CPTnet

MEDITERRANEAN: A garden in the heart of a child

 

Photo by Lesvos Solidarity

It’s morning in the camp. Humanity Crew, an organization of translators, comes by to pick up a vanload of Pikpa residents to take them to Moria detention center for the day. They are going for interviews and to fill out paperwork related to appeals for asylum or relocation. One woman approaches, asking if they can take her to the hospital. She has an appointment to have stitches removed from her bandaged hand. Other men and women have gathered under the pavilion to wait for the daily food distribution to begin. A tween-age girl from the Congo is slouching in a plastic chair with her hands over her eyes near to where I am watering one of the two communal gardens. I am trying to determine where to place the hose for the most effective irrigation.

This is Pikpa, an oasis in the desert of Fortress Europe. It is an open camp for refugees run by our partners, the nonprofit Lesvos Solidarity Network (formerly, Village of All Together). It is a safe and humane camp, standing in stark contrast to the detention centers operated by European security forces and the Greek military. On Lesvos, these are Moria, housing (imprisoning really) about 3,000 refugees, and Kara Tepe, with about 700 refugees. At Pikpa currently, eighty-nine residents (out of a capacity for 100) live in wooden cabins and canvas tents under the shade of tall pines. They have access to fresh produce and other wholesome food, clothing, medical aid, clean lavatories, language classes, and kindergarten for their children. Pikpa serves the most vulnerable: the disabled, sick, pregnant, and families of shipwreck victims.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: ‘It was a very sad day’--the narrow defeat of the peace referendum

Photo by Marian DeCouto

On Monday, September 26, 2016, I flew from Canada back to Colombia more excited than usual. After four years of negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia had finally reached a deal, which they would officially ratify that very day. 

As I began boarding the plane I saw a cameraman from the CBC news, and my heart fluttered with expectation. Upon landing in Bogotá, I could feel the energy buzzing through the exceptionally long line at customs. I quickly ran downtown to catch the festivities in the main square. Although the official signing was taking place in Cartagena, a historic walled city on the Caribbean coast where Colombia gained its independence, there were tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital to watch the live feed on big screens set up in the square.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that overcame me (and the goosebumps!) as I watched a parade of diverse Colombians celebrating this historic day. My friend Carolina turned to me to tell me that I will tell my kids and grandkids about this day. I cried tears of joy when the FARC commander asked for forgiveness from all of the victims and when the president of Colombia declared that the 52-year war was finally over. It was a day filled with hope, and an excitement to continue to work for a just peace on the horizon.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 19, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 19, 2016

Pray for the young men of Hebron, Palestine who wish to worship in the Ibrahimi Mosque on Friday.  The Israeli military has banned men between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five from attending Friday noon prayers. 

*Epixel for Peacemakers October 23, 2016

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and
 regarded others with contempt:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: 
thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.'
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast
 and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other;
 for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." Luke 18:9-14
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

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