The Sycamore Tree Project®

Today, I Have Released My Hatred

PETER | Sudanese refugee

Peter is a 21-year-old prisoner and a Sudanese refugee who witnessed the murder and torture of family members and friends in the Sudanese civil war. Here he shares his experience participating in the Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace:

“In doing the course, I was challenged highly in what I initially thought I knew about compassion and forgiveness. Prior to doing this course, I thought I was justified in the hatred I had for those who caused me pain in the past, and I had little understanding about the impact of my actions on others, in particular, the victims.

“Seeing the pain most of the Sycamore Tree Project participants had overcome, and in turn, witnessing firsthand their desire to spread compassion, was in fact, the very first time in many years I witnessed the testimony of Christ in practice. This experience rocked me.

“Today I have released a lot of my hatred and am free from a prison I had no idea held me captive. It was not apparent to me that my hate and anger towards many people in my life held me captive.

“Seeing other people deal with their pain in a compassionate and selfless way truly inspired me to re-examine my anger.

“Seeing the participants in the Sycamore Tree Project, and the pain they carried, also gave me a chance to review some of the pain I had caused my victims.

It was like looking into a mirror, but instead of seeing my pain, I saw the pain of others.

“Thank you very much for your support and compassionate leadership throughout the program. Doing the Sycamore Tree Project was by far one of the best personal decisions I have made in a long time.”

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Story credit: Martin Howard, Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace, Queensland, Australia