How do you let your life speak?

Friends,

Have you been inspired by someone who really lets their life speak—whose way of living is a demonstration of courage?

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) encounters people in every community where we work who are letting their lives speak, and inspiring others to take great risks in order to create just and lasting peace. I’d like to introduce you to a few.

Florence Ntakarutimana survived the 12-year civil war that killed her Hutu father, her Tutsi mother, and hundreds of thousands of Burundians. Today, as a Quaker who believes that the divine spark of goodness is in everyone, Florence dedicates her life to facilitating trauma healing both with people who have perpetrated violence and with those who have experienced it.

Palestinian-American Quaker Sandra Tamari lives in St. Louis, where she has been part of local activism that has global impact. Last year, her activist group successfully stopped a water-services contract between St. Louis and a company that profits from the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. She calls on all of us to examine how our lives contribute to war and injustice, in the tradition of 18th century Quaker John Woolman, whose life and writings also inspire Florence.

In Quaker faith and practice, how one lives is more important than doctrine. Though AFSC includes people of many faiths and of none, we work as we do because AFSC is a Quaker organization. We act from what we have come to understand through living, through listening, and through making mistakes and reflecting on them.

You can find more profiles of AFSC’s courageous partners and staff members in the new issue of Quaker Action, which explores this question of how we can let our lives speak.

We are grateful for your support of AFSC—a generous act that shows your commitment to our shared work for peace and justice. We also want to hear from each of you: How do you let your life speak? 

In peace,

Shan Cretin
General Secretary