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Showing posts from 2019

2010 Annual Report April 10, 2010 Off to Colombia

-->Off to Colombia: 2010 Annual Report April 10, 2010 Dear friends, I fly to Bogotá on April 20th for two months where I will set up interviews for Paul Alexander for his book on Christians that are working for peace and justice. I will also be sharing with Mennonite Brethren congregations in Colombia to encourage them in their peacemaking in the midst of the war. This year I began sharing on a subway platform. I give out 20 - 30 pieces of literature an hour. I encourage people to pray and let their government representatives know their concerns about war. I tell them how we’ve reduced suffering in Colombia by reducing U.S. military aid. With youth, I share important questions to think about before they enlist in the military. I plan to continue this sharing when I’m home in Chicago. See my live video subway sharing at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1lgdHD_zz0 on my website.
-->‘‘That Jim is able to make a commitment to witnessing in the subway for peace an…

Revenge or Forgiveness

-->Dear Friends Revenge or ForgivenessMay 19,2010
“If a man came walking down the street outside my business here and was about to beat me up or kill me, and I had a gun, I'd shoot him. As a human, that's natural and I couldn't do anything else. What would you do?” a good friend challenged me.

I don't know what I'd do for sure. But I hope I'd respond in a nonviolent way. I would hope I would just start to pray to Jesus. For me, it is important to keep up my regular quiet time of praying and reading the Bible. Let me read from Zachariah 8:12-13 from The Message:

"You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah and Israel, but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing."

Notice all the words that refer to God. It's not that we're going to straighten things out, but this is what God is doing. When we read or wat…

Pastor’s Sharing

Dear FriendsPastor’s Sharing 3/10/2019 Cali, Colombia “Can you tell us what your sharing’s are about?”Ask my Nazarene church friend Juan and his mother Norha. “I focus my sharing on healing the deep divide that is in Colombia today. One side supports the peace accords and the other opposes them. My focus comes out the book “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot.” Both sides are thinking this of the other and not talking to each other. That is very similar to what is happening in the USA, for Trump and against Trump.” “I will begin by sharing my experience of trying to do this myself. Then I will ask the listeners to share their experience of conversation with the other side. I see this as a way of encouraging each other to talk across the wall separating them. And thus to plant seeds for a more kindly Colombian society.“ “That is a real challenge as we all know today here in Colombia,” said Norha. She added, “Juan, it would be great to have Jim share with Enrique’s Baptist pastors who support his …

Pastores Compartiendo

¡Queridos amigos!Pastores Compartiendo 10/03/19 Cali, Colombia "Compartan su experiencia de conversación con la otra parte. Veo esto como una forma de alentarnos unos a otros" ¿Puedes decirnos de qué se trata tu compartir?" Pregúntale a mi amigo de la iglesia nazarena; Juan y a su madre Norha. Enfoco mi participación en sanar la profunda brecha que hay hoy en Colombia. Un lado apoya los acuerdos de paz y el otro se opone a ellos. Mi enfoque viene del libro: ‘Yo tengo razón y tú eres un idiota’. Ambas partes piensan esto el uno del otro y no se hablan. Esto es muy similar a lo que está sucediendo en los Estados Unidos hoy a favor de Trump y en contra de Trump. Comienzo compartiendo mi experiencia de tratar de hacer esto yo mismo. Luego pido a los oyentes que para hablar a través de la pared que nos separa. Y así plantar semillas para una sociedad colombiana más amable. "Ese es un verdadero desafío como todos sabemos hoy aquí en Colombia", dijo Norha. Ella agregó: &…

Running Out of the Classroom

Hello friends, Running Out of the Classroom 4/1/2019 She stood up to share, and then she just runout of the classroom. I was confused, I had no idea what was going on. In a few minutes she returned and began crying and sharing about some terrible violence that had happened in her family. This started about 8 in the class one by one to cry and share about violence that took place with their uncles, aunts, parents, grandparents or neighbors. This ended up taking up the entire time of the last two classes of my time in Colombia. This likely was the first time they had shared these things outside of their families. This surely was healing for many of the students. The adult friend who was there mentioned she was having someone experienced with trauma healing coming to her church. She hoped to have her go to the school and help some of these students. It felt a real gift to be able to hear and share these things. Afterwards as students often did after class…

