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Shirtless Brother at Cornerstone

Hello friends,

"Would you like to hear about how we are reducing violence in the war zones of the world?" I said to the shirtless brother as he hurriedly passed our booth amongst the crowd seemingly trying to avoid us. He responded, "You wouldn't want to talk to me; I just got back from deployment in Iraq." He then stared at the photo of Art Gish standing in front of the tank to save the farmers' market in Hebron and then pointing to the photo said, "I've been
there."

"You know, I would really like to hear your story," I responded. Then he began to tell Tracey (who is in the army reserves) and me his story. "I was part of the first troops from Kuwait to take Baghdad when the war started. The people welcomed us; they were really glad for our arri
val. I was a mortar launcher."

Tracey shared, "I wanted to deploy to Iraq to help the people, but my unit will never be deployed to Iraq and besides I am in administration." He responded, "Oh, you should try to go to Iraq. It would be a good experience for you."

I asked, "Are you married?" "Yes, I am", he answered. I continued, "Are you still married after all those years in war?" "Yes," he answered again. "Well, that is a miracle!" I responded. Then he
followed with, "You're sure right there."

With almost a tear in his eye, he continued, "If I hadn't come to trust and know God in a deeper way, I don't think I could have made it. It was a good experience though." He and Tracey went on to share about the invasion in a lot of military jargon I could not understand. Tracey connected with him in I way I could not.

He than went on to tell us, "I hav
e four children. One was just born a few months ago. I am studying in a Bible school. I just want to become more knowledgeable about the Bible. My wife and I are feeling called to be missionaries, though we don't know where that will take us."

I asked, "Would you like to hear what we are doing in Peacemaking?" "Sure, let's hear it", he responded openly. I answered pointing to our photos, "Here on the Opon River in Colombia, we are giving protection to about 80 farm families from the threats of the guerrillas and paramilitaries. I have given 2-3 months each year for the last five years there."


He ended up taking our literature and signing up for our emails. I don't think either of us changed each other's mind about war. I don't feel I understand it, but I sensed it was a holy exchange in that even though we disagreed deeply about war, we parted appreciating each other as persons. Jesus was there.

Give thanks for:
For those who prayed for the help I
needed for Cornerstone. It seems I could not have asked for better help. Each of them added a fresh and different approach to engaging the people who stopped at our booth.

Say a prayer for:
-For each of the seeds the Lord sowed at the Festival that they would sprout, grow, and flourish.
-For Tracey who is filing for Conscientious Objector status without the support of her family, who can't seem to unde
rstand why she is doing it. She asks for prayer for guidance as to when to submit her request.
-For the US Colombian foreign aid bill which passed the House but still has to pass the Senate. Encourage your Senators to support it and not change it.


CPT booth at the Cornerstone Christian music Festival.

At the left is Tracey Harmon, who is in the Reserves; next yours truly; then Tim Nafziger, a CPTer; and at the right Logan Laturi, who served in Iraq. While in the Army, Logan came under the conviction that he could no longer carry a gun. When his unit was redeployed to Iraq in August 2006, he begged to return with them, but without a gun. The Army refused his request. After an honorable Army discharge, he then went to Israel/West Bank with CPT. Tracey and Logan plan to marry in the fall.

Peace,

Jim

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