Skip to main content

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. Just concentrate on the Lord and stop letting thoughts of judgment dominate your thinking.” After this turnaround, I got the sense that this worship for them was a lot more authentic than I had thought earlier.

To my surprise, the pastor said talked about peace in the sermon. He said, “We, the church, need to be working for peace, justice, and helping the poor, particularly the displaced (people who have had to abandon their homes because of threats from paramilitaries or guerrillas). Where there is injustice, it is because of sin. The Church needs to be involved in changing the structures of society that allow injustice to go on. We need to be involved in the government.” He then announced that the local Protestant churches were gathering on November 26 from 7pm to 1am to pray for peace for Barranca.

After worship, I talked to a woman whom I had visited with a year ago, and asked her how her dream of opening a restaurant was coming along. She said, "Oh, I have given up on the restaurant and I am now so excited about getting involved with our church’s plans to work with the poor, and the displaced and to be apart of peacemaking here in our neighborhood. This is so wonderful.”

Then a young man mentioned, “I saw a news report on CPT. Could I work for CPT? Do they have Colombians on the Team?” I replied, “Yes, we have Colombians on the Team. There is a Colombian training planned for 2005.” He is now investigating what is involved in joining CPT.

Later I went to a Baptist worship service, where I had a conversation with a teacher and good friend. I had given her the Peace Pilgrim pamphlet a year ago. She excitedly told me, “When I read the Peace Pilgrim pamphlet, the Lord really moved me, and it brought me to tears. I even told my husband about it.”

She also said, “This gathering of churches to pray for peace and justice is a direct result of CPT’s presence. CPT's work is such an encouragement to us. We are praying for CPT’s continued work. Keep it up. The Lord has been using CPT’s example to get us out of the church buildings and into the streets. We are not only praying about these issues, but now we are also doing something about them. It is so good. Alleluia!”

Then when I returned back home, a woman came to the house looking for me. She said, “I was visiting and praying in the jail until 3 this morning and I gave the Peace Pilgrim pamphlet you gave me to a prisoner. Could you please give me another one?” I gave her three and she said, “I will now have some to share with the women prisoners.”

“We ended by her lending me a book on prayer and my lending her a book that has been very helpful to me. Since then she told me, “Both the Peace Pilgrim pamphlet and the book are right on. Thank you very much. How much for that book you loaned me? I would like to buy it.” I think I will give it to her. The book on prayer I have found meaningful for me, even though the Spanish is a bit challenging.

This was a very meaningful day. I am humbled to have the privilege to witness and share in these workings of the Lord in the churches here. Thanks for your support that enables me to be here.

Jim

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Korea Peace Healing our Divided couhtry

Dear friends “Healing Our Divided Country” First I rejoice at the North and South Korea peace agreement. I suggest you go to the link democracy now.org for a very good interview of an American coronel who resigned in protest against the afghan war, and even though she opposes most of trumps doings she gives surprising hopeful insights about the accords. “I have a friend who recently told me he thinks we should deport all undocumented persons. And we should just do away with those who disagree. We are quite good friends we play soft ball together. How do I begin to talk to him?” shared a student at George Fox University in Oregon. The professor suggested, “Well you have some common ground in softball. Maybe that would be a good place to start.” The prof added, “Just about every student enter the conversations that was great.” This was from one of the 10 times I shared in Oregon. Here is our Emily with her family that I shared about in the last letter. I am glad to report that donation for …

Separaciones

Queridos amigos,                                             Separaciones
Asistí a un mitin en Chicago donde 6,000 se reunieron para mantener a las familias unidas.
Pienso qué pasaría si mi Andy y Emily se vieran obligados a separarse de sus hijos 3 años, 1 año y 11 meses. ¿Hay alguna ley que sea adecuada para que eso suceda?



¿Puede un creyente justificar la separación familiar a la luz de la Biblia?
 Levítico 19: 33-34 y 24:22 - Cuando el extranjero reside contigo en tu tierra, no debes oprimir al extranjero. El extranjero que reside con usted será para usted como ciudadano entre usted; Amarás al extranjero como a ti mismo, porque extranjeros fuiste en la tierra de Egipto. Yo soy el Señor tu Dios ".
Deuteronomio 24: 17-18 - "No debes privar a un extranjero residente ... de justicia".
O el llamado de Jesús a "amar a todos"

En el mitin tuve una conversación de 20 minutos en español con una familia donde los padres eran indocumentados y sus hijos 1 y 14 fueron d…