Monday, December 20, 2010

Operation Christmas:

Over the next few weeks we will all hear the words “Peace on earth, and good will to all men”. It is written on Christmas cards, on banners in our high streets and shopping centres and in the lyrics of our favourite carols.

For many people peace in our own lives, let alone across the whole earth can seem like an impossibility. The words can ring hollow in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, in the noisy coming together of family, and even in a quiet moment of reflection on the loss of a loved one. At these times, “Peace on earth” can seem a vain hope.

Deep in the Colombian jungle government forces have been fighting Farc rebels since 1964. Over the years there has been much bloodshed and bitterness between the two sides. But this month the Colombian government has begun a very unusual tactic. They call it ‘Operation Christmas’.

Using elite forces, nine Christmas trees have been put up in rebel held territory. Each tree has 2,000 lights that light up when sensors pick up someone moving past.
Imagine being a member of Farc on patrol through the dark, humid jungle only to come across a giant Christmas tree, covered in lights and topped with a star!

The tree comes with a simple message, ‘If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home’. What a great message of hope and reconciliation. Old wounds can heal, old hurts can be forgiven, what seems impossible can be achieved.

“Peace on earth, and goodwill to all men.”

Have a peaceful Christmas,

Rosemary and Colin

Read the full story about the Colombian ‘Operation Christmas’ here: BBC News - Colombia army gives Farc rebels early Christmas gift