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Showing posts from 2009

“Give yourself to the gifts God gives you.”

Dear Friends, “Give yourself to the gifts God gives you.” (1 Corinthians 14:1 from the Message Bible.) Seems there are million good things a person can dedicate themselves to. But we can only do a few of them. This verse has helped me to set priorities. As we focus in on our gifts, we can do a better job of using them and avoid paralysis from feeling guilty and ashamed for not doing what others are doing. It is in a way learning to be who we are. For example, I have a friend who is a dentist. He used his gift of fixing teeth in places in the world where there is no dentist. People with the gift of making money, might use their gift to share money with others, to teach others how to use money, or to run a business. I use my gift of sharing slide presentations and stories about peacemaking to make people aware of what God is doing through people for peace and justice in the world. What are the gifts God has given you? How are you using your gifts for others? This
A Surprising Answer to a Prayer. Dear Friends, I have been trying to contact Lauren Winner about a leading I felt about her book Real Sex for months. So yesterday morning, frustrated I prayed, “if you want me to do this Lord, may Lauren respond today or I quit.” I had been emailing and calling her unsuccessfully. A few hours later I received the below email in response to my email. Dear Lauren, My name is Jim Fitz and for 6 years I have volunteered in Colombia with Christian Peacemaker Teams. We seek to reduce violence in the world. I have found your book Real Sex very helpful for me to see the violence in my sexuality and in our culture and society relationships. Your book has great potential to make people aware of the violence in sexuality we all struggle with daily, but are unaware of, and thus reduce sexual violence in our society. So, I promote your book as a part of other books that have formed me to becoming a peacemaker (see attached book lis
Marriages in Stress Hello, Friends, "I left my husband a few days ago. Now he is calling me, saying that things will be different and I should just come back," Lisa shared with a group of us. I pulled her aside and told her, “I will be praying for you both.” She gave me a big hug and said, “Oh thank you!” I gave her the book Desperate Marriages by Gary Chapman. She responded later, “I read it and it was very helpful. Thank you so much.” We have been keeping in touch from time to time ever since. They have two boys. A friend said, “I have something to share with you from your good friends X and Y. Y has been involved sexually with another women. They, together with the church, are working on reconciliation, but it is a hard road. X and Y asked me to tell you so you could be praying for them.” “I haven’t been attending church since the first of the year,” another brother told me. “J and I have been having serious problems relating. And it feels a co

Doors Close and Doors Open in One Day

Hello friends, “I told you I was going to Colombia, didn’t I?” said my friend Paul Alexander, the co-founder of Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice . “No, I know nothing about it.” I responded. Paul answered, “Well, next May, Bob Welch, a fellow professor, and I are going to Colombia to interview Colombian church people who are active in peace and justice work. We want to use these interviews for a book we are writing. I was hoping you could help us find people to interview and to come help us with the interviews.” This all happened about 9:30 PM in Los Angeles after I was told by the Presbyterians that morning in New York that they felt I would not work for their Colombian accompaniment program because It meant waiting around for something to happen several days a week and they felt that would not fit who I was. I asked to try it for a month, but they felt it just would not work. What a gift for the Lord to open doors so qu
Hola amigos, 15-9-2009 Pidiendo Oraciones Tengo una lista de peticiones por oración por ustedes: 1. El Salvador está en medio de una elección importante hoy. Ora que la voluntad del Señor esté hecho, y que lo que sea el resultado, la gente tenga diálogo entre si y que no tenga recurso a la violencia para resolver sus diferencias. 2. Mañana tengo planes para dar seis presentaciones en la escuela secundaria de Proviso del Oeste en Chicago. Los estudiantes están involucrados en las pandillas y algunos probablemente llevan armas cuando no están en clase. Ora que estemos abiertos a lo que Dios querré decirnos a y que cada uno de nosotros traiga su paz, justicia, y alegría. 3. He hecho una solicitud y he tenido una entrevista para ofrecerme en el programa de acompañamiento de la iglesia Colombina Presbiteriana. Me sentí muy bien sobre la entrevista y me siento que el programa me caería muy bien. Los presbiterianos han esperado por dos semanas para hablar con CPT ante

Peace Talks

On September.9 I start a tour giving presentations that will take me to PA, NY, CA, and OR. Here is a flyer that explains about my talks. I will be posting times and places soon in case you would like to attend. Thank you for your interest and prayers of support. Peace and blessings to you. Jim

Colombia, Next US War?

