Colombia Accompaniment Report: Finding Hope in Colombia

Received February 12, 2014 from Barranquilla-based February accompaniers Nancy and Ted Collins. (Nancy writing.)

Visiting a communityHope seems to be the dominant theme in the experiences that Ted and I have had this week in Colombia. We visited with a group of women in the city of Soledad, which we understand is very corrupt.  The women have formed themselves into the most basic kind of community support group - of neighbor helping  and encouraging neighbor.  A representative group of five women met with us and each had her own story, but together they had a resolve to make their lives and the lives of their families better.  There couldnĀ“t be a more basic beginning of growing community.  Ted and I came away with such a feeling of hope.  That God had touched this small band of women to give them courage and resolve to find simple ways to support each other.  This is hope personified: to be that helping hand, to be that word of encouragement , to stand with their sisters against the forces of evil.

Our second experience was with a family of farmers in an area that is threatened to lose their land because the land is wanted by the multinationals which are part of the Free Trade Agreement.  We stayed two nights in the home of a wonderful couple.  These farmers live a simple, beautiful life in humble dwellings where they can produce almost everything they need - yuca, plantains, corn, papayas, bananas, eggs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, milk, pigs.  They live a life of abundance in the path of the multinationals.  These farmers have organized together and are fighting for their land.  Fighting for a way of life that is disappearing  as the multinationals push forward in the name of progress. Although we saw an uphill battle, we also saw hope in the sharing between these farmers and in the caring for each other as they struggle together.  It was an honor to feel the community spirit and the hand of God among these people.