“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said (Matt 26:52a)
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On Friday 16th August we had an exciting opportunity to hear stories of peace makers in action in Cambodia and Australia. Mr Som Chanmony (pictured below right) is the Director of TEAR Partner, Peace Bridges in Cambodia and co-shared stories with Rev Simon Moyle, Baptist Minister (Australia), Peace Educator and activist.
Want to become a peacemaker? Start here
Peace Bridges imparts skills in non-violence to strategically place peace builders who then spread the vision, values and skills throughout their circles of influence, from their families to close community relations, and spreading through the networks in their churches, communities, and organisations.
For me, peacebuilding has been a journey of faith. I find my motivation for peacebuilding in the teachings of Jesus – loving those who are different than you, forgiving those who hurt you, and practicing nonviolence. As a peace trainer, it is very important to me that I live out the principals of peacemaking in my own life.
Som Chanmony - Director
Originally conceived to help pastors and churches provide mediation and conciliation services, Peace Bridges’ vision has deepened and expanded over the last six years. They have now provided long-term training and partnership/mobilization services to over 100 community peacebuilders!
At TEAR we are deeply involved with projects that help strengthen civil society and we are excited to be able to share some of the lessons our partners have learned with the Australian Church. We pray that we are all discovering ways to participate with God as peacemakers.
One way which Mony talked about supporting peace building in very real and tangible ways from Australia is to shop ethically. For example, the push for cheaper garments in Australia is resulting in manufacturers overseas cutting costs by not ensuring safe or fair work conditions. Therefore, taking time to be aware of the manufacturing chain and the products we purchase is a significant way we can participate in supporting ethical manufacturing while while encouraging companies to ensure their workers have safe and fair work conditions.
This is an intentional step we can all participate in to make a big difference in the harsh conditions that many of the worlds poorest find themselves in and that perpetuate vulnerability and instability.
Learn more and become equipped to contribute to peace through your choice as a consumer.
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TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice. More >