“I only ask God that he keep bitterness and revenge far from my heart and that he fill me with the wisdom to confront and endure this nameless torture. God will help me forgive those who have made me suffer… Only he who is strong enough to forgive an offense knows how to love.”
These are powerful words from Colombian community leader Jorge Montes who writes from his maximum security prison where he is being held due to false accusations of guerilla connections. He is one of many who have shared prayers, reflections, and hopes for Colombia in the worship packet for Days of Prayer and Action (DOPA) 2014.
These worship materials invite us to learn about the experiences of Colombians and MCC workers there, to hear their prayers, and to pray with them on April 6th.
The included prayer of confession expresses our complicity in the conflict in Colombia and our responsibility to act saying, “we confess that for too long we in North America have stood complacently by, unaware of the situation, and in our silence, giving implicit support to government policies that have prolonged the war.”
This year’s theme is “¡Adelante! Peace with Justice for ALL Colombians”. It reflects the need to call for peace with justice for ALL Colombians in the peace talks, not just the government and the guerillas.
¡Adelante! is a Spanish word that means “forward”. It was chosen because it symbolizes the imperative need to keep the peace talks moving forward towards peace and justice.
Jhon Henry Camargo Varela, a Colombian Christian Peacemaker Team staff, reflects saying, “I invite all of you to sing, to pray, to preach and to act in a way that protects the community processes in our country. I invite you to recognize the struggles taking place in our territory and to hold our hope in your minds. Peace is not something that falls from heaven, but something that we all construct together.”
We too invite your church to join with our sisters and brothers in Colombia in an event that dedicates your prayers, thoughts, and actions to this situation, so that soon, all Colombians may experience God’s shalom.
To access the new worship packet and register your church, visit http://washington.mcc.org/days.