Well, friends, I really wanted to upload videos of the two most recent work-related events, muse about the work of the Spirit, share about the joy of Mom’s visit and social connection…unfortunately one has to pay to upload videos (and one does not have the budget for that) and after staying up till 2am last night writing an official MCC update (which you will all see!!) and then waking up at 5:30am to Dhira singing and the realization that I had neither packed, cleaned, nor recorded my expenditures for the month, I find myself 10 minutes away from walking downhill to city-center, loaded like a pack-mule, to take a bus to the airport which will fly me to Bogota and hopefully a nap before once again being reunited with my wonderful SEED team! (Not to mention the other MCCers and the French bakery…)
Quickly, though, I do want to thank any and all of you who were praying and thinking of me this past week as I facilitated the first major encounter of the Sanctuary Peace Churches (ISP). After two months visiting individual churches, planning with the Junta (leaders) of the ISP and spending hours thinking about what the best use of our 4 hours, my still-limited Spanish, and participants’ patience and skepticism was on November third a group of twenty made up of pastors and church representatives came together to talk about our identity as the ISP (looking at the newly drafted vision and mision statements), how we communicate (looking at a blog and bulletin proposal specifically) and what advocacy initiatives and common events we might embark on (using November 25, the International day of nonviolence towards women as an example). I talked about JP Lederach’s strategic peace building model and where we might fit in, the need for differentiated actors and roles and how our change theories affect what actions we take. I also fiddled with my hair almost incessantly, something I realized with great shame while watching the videos taken of the event. Anyway. It was a nerve-wracking but invigorating four hours, one highlight being two different pastors telling they had come because I had visited and were deciding whether to stay in the network or not by the end of the meeting. I checked in as they were leaving and sounds like they’ll be staying, but so much of the success or failure of the meeting, and of the network as a whole depends on solid follow-through and follow-up. As I am about to be in absencia for over a week, I hope you’ll join my strident prayers that no speed will be lost and that I can come back refreshed and ready to put nose to grindstone once more. I must admit that right now (and maybe this is just the 3hrs of sleep talking…) I’m feeling a little worn out. It has been a crazy two and a half months here in Medellin. One which has led me to look forward to our workshop on the role of the church in society, to be glad to be going but already looking forward to coming back, and to realize just how much I still have to learn.
So, there’s one snap shot. Now I must make sure not to miss my plane.
Much love to one and all. Oh and the elections were relatively peaceful, also. And Britney Spears is coming to town. Yep.