Lectionary Selection: Luke 23:33-43
Prayers for Colombia:
Today we pray for the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. Over the past year they have been actively engaged with the implementation of the peace accords between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas that brought an end to fifty years of war. We pray that their calls for peace and justice may be heard.
We also pray for the ongoing peace negotiations with the ELN guerrillas and for an end to the continued violence that has claimed the lives of dozens of human rights workers and community leaders over the past year. We pray for the safety of our colleagues and for the protection of all Colombians.
At times we all feel like voices crying out in the wilderness. Again this Advent season we long for the cleansing waters of baptism and for winding paths to be made straight. Help us to walk your paths with eager anticipation of the coming kingdom at each turn in the road, from Colombia to the United States and around the world. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Colombia:
Just a few weeks ago, DiPaz - the Interchurch Dialog for Peace in Colombia, released its second report on the implementation of the peace accords between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrilla group. The peace accord was signed just over a year ago in November of 2016 and DiPaz decided to set up two “Humanitarian Protection and Monitoring Houses”. Each house is located in a region that was deeply affected by the fifty-year-old war in Colombia and was near several of the FARC demobilization camps. The houses are staffed with community organizers, peace educators and human rights monitors tasked with working with the local community. This presence in the rural communities that are ground zero for the implementation of the peace accords has given DiPaz a unique view of its development.
A year into the peace accords, DiPaz reports on both successes and ongoing challenges. In short, the good news is that the FARC guerrilla has demobilized, laid down their weapons and become a political party. This means that there are over 7000 fewer weapons in Colombia than there were a year ago. The United Nations has shipped them out of Colombia and been tasked with melting them down and making them into three monuments to peace. The biggest challenges lie in getting all of the social programs, that address the root causes of the war, up and running. They have been met with serious opposition in Colombian congress that must approve them.
Through the Interchurch Dialog for Peace our Global Ministries partners in Colombia are committed to the full implementation of the peace accords and are grateful for your support, through financial gifts and political advocacy for peace, that makes this work possible.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Michael Joseph)
Mission Partners in Colombia:
- CEDECOL - Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia
- Justapaz - The Christian Centre for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action
More information on Colombia: http://www.globalministries.org/colombia
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Colombia:
Michael Joseph serves with Justapaz, the Colombian Mennonite Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.