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Peace Stories

Peace stories that others shared with me around the world.

I survived a terrorist attack. Here’s what I learned. - Gill Hicks

Gill Hicks, who survived a suicide bombing in London, used a tragedy that was meant to kill her to change her life. Gill says, “Throughout all the chaos my hand was held tightly. My face was stroked gently. What did I feel? I felt loved. What’s shaded me from hatred and wanting retribution, what’s given me the courage to say, ‘This ends with me,’ is love. I was loved. I believe the potential for widespread positive change is absolutely enormous because I know what we’re capable of. I know the brilliance of humanity.

Peace doesn't depend on circumstances - Gary's story

My friend Etienne recently travelled to Japan, a country which fascinates me but I haven't had the chance to visit. I asked Etienne to keep his eyes open for opportunities to ask people about peace. While visiting the Ueno Toshogu Shrine in Tokyo, he saw a man praying. After he finished his prayers, Etienne struck up a conversation. Learning that the man's name Gary Chan, he asked Gary what peace meant to him.

Is peace even possible? Diane's story

Returning to my table after dancing on my impromptu dance floor, an older woman sitting alone asked me where I was from. “Canada,” I replied. (I take note of greetings as I travel around the world. “Como esta (how are you)?” would be the usual Mexican greeting, but here everyone’s first question to me is where I’m from. Perhaps it’s because so many tourists visit Puerto Angel, Mexico, I’m so pale, or everyone can recognise each other in the small town.)

Inner and outer harmony - Ian Miguel's story

In my recent post, God has blessed us to bless others, I told you about meeting Ian and José Carlos on the beach while they were doing an environmental survey to track global warming. After talking for a little while about their project, I told them about my passion for peace, and the storytelling project that I was conducting around the world. When I asked Ian what peace mean to him, I was struck by the answer.

A little bit crazy, a little bit happy – José Carlos’ story

In my last post I told you about meeting José Carlos and Ian on the beach. When I asked José Carlos what peace meant to him, I didn’t fully follow the answer, so Ian translated for us. “Peace is the perfect combination of being a little bit mad and a little bit happy, he said.

Mad like angry, or mad like ‘loco’ (crazy)?, I clarified.

Mad like crazy, locito.

 

Flavio, the Fisherman

On my tour of Puerto Angel yesterday, I said hi to many people, who responded with smiles and greetings: women pushing baby strollers as their toddlers ran ahead laughing; women sweeping porches, men at work, or looking for passengers for their taxis; shopkeepers, youth and waiters. But yesterday I promised to tell you about Flavio, the old fisherman who was mending his net when I walked back home. I’d said “good day” to him and his two friends on the way past, but didn’t recognize him alone when I returned. I simply stopped to say hi and ask what he was doing.

Art allows a young Syrian woman to dream of a better future

This year, I went to Turkey to help World Vision International share its work with Syrian refugees at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. To understand the situation on the ground more deeply, I met with some of the refugees World Vision is helping in Ṣanliurfa, 50 km north of the Syrian border. That's where I met Lamia, who was only 15 when her family fled the war in Syria. Lamia takes art classes at the Urfa Community Centre, which World Vision supports. Art offers a powerful way for children, youth and adults to express and heal some of the trauma they've experienced in Syria.

After Nice, Prayers for Peace

Last night, when I heard about the attack in Nice, France, I immediately thought of my friend from France, Valérie Baron. She shared these thoughts today, which are so important as we grieve, and reflect on how to bring peace to a very hurting world.

I was thinking about my home country again today.  I was there during the November attacks and I wasn't far away. I am thinking of the  atrocity and fear that comes along with it. It is not pleasant, to say the least. I don't think I will ever get over the Paris, and now Nice, attacks.

'Music is my life,' shares a young Syrian refugee in Turkey

As I toured the World Vision-supported Urfa Community Centre in Ṣanliurfa, Turkey, I lingered in front of a photograph displayed on the wall of the art room. A hand, fingers outstretched, seemed to be trying to touch heaven, while birds circled high in the distance. Knowing that the Centre served Syrian refugees, I imagined her photograph meant, "I want to escape earth, its confusion and death, to fly with the birds in the peaceful heavens." But what did it mean to the photographer who took it? I asked if it would be possible to meet him or her.

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