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Showing posts from February, 2008

"The Repairman's Mother In-law"

Dear Friends,

"My mother in-law Nellie read that Peace Pilgrim booklet you gave me. She was very moved by it, and she would like to read more by Peace Pilgrim. Do you have any thing else? And she would like to talk to you too," our repairman excitedly said to me. I responded, "I don't have any thing else by Peace Pilgrim, but you can give her this book Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr."

Later I got to talk to Nellie. Nellie then shared, "Oh yes, that was really inspiring. We have to build peace person by person and house by house by the way that we relate to and treat each other. What Peace Pilgrim has to say is very important. And I really like the book Restorative Justice that I am now reading. I especially like to read stuff like that." I responded, "When you get that one finished, I can loan you another book!"

The political saga continues in Barranca. A prominent Catholic priest, Padre Francisco, a close consultant to the Mayor, who is a …

"Good Friends"

Hello friends,

"Long time no see. How are you?" Manuel asked. I responded to my friend, a 73-year-old street vendor, by saying, "I have been having my challenges. My knees have been bothering me a bit." As he removed a container of lotion from his market booth, Manuel said, "This will take away your pain." "How much is it?" I asked as I took out my wallet. Manuel answered insistently, "Oh, absolutely nothing, it's a gift." When I visited Manuel another day he offered me another lotion. It does work, too.

Down the street I came upon another of my friends, Govianno, a tamarindo juice vendor. It was, as usual, close to 100 degrees so I said, "I'll have to have a cup of ice cold tamarindo. How much is it?" He shook his finger to say no, and said, "I am so glad to see you; it's on me." He then refilled my cup as we shared how our families were doing.

Another day I visited Alfonso, who sells reading glasses, and…

"Back in Colombia"

Hello friends,

In the nine hour bus trip to Barranca from Bogota, I found my mind going through tapes of defending myself before the team over the issues we were going to be facing. Then I felt guilty, anxious and full of emotional pain about this. While I was experiencing this mental anguish, I was trying to keep from watching a shoot'm up movie on the bus TV. Finally, toward the end of the trip, I thought to try to pray, which gave me relief and peace. Thanks be to God for God and prayer.

It was really nice to be greeted cheerfully by friends Michele and Charletta upon my arrival at the house in Barranca. I was also grateful for the nice, simple meal which was ready for me.

The next morning I found my fearful thoughts returning. Then Charletta, as she led team worship, said, "We want to welcome Jim during this time. Jim, can you share with us what your hopes are for your next two months with us?" Since they did not know about my wanti…