The people refuse to give up hope

On Maundy Thursday (April 1), participants in the evaluation of the Colombia Accompaniment Program visited Via Blanca outside Galapa. The following reflection was written about the event.

IMG_0374 This morning we visited a rural displaced community of people who are farming land owned by the mayor. They are grateful to have land to farm and are going to be trying new farming methods, including perhaps building greenhouses. But they mostly want  their own piece of  land where they can choose what to plant, their own house. They wonder if this life will every change. One man said he had nine certificates of training for various skills but no opportunity to use them. There is such longing for an opportunity to change their lives.

We shared a liturgy prepared by students at Union Seminary who had visited Colombia recently. We read  Psalm 31 aloud , the verses dispersed among statements of loss – loss of land, of husbands who were dragged away, of an entire village destroyed by bombs, where only one person was left – alone. One woman spoke of fleeing on foot, an hour after her baby was born, with a cow hide to shelter them from the rain. The scriptures take on a new power in such a setting.  

IMG_0402We worshiped outside around a liturgical setting on the ground – with a calabash of dried corn, a calabash of cherries, farm boots, an ax, a machete, a shovel, a bowl of cherries, the Bible, a bowl of papaya, a bowl of earth, another of water, a canister of pesticide, a beautiful cross, other farm implements, and a root of aloe which is used as medicine in many ways.

IMG_0417 After the litany and some beautiful singing, we each held up one of the symbols before us and spoke of its meaning.  Then we took turns to dig a whole and  planted and watered the aloe root. The people refuse to give up hope. 

Worship was followed by a lunch of a traditional soup (sancocho) and rice. A beautiful morning. Soon we will head off to various churches for Maundy Thursday services. Blessings on all of you as you explore the meaning and power of this week.

An  Accompanier

Cathy Surgenor

Check out more pictures from the visit and the rest of our time in Colombia.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)