14435064_10208839228512866_5329287090271623181_oThese past few weeks have been like none others that we have experienced in our years in Colombia so this update acknowledges what is happening and lets you know where we are at with all of this. If you want to find out more specifics, you can go to your favorite world news or commentary sight and search for what they are writing or communicating regarding the Colombia peace situation. Or you can search through all of the social media links that are also full of opinions etc.

We arrived as a family to begin our missionary career about half way through a long civil conflict in Colombia between the Colombia government and the FARC-EP. For the past four years there have been negotiations going on in Cuba between both parties to bring this civil conflict to an end. On September 26th the results of those negotiations, a 297 page document covering six different negotiation points, and the agreed upon procedures as to how to implement and put into practice the agreement was signed. The whole country, every citizen, foreigner (like ourselves) and everyone in the country is going to be involved in the post-conflict process and in the reconciliation of Colombian society because each one is going to be impacted by this peace agreement. On October 2nd there was a vote to approve the implementation procedures or to reject them. They were rejected by a very slim margin – a little over 50,000 votes. Why did that happen?

Not everyone is in agreement as to how to make peace happen and how to put it into practice. And, there were enough people who were not in agreement with the agreed upon implementation and procedures put forth in the Peace Agreement to reject it. So, where does that put us? It appears to us that everyone wants peace in Colombia to be a reality. The cease-fire between the rebel army and the government has been extended through the end of the year, which is very important. Some people were afraid that the conflict would return to its violent form and that hasn’t happened. The government has been meeting with the leaders of the groups that voted to reject the implementation procedures in order to hear their ideas and proposals, which is very impressive on behalf of the government. There are plans to return to the negotiating table and work toward agreements on how to implement peace and proceed toward peace. No one knows how this will all end up. However, people (common everyday Colombians, etc.) are talking and conversing and speaking out and somehow making their opinions known. It is not like the peace is a constant topic of every conversation, but it does surface quite often.

Our ministry incorporates many aspects of proclaiming through our life and ministry that Jesus the Christ is our peace, (Ephesians 2); that we are to make every effort to keep the unity of the Holy Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4); and that if it is possible, as far as it depends upon us, we want to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12) to just highlight a few passages from the Bible that guide us in these days. We are continuing forward with our lives and ministry and waiting to see how this works itself through.

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