Big, hopeful news! You may have noticed a flurry of discussions this week as details emerged about the peace negotiation process between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas. The armed conflict in Colombia between government forces and the guerrillas (of which the FARC is the largest group) is not the only source of violence and human rights abuse in the country, but an accord between the two parties would be a huge step toward peace with justice in Colombia. The churches of Colombia and the Latin American region have spoken out in support of this promising effort and invite your prayers and encouragement.
To learn more, read up on the details of the process, analysis by WOLA’s Adam Isacson or FOR’s Susana Pimiento, and a history of negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC and ELN guerrilla groups. The news has also been picked up by mainstream U.S. media including Fox News and Time, as well as Public Radio International. And you can see mission co-workers Mamie and Richard’s take on it, too, and as they request, please “pray not just for peace but also for hope. Pray for the willingness to imagine peace–not just an invented peace but a real, lived, true peace.”
Speaking of Mamie and Richard, in Presbyterian news, accompaniment in Colombia is featured in the September issue of Presbyterians Today magazine, focus: disarming violence. A few of the articles are available online, including this brief but insightful conversation with Mamie and Richard. Other articles available include reflections on structural violence and bullying, and how our worship can transform a culture of violence. And in a year when we’ve seen several mass shootings as well as a steady stream of tragic gun deaths in Chicago and other cities across the nation, resources like this congregational toolkit on gun violence prevention is needed more than ever.