Training Tribal Facilitators for Peacemaking in Mindanao: An Experimental Study
Conflicts in Mindanao can be caused by incidents such as adultery, land disputes, even jealousy within dominant clan groups. The incidents may emerge as an interpersonal conflict, but may result in wider aggression, escalating into interclan conflict when the victim’s relatives or ethnic group get involved. Though the initial conflict is interpersonal, it might affect the inter-societal level and even the international level.
The central issue that directed this research was to discover the factors influencing Mindanao tribal students who seek rido, “interclan revenge,” and to revise “Peace Generation” from Indonesia in order to implement contextual methods of “Training Tribal Students to Be Peacemakers” that uses insiders to facilitate tribal students for conflict transformation in Mindanao.
As a missionary, I have attempted to equip mature Muslim-background believers associated with Yoido Full Gospel Mission in Mindanao to become facilitators of a program of training tribal people to be peacemakers and to mobilize some to become agents for peacemaking in Mindanao.
In order to implement sustainable peace among the entire Moro ethnic group, I adapted Lederach’s conceptual framework to establish the foundation of trust or to restore trust among interclan or intertribal relationships. This process guided the research in light of historical perspectives recognizing colonial factors affecting the population in Mindanao. This research employs narrative interviews to listen to participants and develop deeper interaction regarding the issues that are verbalized in intergroup conflicts.
In order to train these Christian peace facilitators for the revised process, I chose Tablig: A Compilation of Resources for Understanding the Muslim Mindset. Over about a year and a half in three rounds of field research, I discovered factors in Peace Generation training that might be perceived differently from tribal students’ perspectives. All three of the facilitators agreed in Training Group interviews that love is always the main factor in conflict transformation. Furthermore, all three of the Tausug villagers affirmed love, justice, and God’s guidance as factors in their marital conflict transformation.
After reflection on these three research periods, I chose to step back as an outsider facilitator and trainer and to empower “voluntary insiders” and “insiders” to facilitate tribal students in peacemaker training. I have clearly separated findings—peacebuilding facilitated by one of the insiders—that are significant from ones that are not. In my analysis, my leadership has not shifted appropriately in recognition of tribal people groups, which need indigenization. Hence, it is significant to note that transforming conflicts only through scriptural studies is not feasible; it should be conducted by an insider innovator/transformer, rather than by my entrepreneurship.
Indeed, if I did not step back from being a peace facilitator and did not train insider or voluntary peace facilitators, we would not have seen the remarkable result in the lifecycle of organizational leadership transition. The main factor influencing and equipping tribal students and adults to be peacemakers, as carried out by insider facilitators, is “love and forgiveness,” as Romans 13:10 says, “therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)
Conflict management, Reconciliation, Peace-building, Philippines, Mindanao Island, Christian leadership, Missions to Muslims, Missions
Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity