Skip to main content

Two Days on the Opon (continued)

Hello friends,
The next morning Lisa and I ate breakfast with the Los Neques family. Henry, the man of the house, told us, "Last week from Monday to Wednesday soldiers were stationed just across the river. They didn't do us any harm; they just bought some cheese from us. At night we can hear the helicopters which watch the pipeline." We had a long discussion about snake bites and their pet squirrel.

Next we stopped at Mary and Steve's. Mary made us fresco de guanabana. Ummmm! Lisa and I had a long talk with Mary. She was concerned about the fact that they did not have gas for the community boat, which kept her and others from attending a meeting on getting electricity into the community. Ten years ago they had cleared a path for the electrical poles but nothing further ever came of it. If the project does not get going this year it will cost them more next year. At 11 am a military helicopter was heard nearby. Mary said, "It is looking for the cartel" (gas-stealing Mafia). She stated, "It has been a long time since the military has been through this way." Mary is soft-spoken but articulate and a dedicated leader in her community.

Next was a stop at Martha and Joe's. Their son Donald and his three young children live with them. I spent a lot of time with the children outside. Martha shared some of her history, "I am from the north coast and have had 12 children, eight born in the Opon. One was killed while fishing on the Cienaga. It was said that he was killed because of mistaken identity."

Next we made a return visit to Florida and the soldiers were once again making lunch in the same place. We asked Sergeant G, "Why have you not moved?" He responded, We needed to cook here because there was clean water - but you are right, and we will move right after lunch. Also our food supply which we were waiting for has just come in last night by helicopter."

Next we stopped at Carey and Al´s. They had just received their diplomas from a training course on personal and community development. We took their pictures with the diplomas. Al excitedly shared, "Since five families, including some key leadership people, have abandoned their farms here due to threats of the armed groups, this program is very important for our future because it trains us to be leaders. We are excited about the potential in this to rejuvenate our community. We learned in the workshop that nonviolence begins in the home and in the ways in which men and women treat each other."

Finally we went to the Cienaga to visit Felipe. Lisa, who knows a great deal about birds, was our guide to the wonderful festival of birds along the way. Felipe was there with his partner and three sons. He was repacking fish in a big styrofoam chest with ice. He had been fishing, and we talked a bit about preserving the fish and the legalities and illegalities of fishing. He said, "I found a trasmayo (an illegal fishing net) in the lake the other day and came home and burned it." Felipe added, "I heard Manuel is fine. Someone came to my house telling me to go talk with him, but I don't feel safe enough to do so without an intermediary. I hear Manuel isn't mad."

We closed our visit with a good time of prayer. Felipe's wife participated in this prayer time, something she hadn't done before when we prayed with Felipe. We ended the day with the trip home, getting into the port in Barranca at just before dusk.

Peace is coming,

Jim
Here Mary and I are looking through a CPT magazine. I shared stories that went with the photos about our violence reduction efforts from Iraq, Palestine, Arizona, and Canada.

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…

Preemptive Memorial Service

Dear Friend,

"My brother Evan just came down with cancer a couple of days ago, he has just a few days to live. Just found it out and we are trying to figure out how to deal with it emotionally." This is how I learned of my friend Evan's situation.

Three months later I learned from Bart his brother that that Evan appreciates phone calls. As awkward as it was I called him three times. We had surprisingly good conversations. Evan has a deep heart for justice and peace so we had some good sharing on that common ground.  

He told me his divorced wife called him every day. What grace, what a gift.

 Evan then had a pre-emptive memorial service with him there in which 30 or 40 friends and family he helped with his skill in plumbing and heating expressed their deep thanks. Evan had them play "Bridge over trouble Water" with the volume turned up. It was all very meaningful. This made me consider that every day I get closer to passing on too.

I am currently in Portland seeig m…

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 …