This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Leaving for Colombia for six weeks with CPT

Posted by Tim Nafziger on 01/04/08 at 08:05 PM

On Jan. 5 at 5 a.m., Charletta and I leave for O’Hare to catch a flight to Mexico City and then to Bogota, Colombia. On Jan. 6 we’ll be traveling by bus 10 hours north (and over 8,000 feet down) to the city of Barrancabermeja where we’ll be spending the next six weeks working with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).

CPT is a violence reduction organization supporting active peacemaking efforts in conflict zones such as Iraq, Israel/ Palestine, Arizona and Colombia. Jan. 5-Feb. 17 we will serve with CPT in Colombia’s oil capital, Barrancabermeja, where we will be accompanying farmers and supporting human rights workers as part of an ongoing CPT presence in the region.

I’ll continue to blog here weekly about my experiences in Colombia. We also invite you to pray for us in this jorney. We’ve asked our friends, family and church to memorize a scripture passage with us as one expression of prayer. Romans 12:9-21, was our wedding text, and we see it as a mission statement in our partnership, inspiring our work with CPT. Put it in your bathroom, on the fridge, where you wash dishes! Use the passage to guide your prayers as we serve.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”* Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21 (NRSV)

If you’d like to help us with financial support, you can send it to: Christian Peacemaker Teams, Box 6508, Chicago, IL 60680-6508 designated for Tim and Charletta. We’d also welcome invitations for us to speak about Colombia and faith-based peacemaking. If you’re in the midwest, drop us a line.

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