“We the Under”

Blog on the Most Important Aspects Of The Induction To Seed

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The underdeveloped

The undernourished with certain leaves

And certain roughness

The under-loved

The under-lovers

The under-ripe, the subversives

And under-apathetic inhabitants

From this warm land, ritual

And tropical and metalliferous

And rivers of water and rivers of semen

To water down certain “innocent” tourists,

That we dance macumba

And son and tangoson and bongoro

And sometimes

We commit suicide slowly dancing,

That we love in a certainly lower way

With lovers and dead loved ones

From crimes of passion, as they say,

From children of Indians, from children of Spanish,

From children of blacks, from children of Italians

From children no more than what we still are

And not always children that we should be.

We, the under-ripe

The perfect Latin lovers,

Beautiful as whips,

But we do not serve the “executive man”

As they planned for us.

(Stella Calloni, Memories of Transhumance, pp. 13-14)

The underdeveloped, the undernourished, the under-loved, the under-lovers, the under-ripe, the subversives, etc.  In these two months of induction, I have learned how to better read the present situation in our country. I have learned how the Anabaptist churches work in different parts of the country, planting a seed of hope in unlikely contexts.

These contexts have been named as “sub,” but why?  Advocating, reflecting, and serving in a context that is barely feasible and speculative, and then purporting that through a group of young people from different parts of the world, something, even a flicker of this reality could be changed. Could it be that our commitment to the Anabaptist churches will transfigure, modify, or transform the reality of our country?

For me, the answer is supported by the principles of MCC, values that intersect with the Anabaptist church’s principles, concepts that result from their way of understanding and following Jesus. Through grassroots work, we try to make visible the structures of death and oppression that are masked under the face of the power that oppresses and mistreats people, that in their eagerness to survive they hand over their life to God so that he can work through it.

In these two months, I learned the importance of not giving up, of not pretending that life is easy and doing nothing when faced with situations that violate the dignity of people.  Forming relationships is part of our work; we are committed to the communities, and working through them is the most important thing that we can do in these two years of service.

The poem that I quoted is in recognition of the churches and the communities of Cazuca, Choco, Cali, Medellin, Montes de María, Ibagué, Barranca, and the partner organizations that strive with the communities to positively construct the Kingdom of God and His justice for the “meek.”   It is also an invitation for us not to give up and to recognize the power in words such as these:

We, the under-ripe

The perfect Latin lovers,

Beautiful as whips,

But we do not serve the “executive man”

As they planned for us.

In these words, the fight for land, for life, and for dignity is immersed.  I ask through this small essay that we commit ourselves to delegitimizing powers that are placed over our brothers and sisters, and understand that through the Anabaptist churches and MCC, I am doing my part to support societal change.  What are you doing?


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