“The meaning of words like perseverance, humility, and accompaniment sunk in deeply during my months with the families of San José de Apartadó, as together we earnestly and imperfectly sought to protect one another.”
Chris Moore-Backman, an FOR Colombia Peace Presence team member in 2002, recently reflected on his experience with theFellowship of Reconciliation’s nonviolent accompaniment program in Colombia.
”I remember San José as a place of sudden sadnesses and sudden beauties. Of an orphan’s horse that we named together ‘Relámpago’ [Lightening], of an adopted grandfather named Ramon, and a beloved godchild named Ander. Of harvesting rice in a curving line of dozens of hard working friends. Of sugar cane and baby bananas. Of singing ridiculous, joyful songs to not-quite-tuned guitars. Of long, frustrating meetings with officials who had never made the hike up the mountain to see with their own eyes, to hear the stories from the mouth of those who had lived them. Of the plaintive sound of a crying infant, atop the muffled drone of the helicopters in the distance.”
For the past 10 years, the Fellowship of Reconciliation has been providing nonviolent protection to peace activists in Colombia — an anniversary we’re celebrating through the holidays and into the new year.
“The people of San José de Apartadó were and remain a beacon to a cast of pilgrims, from so many corners of our fragile planet, who want to join them to make things better — pilgrims who assemble there to try. I’m so grateful to have been one of them,” Chris wrote.
Liza, Jon, Gina, Emily, Elisabeth and Charlotte, FOR Colombia Peace Presence