by Julie Brown
Christian Peacemaker Teams wish to celebrate this Advent season by offering reflections on the symbols of each Advent candle. Week to week, each of our teams will share a story in honor of the season.
Aklima speaks to a CPTer about the impacts of cross-border bombings on her village. Peace is a hard thing to write about. I think it is currently experienced in fleeting, single-frame moments, in Iraqi Kurdistan just as in most of the the world. I see these single frames of peace in our partners’ stories.
Our team met Aklima in Dupre almost three years ago, as she showed us a hole in the roof of her home that had been caused when Turkey bombed her village. She described the impact of constant threats of bombings on the local children and her family. We meet with Aklima regularly since then.
I saw Aklima again last summer, and she told us what it was like to be alone in the mountains this past spring, picking wild plants. Her face softened as she explained that on days with no Turkish warplanes, when she’s alone in nature, she feels free. I imagine this sense of freedom to also be a moment of peace.
This Advent, as we light a candle for peace, I will think of Aklima’s light burning bold and bright in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. I wonder how much brighter it could shine if we all stood together. What if there were ten of us? What if there were ten thousand? Would our collective light wash over the mountains and the valleys below? How many candles of peace does it take to blind warplanes? I think this is how we experience peace with our CPT partners in Iraqi Kurdistan. We are not only working for more single-frame moments; together we are trying to create a light of lasting Peace that floods the world and burns bright.
Julie Brown is from Iowa in the United States. She has been on the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team for the past three years. She is currently full time with the team in Sulaimani. When she is not on team, she is also part of a faith based intentional community in Iowa.