Peacebuilders at work

If there is anything that is obvious in our world today, it’s that there is no shortage of work to build peace and transform conflict. I tend to get overwhelmed by the complexities of conflict and the enormity of the task. That is why I need to learn from the leaders and participants of Be Peace Make Peace, who are daily at work building peace. In the midst of contexts of conflict and even violence, they are committed to equipping a new generation to live in peace and promote conflict transformation. Their tireless work is to be commended.

Over the past month they have been working with youth and children in different communities. The wholistic approach they take includes workshops, artistic expression, small groups studies, community activities, all aimed at transforming the place they live.

For example, Estefania led a workshop that focused on the role of art in the construction of peace. She and the other leaders had received training from Julio on conflict transformation. So, they took what they had learned and passed it on to others. They identified the conflicts happening in El Bagre and discussed ways that art could be used to transform those conflicts. What conflicts (personal, relational, structural are present? How could the message and medium of art speak to the people of the community? The youth present created signs with a message that addressed one of the conflicts identified. Others created songs as artistic expression. And others acted in dramas. On Saturday there will be a community activity, where the youth will be invited to create a mural that promotes conflict transformation.

In another workshop with children and youth they focused on tools for the recovery and strengthening of family bonds or connections. They divided into 5 teams and each team chose a theme, focusing on the importance of that particular theme in the strengthening of familial bonds and the consequences that you might experience in a home where that was not present.

A small group of youth meets together regularly for discipleship and leadership training using the curriculum that Katie has worked on for the National Covenant Youth Association. They are going deeper in Scripture to talk about identity, relationships, leadership.

They remind me that our call is to not become overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

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