Archive

September 14th, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 14, 2016 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 14, 2016  Palestine

Pray for the children and teachers of Hebron’s Old City, who have begun their school year and must pass through checkpoints that the Israeli military expanded and fortified over the summer.  Any interactions they have with soldiers are now largely hidden from the view of monitoring organizations like Christian Peacemaker Teams.

September 13th

MEDITERRANEAN: Remembering Aylan Kurdi (Interrupted) at Pikpa

 

The light was fading and the possibility of everyone heading down to the small harbor below Pikpa seemed to fade as well. Strong winds and high waves had been the order of the day and had not subsided into the evening. The organizers were considering whether the action planned for the beach might not be better held in the camp. The event was to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year old Syrian boy washed up on the shores of Bodrun, Turkey.   His image had shocked the world and brought home the tragedy of the refugee crisis in Europe and the Mideast.

As residents and volunteers milled around waiting for the balloons and votive candles, two men under the pavilion suddenly jumped up and ran behind the kitchen building. More men and then families began moving that way also. The younger men and women had been playing soccer on the concrete basketball court behind the fence and the ball had sailed over into the tennis courts owned by the adjacent private club. Now there was a confrontation between the club members, who refused to return the ball, and Pikpa.

September 12th

COLOMBIA: In Colombia, the real work of peacebuilding begins now

Dopa petition
Edinson Garcia, president of the Community Action Committee of El Guayabo calls for the release of community member Alvaro Garcia at a demonstration in front of the court in Barrancabermeja on May 5, 2016. (CPT/Caldwell Manners) 

In Colombia, the real work of peacebuilding begins now



The peace agreement signed on August 24 in Colombia, which ends a 52-year-long conflict between the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, marks an end of a violent era in Colombia’s history. Many Colombians are celebrating, and the nation’s president has declared, in a New York Times editorial, that there is now no war in the Western Hemisphere.

This is very good news. Yet as poor, rural Colombians know, the reality is much more complex, and the work of building a just and enduring peace is only beginning.

September 9th

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT--Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
9 September 2016
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT--Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

CPT trainees and trainers in Europe congratulate
 Efi Latsoudi for winning 2016 Nansen Refugee Award

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have participated in, or plan to participate in, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 5 January – 5 February 2017 in Colombia, South America where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  The primary language for the Colombia training will be Spanish with English interpretation.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.  

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 7 October 2016; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

September 8th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 30 August-5 September 2016

Palestinian Childhood 

 Pictured here: A Palestinian girl stands in front of the Israeli border police during the settler tour. Using a mobile camera, she documents their movements near her house.
(09/03/2016)

September 7th

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 7, 2016 Europe

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 7, 2016   Europe

Give thanks for the people currently undergoing training for Christian Peacemaker Teams in Europe.  Pray for their endurance, good humour, energy and attentiveness. Pray that harmonious relationships and strength for the work to come arise from this month.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  September 11, 2016 
CPT trainees meet with CPT Europe folks on the edge of Tempelhof’s radical community garden in Berlin
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

September 6th

MEDITERRANEAN REFLECTION: Being the sidekick


This year seems to be a quiet one in Pikpa. No “masses of refugees flooding” the island of Lesbos, no extra ferries to bring them to Athens, no more riots in the humiliating, overcrowded and dignity-depriving camp of Moria. Instead, there’s a big colorful painting on the main building of Pikpa, an organized schedule for volunteers and voluntourists. Women do their daily washing; kids and men help with the gardening and the lifeguards run a swimming program called “reconciliation with the sea.”

So what else is there to do for an organization like CPT you ask? This question, along with the admiration I receive from some for being “brave” to go into crisis and conflict regions leads me to think that I have some explaining to do.

September 1st

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “They gave us the keys to their homes.” Christian and Muslim villages help each other during bombing attacks.

Asmar with our team member Julie Brown. Photo: Peggy Gish.

Seventy-year-old Asmar, grabbed my hand and welcomed us enthusiastically into the home she shares with her son and village leader, Khan Avdal Muhammed Sdia, his wife, Bilmas, and their children, in the village of Dipre, nestled in the mountains in the Dinarta sub-district in Iraqi Kurdistan. As we drank tea and ate almonds and cashews from their trees, they told our team about the recent round of bombing of their village on May 20, 2016. 

August 31st

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 31, 2016 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 31, 2016   Colombia

Creator of the universe, we rejoice with all our Colombian brothers and sisters who are celebrating the end of the Colombian civil war.  We praise you for the strength that you gave those who resisted the violence and degradation of humanity over the last decades. We honor the murdered martyrs who spoke out for justice and simply tried to do their jobs in the face of overwhelming corruption and inequality.  We know that the evils of the human heart have not been signed away in Havana. We ask that you bend the will of those in power toward justice and that you give peacemakers renewed strength for the journey that is to come.

 

*Epixel for Peacemakers September 4, 2016

Garzal and Nueva Esperanza communities
But if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring
     on it.

And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it  Jeremiah 18:8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

August 30th

COLOMBIA: Christian Peacemaker Teams Celebrates, “Peace is Possible.”

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them
be afraid. – John 14:27 

Today is the day.  The war with FARC-EP has ended.  Peace is possible.

On Thursday,  August 25th, The Colombian Government and FARC-EP announced that they reached a peace agreement. After over fifty years of armed conflict, they laid down their weapons in an indefinite cease-fire. Generations of Colombians that have known only war will now be given the opportunity to live in peace.    

Today, Christian Peacemaker Teams celebrates alongside our partners, who have worked so tirelessly for this day. These courageous women and men worked and dreamed of peace when there was no glimpse of it. This historic peace agreement was made possible by their tireless work.

We also recognize that in many ways the journey has just started. The peace agreement, momentous in its scale, will take years of work. It dares not only to end the war, but to change a culture of violence and dismantle structures of death. The task of agrarian reform and restorative justice are complicated tasks. Just these two points alone will take years of labor.

There are still challenges to overcome. We have seen a rise and re-organizing of paramilitaries in the region where we work. Furthermore, on 2 October, the country will vote in a “yes”/“no” referendum to ratify the peace agreements. At a national level, powerful people are already working to convince the people to vote against the popular referendum. It will be devastating for Colombia if the peace agreements do not pass.  These are forces rising to prevent a real peace from taking hold

However, we cannot be afraid.  So today, we celebrate. The war with FARC-EP has ended. Peace is possible.