We invite you to experience learning PAR Principles right here on the field.

First, you have to contact a representative from Mennonite Church Canada Witness. Look for Jeanette Hanson. She’s our director for international ministries. Tell her you’re interested about the Peace Learning Tour in the Philippines. At our Winnipeg office, you’ll be given all the information, participant qualifications, and pre-flight orientation you’ll need.

As soon as you arrive in the Philippines, you’ll be given your identification cards. Big ID cards. We’ll tell you why it has to be big — as soon as you arrive here in Mindanao.

Your second day will be action-filled. It’s called ACAST Day. ACAST is Armed Conflict Area Survival Training. You’ll learn to drop down in a split second, just like professional soldiers. You’ll learn how to crawl; how to roll; how to organize yourselves and keep calm even in the midst of the chaos of a battle zone. You’ll learn all the basic skills in surviving an armed-conflict zone without using guns or any weapons. We are Mennonites! Everyone goes through this training, whether you’re 21 or 71. Our training procedure has been guaranteed safe for the past 10 years — if you’ll cooperate with the instructors.

ACAST is not just physical training.  It is a time to reflect on our fears; our views of life and death; our understanding of servant-leadership; our readiness to face suffering; and our view of God’s protection in the midst of guns, bombs, and many concrete manifestations of the shadow of death.  This is part of our spiritual shalom-building.

After all the training in Davao City, we’ll take you to a destination where we are scheduled to work on those days you’re here with us. We do not create a schedule of activities just to entertain you. We have lots of work to do, and we’ll just tag you along with whatever field operation activities we have.

You may arrive during the week when we have to visit a massacre site to continue a segment of an on-going fact-finding mission we conduct along with our wider peace network. We also wanted to find out whether the local civilians are continually terrorized, or not, by the conflicting parties. This is part of our psycho-social shalom-building.

You may arrive during the week when we visit one of our First Nation partners in advocating and developing fair trade in the coffee industry and in other farm products of the Indigenous Peoples in our land. This is part of our economic-ecological shalom-building.

The time when you would be here may be a time of dialogue with a senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), sharing with him PAR Principles from a Christian perspective, and submitting to him our proposal to help in the renewed peace negotiation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. This is part of our socio-political shalom-building.

You may be a young lady from Nova Scotia, working for Ten Thousand Villages, who is curious about the plight of the Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. You’re welcome to learn with us.

You may be a pastor in Manitoba who wants to share with Mennonite Church Canada congregations that there are a million ways to be a missional church. Dancing may be one of them.

You may be a couple leading a youth ministry in Ontario wanting to tell Canadian young people that following Jesus is really exciting, especially when they have understood what Jesus meant when He said: “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

Join our Just-Peace Learning Tour!  It will revolutionize your life!

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We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.