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Mission co-workers share stories of peace efforts

Alex Maldonado-Lizardi and Xiomara Cintron-Garcia serve with Justapaz in Colombia. Their appointments are made possible by gifts to the Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission Prayers for Colombia.

Alex Maldonado Lizardi and Xiomara Cintrón García

On Dec. 11, Alex shared the following prayer:

Our soul sings,
our Spirit rejoices
because you notice
because you realize
that there are governments
who prefer the foolishness of bullets.

Because you know that
from 2018 to 2022,
Organized Armed Groups,
  strengthened and extended
  their reach to 604 municipalities;

that 191 massacres
  were registered in
  the national territory,
  and that, only in 2021,

926 attacks on social
leaders were reported to the
corresponding agencies.

Even so
our soul sings,
our Spirit rejoices
because our humiliations
they are no strangers to you
nor are they a state secret.

Our life stories
they don’t have a single face
nor do they please the status quo.

They are not the norm
for the self-indulgent happiness of this world
that demands performance, cost-efficiency,
balances and symmetry.

You see our humiliation and you don’t think less of us.
You don’t rule us out for it or look elsewhere.
You are not ashamed that we are dust.
You entrust us with hope instead and insist on what is possible

And when everything was nothing
You arrived
And nothingness was no more.**

Your promises are not ours to keep
Your mercies are not ours to keep
they are neither exclusive nor do they exclude others from it
they extend, they expand as millenary mountain ranges
and clear rivers in the moors.

Look…Remember us…
so that we can sing again
so that we can party again
from generation to generation…

With Justapaz we pray that churches will be “watchmen of hope” (Esquivia):

• During confrontations between armed groups for territorial control, and threats to social leaders especially in departments such as Chocó.

• Through dialogues with the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and other actors within the framework of the public policy of “Total Peace”

• When establishing humanitarian agreements, especially in favor of children, adolescents and young people

• While discerning the different legislative initiatives that take place in Congress, and the uncertainty they cause in the territories; we ask that congressmen approach the initiatives of the people and not only legislate from their own perspective.

Xiamara told of learning from Justapaz about the work perseverance “because they keep betting and working toward peace in their country, which has been in an active war for around 60 years, even though they know the peace process is not coming immediately or easy for them.

“I have learned to live God’s Word for peace and reconciliation in improbable places,” she said. “I’ve learned how vital it is to accompany, organize, raise our voice and help in different ways our brothers and sisters who suffer injustice and struggle for peace and dignified living conditions.

For information and to make a gift to support the work of Alex and Xiamara in Colombia, visit


 Winter Pacific Northwest Conference United Church of Christ News © December 2022


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