U-C: What I See

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

next steps on Colombia accompaniment

Sisters and Brothers,

just a quick note on what's going on with the Colombia Accompaniment project. There has been great progress in creating a new kind of partnership between Presbyterians in the pews, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, the staff from several different divisions in Louisville, and our mission partner- the Presbyterian Church in Colombia.

We will be putting short term (minimum three week) volunteers in Barranquilla, Colombia. There job will be simply to attend meetings and activities and support the Presbyterians there who are increasingly at risk for their work with persons who have been displaced by the violence in the country.

Volunteers will be placed in teams of two or more. At least one person on each team will need to be fluent in Spanish. In order to qualify, here's what you need to do:

1. go to www.pcusa.org/onedoor and fill out an application to be a short-term volunteer
2. attend a Presbyterian Peace Fellowship designed training for a weekend in Washington DC. The first one will be November 11 to 14, and if you move quickly there is still time. The next one will probably be early in the new year.
3. Raise money from friends, churches, Presbyteries, Synods, families, etc. to pay your expenses for the training and your travel to and from colombia
4. Go do the work
5. Evaluate the experience and help us to plan the next training for the next volunteers.

You need to be at least 21 years old. It isn't required to be Presbyterian, but you must be Christian and have a worshipping community that will vouch for you.

If you're interested in following up, please contact Charles Spring, the PPF Colombia accompaniment training coordinator. His email is bunch@stanfordalumni.org.

This is a wonderful opportunity to deepen one's faith and make a real difference. The folks in Colombia continue to ask for accompaniers as soon as possible.

Finally: for those who haven't heard the great news, Mauricio Avilez has been released from prison. I do believe that the attention brought to his case by our denomination has made a real difference.

With hopes for a real peace for everyday folks in Colombia,

Here's a quick version of how to get involved.