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Tea Party Sharing Dear Friends, After I spoke at a church, the pastor shared with me: “There are several people in our church who are of the somewhat militaristic and of tea party persuasions, so I was a bit anxious about what response you would get when you talk about peace. I was glad to see how well you were received. I did not hear one complaint. I felt you opened our eyes to a new world; you gently but deeply challenged us in good ways.” After my presentation at the Nazarene Church in Princeton, IL, Laura Root, the pastor, spent a good five minutes telling the congregation how much she appreciated my talk. I than received many sincere comments of thanks and over $100 from individuals to support my work. At another talk, one of the attendees, a college professor, told me: “I really debated whether I should come to your presentation tonight because one of my students, who is involved in CPT, accused me and other teachers of being off the wall because of our political views. He even got on the internet and did it publicly. So I feared that you might be like that.” I responded, “It is a real challenge to be a peacemaker as it is so easy to slip back into that wrong thinking and be unfairly judgmental and think everyone else is wrong. I have had my own journey that took me through this stage too. One of the hardest things for peacemakers is to be peaceful.” The teacher afterwards, said “I would like to invite you to speak to my classes some time.” I gave four presentations this week at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Students asked a lot of good questions and the college is beginning to revive its peace and religion department. None of the students had heard of CPT before, so I felt that the presentations were timely. I’m leaving for Bogota, Colombia, on April 16th and will return to Chicago on June 8th. I plan to spend time in Bogota, Barranca, Bucaramango, Cali, Sincelejo, and Baranquilla. Say a prayer that my sharing there would be hopeful and encouraging to all and be a part of bringing peace and justice to Colombia. Also, I am going to have to walk quite a bit in Colombia, so please pray that my injured knee would heal. Shalom, Jim April 16, 2012

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