Skip to main content

A FARC Phone Call

Hello friends,                      A FARC Phone Call
“Hello, this is Commander Morales of the FARC. We are taking over your farm.” The FARC is the largest guerrilla group in Colombia.
At this Jose and Maria with their son Jorge left quickly with just the clothes on their backs. “Jose was crying as he gave up his dream of the farm to provide a future for his son,” Maria chimed in as they told me their story.
 Jose added the following: “Maria was pregnant with our next child. The farm consisted of acres of coffee, and many cattle. We had 20 hired employees. The FARC said they wanted to recruit our 8 year old son Jorge because they noticed he was such a good worker and therefore would make a good soldier.
 “The FARC found us in the town where we tried to escape. The FARC then sent four guys to his school and told the school they were sent by us to pick him up. Neighbors told us this was happening, so we called the police, the police went there, and then the four guys left. Thanks be to God. We since have moved even further away. Numerous other farmers including my Dad have lost their farms in similar ways.
“Many times the armed groups have told me and other farmers to go to town to a certain shop and ask for a package. We had no choice but to cooperate or else.  The FARC of course were extorting money from the businesses.
“Another time when I was 16 I was herding cattle while the FARC and Paramilitaries were shooting it out between mountains overhead. At one point both groups were cutting up farmers they thought were helping the other side with chain saws then throwing them in the river. The Paramilitaries tried to recruit me but I would have no part of using a gun. They would have paid me a good salary.
“When I was young life was good and peaceful where we lived. Then when drugs came into their lives farmers got rich, then the armed groups came and the farmers were caught in between them. War causes so much suffering.”
I responded, “I am so glad they are talking in Havana.” “I am too” said Jose. He also pointed out, “My hands and feet were sweating just from telling you these stories.”
We then prayed together for several minutes. I cannot say where, when, or who this was for their protection, lest the FARC or Paramilitaries might find them.
 Thanks for listening. Pray for a Colombian good peace agreement and a cease fire.
 Shalom, Jim

Ps. This is the first of several letters I hope to write from my recent time in Colombia.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Preemptive Memorial Service

Dear Friend,

"My brother Evan just came down with cancer a couple of days ago, he has just a few days to live. Just found it out and we are trying to figure out how to deal with it emotionally." This is how I learned of my friend Evan's situation.

Three months later I learned from Bart his brother that that Evan appreciates phone calls. As awkward as it was I called him three times. We had surprisingly good conversations. Evan has a deep heart for justice and peace so we had some good sharing on that common ground.  

He told me his divorced wife called him every day. What grace, what a gift.

 Evan then had a pre-emptive memorial service with him there in which 30 or 40 friends and family he helped with his skill in plumbing and heating expressed their deep thanks. Evan had them play "Bridge over trouble Water" with the volume turned up. It was all very meaningful. This made me consider that every day I get closer to passing on too.

I am currently in Portland seeig m…

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 now.org 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 …