Colombia Accompaniment Report

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Fasting

By Lynne Santangelo and Jean Fontaine
June 27, 2016

We encountered a practice in Currulao that was very new to us. We were eating breakfast in the pastor's open living area when a group of people greeted us and filed into the church.

"Are they meeting?" we asked.

"They are fasting."

"Fasting?"

"Yes, they come without breakfast, pray, sing, and read scripture from 8 to noon."

"Okay. How often?"

"Well, usually once a week, but I think they're coming every day this week."

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Talk on the Streets

Lynne Santangelo and Jean Fontaine's Accompaniment Report - June 20, 2016

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Visiting August 25 in June

Lynne Santangelo and Jean Fontaine's Accompaniment Report - June 13, 2016

Colombia Accompaniment Report: A Visit from Carlota

Lynne Santangelo and Jean Fontaine's Accompaniment Report - June 6, 2016

This is our third full day in Apartadó and our first chance to join the pastor in visiting families in their homes. As we walked along the dirt streets, avoiding puddles from the storm the night before, we saw children playing games we remembered from childhood, games like dodgeball (but using a weighted plastic bag) and kickball (using small plastic balls the size of grapefruit).

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Community in the Face of Capitalism

“No. I’m not scared when I travel with others,” he replied over his shoulder and over the rumble of the motorcycle as we bumped along on a dry dirt road, passing through the fields and acres that make up the community of La Alemania.

Colombia Accompanier Report: Visit to Finca San Juan Tocauga, San Juan Ciénega, Municipality of Luruaco, Atlántico Department April 6-8, 2016

El Tamarindo was a community of 123 families from 5 different Colombian provinces who had settled on 520 hectares of unused land on the periphery of Colombia’s third largest city, Barranquilla. Most had fled their small plots of land hundreds of miles away after family members and neighbors were murdered by paramilitaries, military, or guerrillas. El Tamarindo’s displaced families incorporated to secure legal standing before the state.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Gratitude

Ruth Noel and Chris Lieberman served in Colombia for a month (November 2015) as accompaniers with the Presbyterian Church of Colombia (IPC).  Their first three reports gave vivid descriptions of the troubling situation in that country, and now their final report is filled with gratitude and hope.  Thanks to Ruth and Chris and all those who have given of their time and resources to stand with the IPC.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Beyond Self-Help

The farming community of La Alemania has been repeatedly harassed. The community building was burned down and from time to time security forces are present, a reminder that the people and property of La Alemania are vulnerable. Please read the report of Ruth Noel and Chris Lieberman who, in November 2015, were accompaniers in Colombia sent from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship to learn about the situation in Colombia and to stand with the Colombian Presbyterian Church (Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia).

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Living with Uncertainty

Imagine that you are given the choice of moving from the land you’ve been working for 7 years? Moving again, after being displaced from where you originally farmed? Moving from where you’ve built your house for your family, and corrals for your animals, on wasteland that everyone else abandoned? Land that, now, the city has expanded towards, making it easy for family members who’ve found work there to visit? Imagine that you are given the choice of moving to land further away; OR, to have all that you’ve worked for be bulldozed and receive nothing in return. Which would you choose? How would you feel?

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Hope and Transformation

Coming back from our visit with the ecumenical house-church in the barrio where we read scripture, sang songs and celebrated three people’s birthdays, my first impressions are that so many people here live as best they can. They do not need more violence, hardships, or exploitation. It reminds me of people given the hard labor of making bricks –without straw (Exodus 5:1-20). These people do not need extra measures of hardship. What they do need –as an outsider– I do not know.

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