Skip to main content

Subway Peace Sharing ; Rolland & Bonnie Smith

Dear Friends,

“I think you are crazy. All the war makers want is oil. You are wasting your time. You don’t have a chance to bring peace in the world.” Thus responded John after he had listened to my sharing about CPT peacemaking in the Jackson subway station here in Chicago.

I answered, “I had a fear when I started peacemaking that I would become hopeless and burnt out. But surprisingly I have more hope than I ever have. And these last seven years have been the richest of my life.”

I went on to share, “You can be a peacemaker just by being kind and nice to people, especially ones that aren’t nice to you, and it will make you happy.” John answered, “Guess you’re right there.”

John went on to say, “I am an agnostic.” I responded, “I was an agnostic for a number of years back in the early 70’s. Then one time, when visiting a pastor friend, I shared that I just could not say with integrity that I believed all that stuff about God. He said to me “Well, don’t try to fool God - you can’t. But if you want to believe, ask for it.” That was a milestone for me and the beginning of my ever-growing faith.

An older lady in the subway, after I told her some peace stories, said, “I get my inspiration from the Bible. I am part of a church where my son is the pastor.” So I offered her the pamphlet Making Peace with Enemies - Ten Truths Christians Need to Know and the book Biblical Pacifism by Dale Brown. She responded, “Now, I don’t have any money or I would pay you for these, and if I see you again I will pay you. But, I will be sure to pass these around to others and especially to my son.”

Here I am in the Jackson subway station with my display board of photos to go with the stories I share with travelers. I go at least once a week. It is a good venue, keeps me on my toes, for I never know with whom I will be sharing. As many as 20 persons an hour take my literature packet, which includes how they can contact their senators, congressperson and President Obama all with one click of the computer.

Pray for:
-My subway sharing
-My visiting in a homeless shelter
-My preparation for my upcoming April and May trip to Colombia to encourage the Mennonite Brethren churches to be peacemakers and also to set up interviews for Paul Alexander for his book about Christians following their call to work in justice and peace.

For those who know Rolland and Bonnie Smith, this is a message from them written by Bonnie:

“An abnormality was seen by the urologist on Rolland's one remaining kidney. Rolland has chosen to return to Brazil to spend 6 weeks at the John of God place of physical and spiritual healing which he has gone to before; he quit his job as pastor in Kalona, and he says he needs space from Bonnie to decide what he is being called to do with the rest of his life. He says he plans to move to New Mexico for an undetermined amount of time when he returns from Brazil. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work in a mighty way to bring hope and healing to their marriage and to each of them individually.”

You can let them know you are praying and care by email: ,

Peace, Jim


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 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 …