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Just for kids

Dear Friend,

“Today’s presentation is just for kids and if the the adults behave we will let them listen”, thus I began my recent presentation at my home church at Plow Creek.

“Do you know what a peacebuilders is in your school?” I ask the kids. They answered. “Sure they give up put downs, they make friends with those who are left out, they try to work things out by talking instead of hitting or fighting.”

Well, when I go to Colombia for 2- 3 months, I try to be a peacebuilder amongst the people who have been fighting for 45 years there. They are not only fighting with angry words with hands and sticks as you might with your playmates, but they are using even guns which can kill people.

Here are real bullets and a real gun. In Colombia they talk about the lead (plomo) was flying as a way to say there was a fight. They are talking about the lead here the tips in these bullets. When the trigger is pulled the gun shoots the lead out and it will tear into what ever it hits, and if it hits you here in your heart or head it could kill you.

When I was little at times we formed clubs or gangs amongst with some of my playmates in which some kids were part of the club and some were out. We did not want the people on the out part of our club.

That is in some ways similar to what is happening in the Colombian 45 years of civil war. The armed groups of guerrillas, paramilitaries, and Army are in ways like gangs fighting each other only they use real guns which really hurt each other. In Colombia the farmers just want to live in peace with their families. And these armed gangs are fighting for control of the land. Often times the farmers get afraid of being hit by the flying plomo (lead) so that they leave their homes and farms. That is very sad. We as CPTers go to be with them as a way of keeping them safe. In the same way when you and your playmate are having a fight when your parents come, you stop fighting, when Colombian gangs are threatening to hurt farmers we go there and that makes them stop.

When the war began in Colombia about 3% of the wealthy people controlled about 70% of the country. This is like if you are playing and Timmy has most of the toys for himself and won’t let the others use them. In the same way the poor farmers got to the point they did not have enough land to grow the food they needed for their families. So they formed gangs known as guerrillas to take over some of the land so they could feed their families.

When this happened the wealthy land owners hired gangs with guns known as paramilitaries to protect their lands from these guerrillas. And then armies of the government became involved in fighting the guerrillas also.
I will now tell you stories where we have had to do that same thing between Colombians with guns. It is amazing how doing that simple thing of being there can keep even adults from hurting one another and make farmers feel safe enough to stay in their homes and farms.

Just like you are be a peacebuilder when you play with friends, we try to peacebuilder between the people in Colombia and i other places. We each have our role to play to bring peace to the world. It is good to practice being a peacebuilder wherever we are it makes everybody happier.

I thus held the attention of our grade schoolers here at Plow Creek for some 30 minutes. I have come to sense it is ever more important to share the stories of peacebuilding with our children. This exercise of sharing on kids level has helped me understand in a new way my own calling to be a peacemaker.

I am looking for groups to share about CPT with, and it can be from grade school on up if you know a group that might be interested let me know.

Outside our common building visiting after worship.

Pray I can share in ways that encourage us all to be peacebuilders.

Peace fill you today,
Jim

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