No More Hostages

Sunday, July 20, 2008

During the day that just ended, in a thousand cities and towns across Colombia, citizens celebrated their national day of independence by marching and shouting, "No More Kidnappings!"

Colombians living in major cities throughout Europe and the Americas had similar marches, or attended concerts like the one in Paris, where recently-freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt led the chants. In Leticia, the presidents of Colombia, Brazil, and Peru stood beside Colombian pop star Shakira as she opened a concert with the Colombian national anthem.

Next month will mark thirteen years since I left Colombia, after living there for nine of the most satisfying years of my life. We left largely because of the kidnapping and hostage status of a friend. He was eventually released, after over twenty-six months chained to a succession of trees in the jungle. Yet each of five other hostages I was praying for were killed. In addition, I have been concerned, throughout these thirteen years, for friends whose homes were deep in the territory controlled by the FARC, and who did not have the freedom that I had to leave.

So today, unable to march in Colombia, and far away from any major world city, I can only show my solidarity by praying, "No more hostages!" And then, thinking of those who have been cut down by the FARC, both people I knew and the thousands I did not, I add, "and no more killings."

Oh, Lord, let your peace reign in Colombia.

Posted by Brian at 11:44 PM  


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