Skip to main content

Off to Colombia

Hello friend,

On February 2 I will head to Barrancabermeja, Colombia for two months to be a part of the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) working to reduce violence in the 45 year old civil war. This is in place of my former plans to work with the Colombia Mennonite Brethren Church (MB). The change is because CPT raised security and other concerns about my plan. I hope to discuss these further with CPT leadership on January 16 in Chicago and with the team when I am in Colombia. As my pastor reminds me, "The best way to build trust is to work through conflicts."

This issue has made the last months very difficult for me as I struggled with giving up the call to work with the MB's for now. In a way this feels like this is a part of a process of the Lord doing peacemaking within CPT. I hope you can say a prayer for us as we work on these hard issues. We will need it.

CarlosContreras was inaugrrated as the new mayor of the Barranca region on January 1. He is from the Penteclstal four Square

Gospel Church, His advisors, the Catholic Bishop and Carlos's pastor, both spoke at his inauguration.
This could mean the beginning of a new Protestant/Catholic relationship in Barranca. The election has been a slap in the face to party politics. Contreras is a people's candidate and not part of any party machine. It is a very positive event.

Here in Illinois, I recently had a very positive experience sharing my slides with a women's study group. It has been meeting for 127 years. Its impetus was to work on the getting women the right to vote. They are a diverse group from the full political spectrum. Their dialogue is building peace at the roots of our society. Last year they studied WWII and this year they are studying peace. They had lots of good questions.

Please pray for my discussions on security and other concerns with CPT, and for my busy time as I finish up some peace work here and prepare to go to Colombia.

Peace to you today,

Jim

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Temper Tantrum

Dear friends: A Temper Tantrum On a shopping trip to Aldi’s I noticed a mother with a girl who was two and a boy who was one sitting together in her cart.. The boy was having a temper tantrum. I know how embarrassing that can be. Besides she was just beginning to shop. So I thought maybe I could help settle him down. So I went over and tried to talk to him. But he would have nothing to do with me. So I just started talking to his sister. “How old are you? What’s your name? How old is your brother? . “What is his name? She replied “Noah.” Hearing his name the boy started to quiet down and pay attention. After some more question and answers the kids and I shook hands and said goodbye. Then we both did our shopping. We passed each other several times. The kids would say “Hi” and wave each time we saw each other. Then as we went through the checkout the mother remarked, “Thank you so much, what is your name?” the kids waved saying “Goodby…

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 …