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Hi, I’m Darnell

Profile Picture of Darnell BarkmanMy name is Darnell Barkman. I’ve been working at the crossroad of church planting, religious reconciliation, international peacebuilding and urban development for 10 years. Most of that time has been in the Philippines, sent by Mennonite Church Canada.

Today, I’m a pastor, peacebuilder, carpenter and writer. I study scripture, history, and social movements that change our world. My online goal is to mobilize and equip the church to build lasting peace and reconcile broken relationships and live the reality of God’s New Creation now.

I write here to:
  1. Show how the whole bible points to Jesus Christ’s birth, cross, death and resurrection.
  2. Then mobilize Jesus’ followers or people who just want to explore his teachings in different ways as peacemakers. (Peacemakers are people who work in every part of life to heal and reconcile families, neighbourhoods, cities and the world.)
  3. Share good news stories and hope I’ve seen from #everydaypeacemakers around the world.
  4. Equip you with energizing spiritual practices that connect you to the creator and his everyday guidance.

I serve leaders and communities like you from around the world. Leaders who follow Jesus, peacebuilding workers and development workers. Moms and Dads, office workers and various people who make an effort to bring healing into a world in pain.

4 Big Questions About the World

My experience comes together in an idea I call Christian Peacebuilding. Christian Peacebuilding is my answer to 4 questions I’ve asked and I hear from others all the time:

  1. Who is the Creator God and what is he doing in the world? The short is the vision that motivates me: The Creator God is alive and reconciling the world. Look here for a longer version.
  2. How do we create more clarity inside confusing and complex conflicts? Tools for this exist! The answer is in using the right tools to explore the context and players in the conflict. I can show you how to use tools (like this – Needs etc.) to understand the stories that motivate conflict and violence.
  3. Why should we have hope? Is there even any hope? Hearing, seeing and telling the stories of divine interruptions in our world motivate me to keep going. Real life stories that showcase how God is breathing new life into the world are the seeds and plants that grow into fruits of hope, justice and peace.
  4. How can we sustain a daily Peacebuilding life in the tension between pain and hope all the time? It’s possible by developing and practicing an energizing spirituality. Jesus Christ showed rhythms of this in his own life. Christian history has examples of this. Leaders like Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Richard Rohr and James Bryan Smith do a great job sharing experience about this. Personal and community practices & rituals are essential to sustain a counter-cultural peacebuilding life.
I write here for the same reason the early church wrote the New Testament. My writing is a counter narrative to suffering an injustice in the world. I share what I’ve learned in my successes and in painful failures around the world.
If you want, I can email you my fresh writings every week. I send out an email newsletter (sign up here) every Friday (Manila Time). If this is your first time here, start by reading my backstory here.

My Mission

The core mission of my work is a simple question: Does the Creator God love the world enough to heal it?
The first way I answer that is compare the problems of the world, and my own experience, against Jesus Christ who shows us exactly what the Creator God is likeI believe, with Jesus early followers, that Jesus is the face of God. As Jesus Christ he has acted in history to bring healing to all of creation! He gave us an example to follow of how to bring healing, reconciliation and justice into our daily lives and larger structures.
On my website I challenge the fundamental stories that define us.
  • I ask who is the primary community that shapes your life and identity?
  • What daily practices inform and shape your common identity?
  • How do true leaders embrace the world with strategic love to transform them, their neighbours and our communities?
The second way I answer that question is by mixing together lessons from Christian scripture and history, community building & peacebuilding, development theory and the stories from important leaders in my lives.
  • How do these lessons shape our identity and actions today?
  • How do they lead to the healing embrace of the Creator (up)?
  • A healed and confident self-identity(in)?
  • Embracing our neighbours again (Out)?
  • Embracing all the creation around us (down/all around)?
These four directions define biblical peace the goal of Creator. His goal is that the whole creation be complete and flourishing in perfect peace.
I dream that my writing and other work will gather an international Christian Peacebuilding community who will equip, partner, encourage and pray for one another in our Christian Peacebuilding efforts around the world.
I hope – if we continue to form these answers together – my work will bring you to the peace of Jesus, lead you to healing from personal pain, give you practical skills to bring healing into the worlds you influence and invite you into a community of Jesus followers who build peace around the world.

Join us now

The people who practice Christian Peacebuilding are men, women, activists, millennials, people rediscovering Jesus message, seniors leading in their neighbourhoods, community development workers, artists, corporate leaders and team members and many other passionate people who are bold enough to be restless. Their restlessness motivates them to work towards healing and reconciliation today with the spirit of God.
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