Colombia Accompaniment Report

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Finding Hope in Colombia

Nancy and Ted Collins write about the signs of hope they have seen during their accompaniment work in Barranquilla, Colombia with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

Colombian Accompaniment Report: Discernment and Training

Lisa Heilman Lomauro files a report from the October 2013 Accompaniment Training at Stony Point Center. "If you are considering involvement in Colombia, really try to get to this long weekend if you can," writes Lisa. "The richness of the information, the warm supportive encouragement of the facilitators, and the camaraderie formed from time together with like-passioned individuals helps identify within each of us our power to make a difference with our own reservoirs of gifts, skills and talents."

Colombia Accompaniment Report: An Endangered Agrarian Way of Life

A hot topic right now nationwide is the paro de agricultores—or the agricultural workers’ strike. This strike officially began on August 19th. In the two weeks of strike, the government and police forces have shown quite a variety of responses. As I was sitting in on the meeting at the presbytery the other day, we were talking about how the Free Trade Agreement and the strikes are very much related...

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Women's resilience

About 100 women from the three presbyteries of the Colombian Presbyterian Church descended on a small beach hotel and conference center to learn, fellowship together, and to continue to dialogue about what their shared ministry does and can look like. One particular activity continues to stick out in my mind. The Saturday morning workshop was entitled “Resilience and Forgiveness.”

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Theology or arms?

Young men aged 18-25 are largely absent from the church community. From what I have gathered, this age group of men are usually drafted into the military if they have not already joined a guerrilla group or an urban gang. It is difficult to survive as a young man in these organizations. One man who gives me hope for a life outside these violent groups is Fernando.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: Shootings

There’s no unshocking way to say this: I heard a young man shot and killed yesterday. Before you panic, I was about a block or so away on the second floor of the presbytery offices at the before/after school program that they run.

Colombia Accompaniment Report: "Invasions"

We are out in the churches of the Presbiterio de Urabá now. We've spent this week in Chigorodó, getting to know the church, its members, and a bit about the history of the town. We have learned a lot about "invasions." The church here intentionally settled itself in an area of invasion to be present among a very vulnerable population.

The Challenges of Land Restitution

More than 30,000 petitions for land restitution have been filed since the passing of the Victims and Land Restitution Law in June, 2011. In a country of over an estimated 4.9 to 5.5 million displaced people, the number of cases will likely continue to grow. The process is a slow and uncertain one; Jaime told us that he just has to wait, but he has no idea how long.

Youth Dreams in Urabá, Colombia

The following Colombia Accompaniment report was received June 13, 2013 from Urabá-based accompaniers Alison Wood and Bemene Piaro.

The Complexity That Is Colombia

The following Accompaniment Report was received June 13, 2013 from Urabá-based accompaniers Alison Wood and Bemene Piaro.