were guerrilla supporters. These paramilitaries are the illegal right wing group fighting the guerrillas, and both the guerrillas and the paramilitaries are on the US government’s list of terrorist groups. The paramilitaries came with two people whom they claimed were guerrilla deserters, and who began pointing out persons whom they said fought with them when they were part of the guerrillas.

The paramilitaries beat one of these persons, tied him up, and said they were going to kill him because he was a guerrilla at one time. Then the village Priest, led by the Spirit, responded on behalf of the accused, “He is no longer a guerrilla, and if you are going kill him, you should kill his accuser because he was part of the guerrillas too at one time." The paramilitaries were taken back so much by this response that they backed off and let him go. Alleluia!

This all happened a few day…