Corriendo Fuera de la Clase

Corriendo Fuera de la Clase Hola amigos, 1/4/2019 Ella se puso de pie para compartir y luego solo salió corriendo del salón de clases. Yo estaba confundido, no tenía idea de lo que estaba pasando. A los pocos minutos ella regresó y comenzó a llorar y a compartir sobre algunas violencias terribles que habían sucedido en su familia. Esto empezó alrededor de las 8 en la clase; uno por uno empezó a llorar y compartir sobre la violencia que tuvo lugar con sus tíos, tías, padres, abuelos o vecinos. Esto terminó ocupando todo el tiempo de las dos últimas clases de mi tiempo en Colombia. Probablemente fue la primera vez que ellos habían compartido estas cosas fuera de sus familias. Esto seguramente fue curativo para muchos de los estudiantes. La amiga adulta que estaba allí mencionó que ella estaba experimentando la curación del trauma yendo a la iglesia. Ella espera que fuera a la escuela a ayudar a algunos de estos alumnos. Fue un verdade…

Esperanza: Cambiar la Política Colombiana

Queridos amigos, Esperanza: Cambiar la Política Colombiana 18/18/19 Ayer, el congreso colombiano votó para afirmar partes muy importantes de los acuerdos de paz que requerirían que el Ejército y los paramilitares confesaran sus crueldades a cambio de sentencias más ligeras, como hacen las guerrillas de las FARC. Esto no es solo una cuestión de justicia, sino una parte central de la curación de Colombia y de Colombia como nación y como individuos. Solo el perdón y la amnistía pueden exorcizar a los demonios que plagaron los corazones y los recuerdos del perpetrador y la víctima en Colombia. La justicia y la sanidad no pueden tener que ver con el castigo, sino con la restauración y la reconciliación. Duque, el actual presidente colombiano ha estado abiertamente (estado en las noticias) dando sobornos a congresistas para que voten en contra de esta legislación. Duque es claramente un simple títere del ex presidente Uribe. Duque está en contra de esta ley porque implementaría Uribe pa…

A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief

Dear friends, A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief 3/4/19 “Would you turn that mirror in on your side in so it doesn’t get knocked off.” said Juan to me. He then added “I have to tell you a story about that mirror. I was at a stop light and a guy come up and just broke off the mirror. I saw police nearby so I told them.” “They went and found him and brought him to me. They said to me, well here he is you can hit him or do whatever you want with him. Beat on him as much as you want. I said I don’t want to beat on him. That just didn’t seem right. They then called and another policeman who also said go ahead beat on him this is your chance. That might straight him out.” “They then got a commander who brought a bat and said well now you can beat him go to it. I than talked to the fellow and found he was very poor and stealing things as a way to survive. So I felt he was already in a deep in a hole. I didn’t want to push him any deeper.” “The pol…

Visiting the FARC

Dear friends Visiting the FARC 3/21/19 Were you in the jungle and part of the fighting? I asked. Yes I was in the war since I was about 4.” answered the ex-FARC guerrilla soldier. “After 60 years we have come to see Christ was right; violence does not work to bring peace and justice. That is why we signed the peace agreement.” Here is the ex-FARC guerilla, Pilar and me when we had our hour long conversation. The paintings in the background FARC soldiers did. They are selling them to help sustain themselves. Surprising to me he referred to Christ. I must say I agreed with much of his analysis of the USA’s negative military doings in the world. He said, “We are really committed to working this out by being involved in the government even if Duque the new president fails in following the peace accords.” My very good friend Pilar has gotten to know this household of demobilize FARC. She took me there. I was a little anxious despite her …

Visitando las FARC

Queridos amigos Visitando las FARC 21/03/19 ¿Estabas en la jungla y parte de la lucha? Yo pregunté. Sí, estuve en la guerra desde los 4 años ”, respondió el ex soldado guerrillero de las FARC. “Después de 60 años hemos venido a ver que Cristo tenía razón; La violencia no funciona para traer paz y justicia. Por eso firmamos el acuerdo de paz ". (Andy inserta la foto aquí, usa la foto cercana de la ex FARC, pilar y yo. Aquí está la leyenda) Aquí está la ex guerrillera de las FARC, Pilar y yo cuando tuvimos nuestra conversación de una hora. Las pinturas en el fondo de los soldados de las FARC lo hicieron. Los están vendiendo para ayudar a mantenerse a sí mismos. Sorprendiéndome, se refería a Cristo. Debo decir que estoy de acuerdo con gran parte de su análisis de las acciones militares negativas de los Estados Unidos en el mundo. Dijo: "Estamos realmente comprometidos a resolver esto al involucrarnos en el gobierno, incluso si Duque, el nuevo presid…

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…