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Advent in Colombia
Frank Albrecht served as a community worker with MCC Colombia from 1993 to 1996 and 2001 to 2005. A member of Laurel Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa., Albrecht works to train students as conflict mediators and to mediate conflicts between students, students and their parents and students and teachers and others at McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pa. In his work now, as in Colombia, “I just want to help people improve their quality of life,” he says. “I feel like God calls us, whether we’re active or whether we’re waiting, to not only think of ourselves but to think of other human beings that may be suffering at the moment." This reflection was published in 2004.
This advent season we wait and long,
for the night to end and bring the arrival of the morning bird’s song.
Pastor Alvaro waits for the phone to ring,
paramilitaries threatening his life for the food he brings
to Manuela who is displaced by our ancient civil war.
She along with 3 million others will return when there is killing no more.
Ruben fills out yet another application,
and waits for an employer to call, with great anticipation.
Jamie waits for the return of her mother from afar,
who has found work as a mistress in a local nighttime bar.
Yolanda waits in turmoil embittered in her anger and pain,
not knowing how to separate the person from the problem
has caused her church much strain.
Many of God’s children on this earth, are waiting for a brighter day,
what hope can we as Christians offer, that can help them on their way?
How do we accompany individuals, who are caught in situations of strife?
As Jesus´s agents of love and justice, how can we help them increase their quality of life?
Could it be that God is waiting for us to live out the kingdom call,
to move beyond our comfortableness and give to Christ our all?