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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.

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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"

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