An answer from six years involvement in Colombia A presentation by Jim Fitz We invite you to hear Jim share through slides and stories from his 6 years in Colombia and of his faith journey to peacemaking and hope through prayer. From directly confronting armed groups to organizing soccer games between communities split by war, Christian Peacemaker Teams strives to reduce violence in war torn areas throughout the world through dialogue and becoming active and vocal observers. “For 50 years now you have been trying to solve the conflict here in Colombia with a gun, can’t you see violence just brings more deaths and suffering everyday?” Interestingly, the soldiers responded, “Yes, that sure is true, isn’t it?” Jim will share about the hopes seen in the many ways politicians, human rights workers, and Christians are risking their lives to forge a peace in Colombia . He will explain how the 40-year ongoing civil war started and evolved to entangle the local farmers between three armed gro

US Government’s Next War?

Dear Friends, Urgent: I just learned the US State Department is hoping to close the agreement to use seven Colombian military bases in Colombia by mid August, so it is important to follow through on praying for a change in those plans and to let your representatives know of your opposition to them ASAP. This very well could be the beginning of our government’s next war. See my last letter and these links: Cornerstone 2009 “I think I talked to your people in Baghdad. I was a truck driver in the US Army and we had a little down time and I wanted to see if these American civilians would call us baby killers. But to my surprise they were very warm, understanding, and in a way, very compassionate,” remarked this 27 year old women by the name of Erin. “Might it have been a
New US War, US Military Bases in Colombia July 30, 2009 Hello Friends, I am very concerned about the US recently announced plans to construct military bases in Colombia. As you know, I have been a volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams since 2002, accompanying Colombian farmers who are threatened by guerrillas, paramilitaries, and Colombian military forces. As we have often told these armed groups, “You have been trying to resolve the conflict in Colombia for the last 50 years with a gun. Can’t you see it just does not work? It just results in more suffering and death of people each day.” To build military bases in Colombia is continuing this same false assumption that the conflict in Colombia can be solved with a gun. Lasting resolutions to conflict always are resolved with negotiations. Let’s support President Barak Obama’s proclamation to make diplomacy central in US foreign policy. I sense this is a very pivotal point in US Colombian foreign policy that could go the wrong

2009 Annual Plans

Dear friends, Whether you are new to my updates and newsletter or you have been a subscriber or supporter for a long time, greetings from our new home in Chicago. A big change for Lyn and I this year was our move here in December to a rented apartment from our rural farm home of 27 years at Plow Creek Fellowship near Tiskilwa, IL. An important part of my peacemaking efforts has been this an nual reporting of my activities of the last year and a forward projection, with openness to the Lord’s leading, of my hopes and plans, along with a budget for the coming year. This exercise, I have found, is good for me as it lends perspective to my work and also holds me accountable to all of you who are praying and supporting the work and me financially. I’ll begin with some recent photos and commentary: This is one of five presentations to 300 Elkhart high school students in Indiana this April. The teacher noted, “This fueled a half hour of really powerful discussion.” Some of students re
Queridos Amigos, 21-5-09 Investigación de drogas de la Corporación de Rand Un amigo me preguntó, “Que hiciste en la residencia de BVBH, intentar ganar dinero por tu organización?” Respondé que yo hago basicamente lo mismo con todas mis presentaciones: intento involucrarle a la gente en el pacimiento. Comparto que ahora concedemos a millón de dólares de ayuda financial para operaciones militares cada dia en Colombia y les digo como esa ayuda aviva a la Guerra y al sufrimiento de los Colombianos. Un poco mas de un año atras estabamos concediendo unos 1.5 millones cada dia. Se han reducido esa cantidad como resultado de oración y presión a nuestros representantes. He llegado a sentir que hay mucho poder en oraciones simples para cambiar eventos. La corporación conservador de Rand (http://forcolumbia/node/239) conductó una investigación del problema de las drogas en los Estados Unidos y encontró que seria 23 veces mas barato invertir dinero en programas de rehabilitación que invertir

Seed Sowing on my PA Trip

Hello Friends, “I want to let you know, I am going to be praying for you,” a young man quietly told me after my slide presentation in his middle school in West Virginia. At each of my school presentations I say, “If you have interest in reading any of these books that have impacted my peacemaking, let me know and I will give them to your library.” Interestingly, the middle school students always mention a few books on my list. The most requested book, both in Philadelphia and in West Virginia, was Real Sex by Lauren Winner. A most honest and healthy look at sex. It brings to light the violence that is happening regarding sex that we never talk about or deal with. I wish I had read this book when I was a teen. In Philadelphia In one class I had 90 minutes and only 4 hours’ sleep beforehand, and I was wearing out, when the students brought up questions about what Quakers believe. Fortunately my Nephew Dave Fitz who is a Quaker and who is much more articulate than I am was al