CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: ‘It was a very sad day’--the narrow defeat of the peace referendum

Photo by Marian DeCouto

On Monday, September 26, 2016, I flew from Canada back to Colombia more excited than usual. After four years of negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia had finally reached a deal, which they would officially ratify that very day. 

As I began boarding the plane I saw a cameraman from the CBC news, and my heart fluttered with expectation. Upon landing in Bogotá, I could feel the energy buzzing through the exceptionally long line at customs. I quickly ran downtown to catch the festivities in the main square. Although the official signing was taking place in Cartagena, a historic walled city on the Caribbean coast where Colombia gained its independence, there were tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital to watch the live feed on big screens set up in the square.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that overcame me (and the goosebumps!) as I watched a parade of diverse Colombians celebrating this historic day. My friend Carolina turned to me to tell me that I will tell my kids and grandkids about this day. I cried tears of joy when the FARC commander asked for forgiveness from all of the victims and when the president of Colombia declared that the 52-year war was finally over. It was a day filled with hope, and an excitement to continue to work for a just peace on the horizon.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought


Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 19, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 19, 2016

Pray for the young men of Hebron, Palestine who wish to worship in the Ibrahimi Mosque on Friday.  The Israeli military has banned men between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five from attending Friday noon prayers. 

*Epixel for Peacemakers October 23, 2016

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and
 regarded others with contempt:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: 
thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.'
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast
 and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other;
 for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." Luke 18:9-14
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

MEDITERRANEAN REFLECTION: Give and take--distributing watermelon on Lesvos


Aside from the thick wall of heat glomming on to my body as I walk into the uncooled space of the camp kitchen where I am scheduled to spend the next four hours, the large mound of watermelon stacked in crumpled plastic crates on the floor grabs my attention first.

I thought I would try to stay within my comfort zone the first morning in the refugee camp. I volunteer for the job of food distribution, receive a knife and am told to start quartering the watermelons lengthwise. Who brings this watermelon here? Do they come every day? Are they from local farmers? How many should I cut? Nobody–of the handful of volunteers standing around finishing their coffees–knows. All I get, for sure, is that I need to split a few of the long quarters in half for the smaller families and individuals.

I take a hefty melon from the pile in the corner and set it on my cutting board. My hands sense a sort of magical energy tension at the point just before the knife-edge touches the watermelon, and it splits willingly. It cracks open with rough edges, creating an uneven topographical surface of ripe, red flesh on each half. Working with another volunteer, a young man from Berlin, we smile each time this happens, but otherwise, wordlessly fill a plastic crate, arranging the wedges so they will rise with reasonable stability just over the edges.