International Ministries

Working to Build Peace

December 19, 2004 Journal

Dear friends in ministry,

Greetings to you all in this holiday season, wishing you much joy and hope for the New Year.

"Peace on earth, good will to all."The message of Christmas is one of peace, in a world that is torn by conflict, tension, alienation and suffering. As Christians, as Church, we are called to be peacemakers in a broken world.In Ediciones Lumbrera, we have decided to respond to that challenge. Our next series of Bible studies will be a yearlong series on Building a Culture of Peace. Each quarter will focus on a specific area: Church, Society, Family, and Individual. We have defined the topic and Bible text for 52 lessons as well as a description of content and a bibliography, so on January 3, 2005 when we return to work, we will be ready to start writing. We are tremendously excited about this new series, and its potential to impact churches, families, schools, and society throughout Latin America. We intend to include a combination of analyses of the issues and practical skills in conflict resolution, communication, building an inclusive community, etc.As always, our materials are written for all ages—children, youth and adults.

We feel part of a huge network of people working to build peace. Costa Rica, as you know, is one of 2 countries in the world with no army, and we recently participated in a weeklong celebration of the abolition of the military and the country's commitment to peace.A former president, Oscar Arias, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in helping to end the war in El Salvador, and founded the Arias Peace Foundation.The United Nations runs the Peace University in a suburb of San José, which trains people from around the world in peace issues. The World Council of Churches has declared this the Decade for Overcoming Violence, and the Latin American Council of Churches has been sponsoring a number of related activities.

We hope to offer this material to many new groups, including public and private schools. That implies a double investment in publishing costs, so please pray with us that we will find sponsors interested in promoting peace in Latin America.

Thank you to all of you who participated in the phenomenal response to the World Mission Offering. I hope that this outpouring of love in action will make it possible to keep all our missionaries on the field.

In the name of the Prince of Peace,

Ruth Mooney