I have this privilege of witnessing firsthand how the pastors apply Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) principles to their lives and ministries. For the past 10 months, a total of 235 local pastors and community leaders from all over Capiz Province have finished the Basic PAR Training. Some key leaders have invited the PBCI PAR Consulting Team to their respective local communities.
Mary Jane Lucindo, an attendee of the PAR seminar last November, encouraged the pastors and missionaries she knew who were having conflicts to attend the second and third batches of PAR training. These pastors and missionaries participated in the seminars and they reached out to the people to help with local conflict transformation issues.
Gerald Zarayno and Rodelio Eulalio joined Mary Jane Lucindo, and were very much convinced how PAR can help address conflicts in their respective local communities. So, they organized a PAR training for their towns and invited their network to attend. The participants were very participative and open. Listening to their reactions and questions, the PAR concepts were real to them.
I was also able to deliver the coffee seedlings for Emmanuel Christian Assembly Church in Municipality of Pres. Roxas. This community of Argiel Oprecina, a local pastor, was badly-hit by Typhoon Yolanda. They experienced first-hand the feeling of helplessness as aid distribution trucks passed them by. The church wanted to build its economic capacity to respond to disaster.
A pastor and his church leader wanted to address a human-induced disaster in her village. A nearby sugar milling company perennially dumps its chemical waste in the river badly affecting the livelihood of the barangay which led to forced migration of some of the residents. The pastor and the church leader are now on data-gathering stage.
One pastor who had more than ten daughter churches initiated a seminar on PAR in Economic Development.
Just listening to their stories make me grateful of how the Creator moves among His people. I don’t have to do anything but to simply be there.