Colombia Accompaniment Report: Courage and Faith in the Face Pressure

Received March 17, 2014 from Barranquilla-based March accompaniers Paul Vogel and Jim McPherson.

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. 

In our many visits to persons in this community we saw continuing evidence of their courage and faith in the face of this overwhelming pressure. One visit was particularly moving because the person experienced the destruction of her house and crops numerous times over a three year period. What we saw was a person who – despite all of this – showed only love and forgiveness along with a fierce determination to survive and prosper in the community. Her experience for us was emblematic of that of the entire community.

Of equal importance to us was the unity and solidarity of this community which to us seemed rare. These people share what they have, help and support one another and have a profound faith. Their ability to sustain strong community and deep faith in the face of incredible outside forces was impressed on us the entire time of our visit.