by Carol Rose, CPT Co-Director
In CPT we always live with the tenuous balance of having enough work to do, enough people to do it, and enough money to fund it. It's not all about money, but we can't do the work without it.
Now, for the first time, the balance has tipped to the degree that we may need to suspend and scale back compelling peacemaking work because funds are low.
Last year, with the U.S. dollar down and costs up, donations from individuals and congregations dropped 9%. The good news is that most of you found a way to contribute even within the context of economic downturn. Thank you!
Unfortunately, there is a significant gap; and communities caught in the midst of lethal conflict did not experience ANY downturn in war and occupation. They continue to engage in courageous peacemaking and ask for our partnership in that nonviolent and hopeful struggle!
The Palestine team has walked closely with partners to envision renewed work in the old city of Al Khalil (Hebron) while continuing the vital partnerships with communities around at-Tuwani. Will we have the funds to do both?
A dozen Colombians are ready to start CPT training, ready to engage in and deepen the team work that amplifies the voices of those most affected by war, ready to offer their lives. We also look forward to full trainings in Chicago and the UK this year. Can we afford to put these new peacemakers to work?
There is a real possibility that Kurdish Iraqi villagers displaced by Turkish bombing will, with CPT accompaniment, be able to return home. A community leader turning the corner from discouragement to hope said, "This is like a dream. We want to go home but it's hard to believe it will happen." They have experience disappointment and betrayal so many times by so many people, organizations, institutions and governments. CPTers want to walk with them as they reclaim their lands and livelihoods in the name of peace. Is this the project we must cut?
According to team members, the time is ripe in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the work of nonviolence. Local groups will continue to do that work well, and they are encouraged and strengthened by the support and presence of outside groups like CPT. Must we sacrifice the momentum and relationships built there?
On every team, CPTers are figuring out ways to drastically reduce expenses. Some have offered to do this work full time without pay or with deep cuts to very modest subsistence stipends. But transportation, rent, equipment, Internet to send out the news...these we cannot access without funds.
Can you help fill the gap? If so, please return the enclosed envelope with your contribution and receive our sincere thanks. (To give on-line see www.cpt.org.) With your pledges of money and prayer support, we trust that the gap will shrink and we will be able to continue the journey of peacemaking with our partners around the world.
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