I asked for you to pray in the last letter and to say it simply, God answered far beyond our expectations.
1. In El Salvador, a moderate leftist candidate was elected, 51% to 48%. And a good friend in Colombia who was watching the election wrote, “I think this new president has real potential to be a government that is really for the people.”
2. When I went to give the five presentations to the Proviso West High School, the teacher was so fearful he would lose his job if my presentation even hinted anything about religion that I was ready to say, “Oh, let's just forget it.” But when we went to check with the principal, she assured us there would be no problem and said “This kind of presentation is an important part of giving the kids a good education.”
In asking the students what they thought of CPT afterwards, they were 90% very positive. One senior is seriously considering CPT as part of her future.
3. I got an email from the Presbyterian director that contained the following: “I have the sense that your gifts and interest may work with our Presbyterian program. Your deep sense of commitment and desire to reach out to share the story are gifts which we very much need and value. … My personal sense is that your heart is clearly in the right place, and I think the dynamics of our program may prove a better fit for you.” With them I would be a part of accompanying Colombian Presbyterian church people who are being threatened by the armed groups. The final decision about joining the Presbyterians would happen after I do their training in September.
4. About my crisis I felt myself in such a hole I thought it would be weeks if not months till I saw light . So what has happen feels miraculous. My big part in this life crisis was precipitated by a long pattern of being a coward and letting my fear of conflict keep me from saying in a gentle way what I really felt when I felt hurt or disagreed with someone. My counselor is helping me face this and begin a new pattern in how I relate to others. My depression seems directly related to this pattern of stuffing things. As a result, I have noticed I am freer in relating to others and therefore happier. Pray with me that I have the courage to keep on this good track.
5. In Springfield we found out that in 57% of the crimes in Chicago the weapons could be traced back to less than 1% of the gun dealers who were not doing background checks. And House Bill 48, for which we lobbied, would close that loophole. We heard from people who lost loved ones because of this loophole, the writer of the bill, and the priest who is heading up the campaign.
Here we are lobbying in Springfield. On my left is a church pastor I got to know who has a novel Apostle Paul tent making business of providing basic services like running errands, escorting clients to appointments, doing laundry, etc. to seniors and the disabled. Thus he serves others and provides income for his church work.
One added bonus was meeting a friend I had not seen for years. And then she introduced me to a school principal of one of the roughest schools in Chicago with the hope of me getting to share CPT presentations in that school as way of planting seeds of peaceful ways of resolving conflicts there.
I am planning a trip to Pennsylvania from about April 13-24. Pray I can get some good places to share to plant more seeds.
Smile, it pays to pray!
Here is a small group from our church. I am part of it as a way of testing my call to be part of Reba Place Fellowship common purse. So far I have observed a lot of very positive things about Reba Place. This is the Reba Place retreat cabin on a Wisconsin lake a welcome change from Chicago.