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Jim Fitz's 2005 Peace Plans

Greetings friends,

I am just back from Colombia and then from a visit with my family in PA at the passing on of my sister-in-law. Here are my plans for 2005 combined with a report on 2004. To start off, here are some photos that catch some of the main aspects of my work in Colombia.




Here I am in the midst of a two-hour time of showing my photos and sharing about CPT peacemaking with soldiers on the Opon River. Some of them said that they pray everyday and we had a time of praying together. This kind of sharing with my photos I did often with all kinds of people - from bus or airplane seatmates to taxi drivers to shop keepers, both in Colombia and in the US. I see this as planting seeds for peace - one by one showing people in practical ways how non-violence is working to deal with conflicts.





After witnessing the above soldiers, who are to be protecting the petroleum resources of Colombia allowing the gas Mafia and the paramilitaries to pass without arresting them, we CPTers here had a three hour meeting with their commander Col. Rios about this inconsistency. I also talked to the Human Rights Advocate in the US Embassy about it. They both said there would be a through investigation. I found to my surprise both of these people seemed sincerely concerned about this violation of law, and wanted to stop the corruption that feeds the armed groups. This gives me hope.





Here I am in El Salvador doing a presentation with my slides about my work and CPT peacemaking. As is most always the case, people were very moved to learn what the Lord is doing through CPT. It seems wherever I go I find myself sharing about peacemaking. One friend unexpectedly introduced me as the new Peace Pilgrim! smilies

You can help my peacemaking with a donation.

If you have been receiving my letters about my work for sometime now, you will have a good idea what my peacemaking involves. And so I would like to ask you to read this letter prayerfully and consider whether you might join me in this peacemaking by giving me some financial support.


My passion for peace and conviction that peace is on its way has just deepened over the year. It may be twenty-five or hundreds of years down the road but it will come for it is what God wants. Jesus did not call us to pray “Your kingdom come on earth” for no reason.

My mission statement still seems relevant: To do peacemaking lovingly, humbly, calmly, and prayerfully, so that it supports and fosters reconciliation, friendship, understanding, and compassion between people locally and internationally.

Making a Difference for Peace in 2004 and 2005 Plans

    + I made trips to Pennsylvania and California where I gave over a dozen slide presentations and had many significant conversations, encouraging people in their peacemaking and sharing about my own peacemaking. I gave eight presentations in local schools. I have a dozen requests already for 2005.
+ I managed the Christian Peacemaker Team booth and gave three seminars at the Cornerstone Christian Music Festival over July 4th. I had six others that helped. This enabled us to have more personal time with the many interested people.

+I had a CPT booth at the county fair in August. It gave me and the three who assisted me a chance to tell about peacemaking to a lot of local people, many of whom had not thought about connecting peacemaking and Christianity.


DEAR JIM

We have worked together at the Cornerstone booth now three years. "When something needs to be said, you say it to people who need to hear it. What seems so obvious to you is new to a lot of people -- they never have made a connection between their faith walk and the need for peace in our lives and in the world."

"It is wonderful that you put action behind your words by being involved in conflict situations."

Peace, Rod Orr
    + I went to Colombia in October for three months to be part of the CPT Team protecting some 80 Colombian families from the intrusion of the paramilitaries and guerrillas. The big hopeful event there was a meeting of five communities where they affirmed their need to unite together in saying no to cooperation with the armed groups. I also did eight slide presentations and had many conversations about peacemaking wherever I was in Colombia.

    + At Thanksgiving, I went to El Salvador to help my son Andy get started on a one month visit to our church's sister community, Valle Nuevo. I did four slide presentations in El Salvador and again had many good conversations about peacemaking. (I am not planning to go to El Salvador in 2005.)

    + I coordinated bringing Cliff Kindy to share about his CPT experiences in Iraq. This was a highlight locally. I have received a request already to have him return this year.

    + I wrote e-mail letters so you can be an informed prayer partner and advocate for peace. Over 500 people receive these letters. My letters and photos are at web site www.jimspeacemaking.org.

    + I participated weekly in our Local Peace Vigil. Over 2000 local cars see our messages each week like “ Pray for Peace, Act for Peace”, “Trust in God and not in Weapons” and “But I say …love your enemies…Jesus”.

    + Most days I spend over an hour praying for others, myself, and world justice and peace. We have the Greatest Listener when we pray. Praying helps me keep on track, for I inevitably get off track. I feel my pride trying to squeeze in between the words right here. I share this to encourage you to take time to pray, not as a way to say that I am good. More and more I sense the importance of my peacemaking being anchored in God through prayer and meditation.

+ I will carry on in 2005 much the same as 2004, with a couple of additions. One of the months in Colombia I will be teaching the use of Open Space meeting format to empower Colombian farmers to create their own good solutions to the violence they face. And I plan to have a CPT booth at some of the Mennonite Relief Sales.
DEAR JIM,
"...leave room for unplanned opportunities in 2005 that the Lord will show you. The Lord is using and blessing you. I think it is important to maintain a balance of time in front-line peacemaking activity (like Colombia CPT), telling the stories, and pulling in co-workers to help, and training others.
You are not polished in what you do, but your passion comes through clearly and people respond to that."
Your brother in Christ,
David Janzen

Pastoral Oversight
I will review my peacemaking activities, plans, and budget spending regularly with my pastor Rich Foss and with others as needed. I will plan to report to supporters regularly during the year. I always welcome your suggestions, questions or encouragement.

Your Invitation to Invest in this Peacemaking Ministry
I am passionate about peace. Will you join me in making peacemaking a priority in today’s world?

Contribute by making out checks to Plow Creek Mennonite Church with "Jim’s peacemaking" in the memo line and mail to

19183 Plow Creek Rd, #2,
Tiskilwa, IL. 61368.

Or to use PayPal or to donate directly to CPT click here: give4peace . All contributions are tax deductible. Here is my 2005 Budget.


Thank you for listening.

Sincerely,

Jim

P.S. Please consider acting on your concern for peace by investing generously in my peacemaking today.

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