First Sunday in Advent: The Face of Hope

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.

We begin, this first Sunday of December, on the theme of Hope.

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Community leader Maricela Jimenez stands in front of her home in El Guayabo.

The Face of Hope

by CPT Colombia

She was born in a town in Colombia located on the bank of the most beautiful river that your eyes could ever see. She has witnessed the greatest injustices. For many her face would not mean anything, but for others it is hope itself.

She is a peasant woman who, together with her family, live off what they cultivate on their land. She has three children, and every day she goes to her farm to work the land with her husband.

One day the police came to their farm. They arrived armed. They arrived angry. "You must leave here," they said, "This land has an owner."

"Of course she has a owner; this land is mine," she said. But with their weapons, the state displaced them. With tears on her face, she witnessed again a great injustice.

She saw how the faces of her friends were drowning in tears, as they watched how everything they had and everything they were was lost again because of violence. She said to them, "This is our life, our land, and we are not going to leave here." With the hope that she infused into them, they all walked behind her.

She is a woman, peasant and poor, but she is as strong as all those women who transform violence and oppression into the hope of changing their situation. Today her land has recovered. She broke the barriers by not allowing anyone to put limits. She is the hope that walks, the hope that lives, the hope that laughs and that pushes life.

She represents the face of the peasant struggle: the struggle that never loses hope. She is one of the thousands of hearts that beat for the truth, that beat for life. Although her struggle continues, it is incredible to see how she wakes up every day with a smile, a smile that tells the world "Here I go; I have hope, and I am here to stay."

CPT Colombia helps small farming communities by accompanying them in their nonviolent struggle against displacement, and helping them navigate the process to defend their rights and their land. Your donation can help these small farmers transform their hope into a secure future for their community.