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"They killed my son three months ago."

"They killed my son three months ago."

Dear Friends,

"They killed my son three months ago." Thus remarked an older sister in the Mennonite Brethren (MB) church here in Choco. Another shared, "They have been disappearing motorcycle taxi drivers a lot over the years, one just disappeared two weeks ago, And as usual the police never do any real investigation to find who did it."

It is hard to know how to respond to such heavy words. I just said, "Thank you for sharing, I understand the situation better than I ever have before."

"The police (supposedly the law here) enter what are well known as paramilitary's homes all the time, so we have to be very careful what we talk about and with whom. We never know who is associated with which group--guerrilla or paramilitary--both which are outside the law. We are so grateful for the MB church, for we are safe here to share. As a matter of fact, when Protestants have been kidnapped, they have been let go when they found out they were Protestants. It is the grace of God that the armed groups respect us," remarked another sister in the MB Church.

"After President Uribe paid his father's ransom, the Farc guerrillas then killed his father, and so the president has been taking revenge trying to destroy the Farc ever since. "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord." It is sad for this civil war has caused such suffering and who knows how many deaths? His government then pays the general population to share with the police and military anyone they suspect of being against the government. And so many times if a neighbour has a conflict with neighbour they can make something up about their neighbour, and get the neighbour bumped off and get paid for it. Often this info is shared with the paramilitaries, who are known for making people disappear or shot for no reason," remarked another sister in the church. Seems similar to Nazi Germany.

I took this photo in one of the poorest villages where I stayed for three days. When I offered to to give this sister, who hosted me with meals, something to cover her cost, she responded, "No way." I sense they are very grateful for my visit. The man is her husband and pastor of the MB church. The other is one of the many students who I helped with English.

This time in Choco has really been eye-opening to me. It is also all mixed up with the drug trade and gold mining--more about that in another letter.

This experience makes me plea for you to take a minute to pray and for you to use to write your senators, congressperson, and president to stop adding wood to the fire of war here by the million dollars a day in military aid we are giving Colombia.

Also pray for:

-My adjustment to returning to the USA on 6-15. (My depression medication, Lamictal, seems to be working very well, thanks be to God.)

-My two CPT presentations and our interactions with people at our CPT booth at the Cornerstone Music Festival 6-29 through 7-3-10.

Thanks so much for your every prayer.

Peace to you,

Jim Fitz


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