Colombia Accompaniment Report

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.

Celebramos juntos la paz

Es un sábado memorable: 18 de Octubre del 2014 en Stony Point, Nueva York, Estados Unidos. Fué la gran celebración de Gala por la Paz. Dos personas fueron galardonadas pero con grandes expresiones de acción de gracias a Dios por sus vidas dedicadas a "sembrar en paz para recoger como fruto la justicia": Anne Barstow y Tom Driver.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Simplicity’s Facade

Three equally different flavors with the same base of displacement, and faith. Here ‘extended family’ also includes the faith community, and people take that seriously. Church members are present in each other’s lives, as familial as hermanos y hermanas en Cristo (brothers and sisters in Christ) can be, and we hear the reference often.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Challenged Lives Sustained by Faith

We arrived in Uraba at the beginning of April and spent 5 days in Carepa during the past week. Carepa is a small town a short distance south of the area’s key town of Apartado. We visited the Iglesia Presbiteriana de La Samaritana and stayed at the home of the pastor and his family. This is a congregation that is deeply steeped in its faith.

La Alemania: A Positive Note

In conversations with various groups of people throughout the Finca including the military, we understand that the “bad guys”, who are still in the area, are not presently causing problems. People reported to us that they suffer from the effects of past violence, but that conditions are getting better.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Courage and Faith in the Face Pressure

After Jim and Paul arrived in Barranquilla and had the opportunity to experience the last few days of Carnival, we visited several churches in the city before spending a number of days in a community of displaced persons. This community is under pressure from multi-national corporations who want to develop the land on which they have lived for many years.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: The Legacy of Violence--and New Life--in La Alemania

Received February 24, 2014 from Barranquilla-based February accompaniers Nancy and Ted Collins. Nancy and Ted recently returned to the United States, having finished their term of service on February 28.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: The Church in Northern Colombia

We attended a small rural church our first Sunday in Colombia. While waiting for the service to begin, I noticed a poster made of small squares on which members had written their dreams for the New Year. Love, peace, and kindness were some of the thoughts expressed on this quilt of dreams.