October 2019: Steps Toward Peace
They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Isaiah 2:4b
In early 2017, over 10,000 former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla fighters disarmed and demobilized as a result of the December 2016 peace accord. Thus began a long and challenging reentry process for many of them who had been part of the rebel army for most of their lives.
The Cafepaz Peace Studies Center in Colombia, an initiative started by Global Ministries partner organization Justapaz, has been leading workshops on conflict transformation and restorative justice at the Icononzo FARC Reintegration Community since late 2018. The workshops bring together both former FARC guerrilla combatants and civilian “receptor community” leaders in the hopes of helping facilitate a smooth reentry process for both the ex-combatants and the civilian community they are now joining, many of whom were victims of the armed conflict. Cafepaz reports, “Seeing former FARC combatants and civilians who were victims of the armed conflict doing joint dramatizations and peacefully discussing conflict was powerful and rewarding!”
We are grateful for the steps toward peace and coexistence that are being taken in Colombia and for the courageous and creative work done by our partners to support those who were once directly involved in the war.
Michael Joseph serves with Justapaz and the Cafepaz Peace Studies Center. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.