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Peace Camp for Politicians

“We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing and inclusion” - Max de Pree, American Writer

This was the quote at the top of the flip chart in the common space at Houston Mennonite Church. Below the quote was the Peace Camp schedule for the day. I am glad HMC is a member of the Houston Peace & Justice Network which annually sponsors summer Peace Camp at several Houston locations. The mission of Peace Camp is to “provide the Houston metropolitan area with an alternative day camp experience which fosters an understanding of peace, justice, and environmental awareness appropriate to the age of the children involved.” It is delightful to have Youth Peace Camp at HMC this week! The youth are having a good time interacting with each other, learning about peace, and participating in a variety of related activities. A couple of the projects today were tie-dyeing tee shirts and hearing from a couple of drag-queen performers about their art.

After spending a few minutes interacting with the Peace Camp group, I found myself reading a news story with the headline, “Texas troopers told to push children into Rio Grande, deny water to migrants, records say.” The story went on to describe an email sent by a Texas trooper concerned about the treatment of migrants at the Rio Grande border. It is a tough read about the human consequences of politicizing the southern border. There are photos of the orange buoys wrapped in razor wire. I am glad the trooper had the courage to make the concerns public, but I found myself wanting to round up the politicians and officials responsible for the suffering and death of people in dire circumstances and send them all to Peace Camp where they would learn more humane and compassionate ways of responding to people forced to journey across borders because of intolerable circumstances back home.

O God, bless all who seek refuge on this earth. Meet their needs for safety and for home. Move the hearts of your people to show them welcome. Cause wars to cease and bring justice to the nations that no one will need to flee again. Amen.

Lee Lever, Transitional Pastor

Houston Mennonite Church

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