Now Lisa Gibson has been awarded the prestigious 'Love And Forgiveness In Governance Exemplar' award
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (ANS) -- After showing incredible Christian love and forgiveness to the masterminds behind one of the world's most deadly acts of terrorism - the Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 -- in which she lost her brother Kenneth - Lisa Gibson has been selected receive the prestigious "Love And Forgiveness In Governance Exemplar" award.
Yet despite this devastating loss, Lisa chose to forgive the masterminds responsible, even meeting with former Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi to say so. Lisa's life mission has been to forgive, love her enemies and overcome evil with good just as the Bible commands.
I first met Lisa in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, nearly four years ago during a reporting trip where she was part of a team from a group called World's Women For Life, and it was then that I first learned about her incredible story.
I sat transfixed, with my digital recorder whirring, as Lisa, an attorney, global conflict consultant, mediator, award-winning and bestselling author, and Executive Director of the Peace and Prosperity Alliance, shared her story and also told of her willingness to follow the path of forgiveness, which has since given her a platform to train leaders in conflict resolution and forgiveness in many war torn nations including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Israel.
Since that time, Lisa has also been by CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and countless other major media sources.
Lisa's late brother, Kenneth Gibson
Lisa, who has also been a regular contributor to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net) told me that "The Love And Forgiveness In Governance Project" documents exemplary efforts to "move beyond hate and unrightable wrongs of the past" in ways that build a positive future and is a joint project the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Beyond Intractability and the Fetzer Institute.
"The phrase love and forgiveness in governance refers to how leaders utilize love and forgiveness principles in making decisions on how to resolve conflicts," Lisa said. "Love and forgiveness are universal values practiced throughout the world. These two elements seem to transcend race, culture, and nationality, making them a central part of what makes us human.
"Despite this fact, limited research exists on the role of love and forgiveness - and its practical application - in governance structures, particularly when it comes to conflict.
"Love and forgiveness can have a transformative effect in conflicts ranging from the interpersonal (such as between two individuals) to much larger and more complex situations within a country or region. Arguably, governance leaders can exemplify or build aspects of love and forgiveness into their work, aiding in the advancement towards acceptance, decreased conflict, and ultimately lasting peace within their respective societies. Therefore, the goal of this project is to recognize, learn from, and contribute to the efforts of government and governance leaders who have demonstrated aspects of love and forgiveness in their work."
A message posted about her award on www.beyondintractability.org/lfg/exemplars/lgibson, said, "Lisa's work and courage has brought about improved conditions for Libyan citizens and even influenced the popular movement that ultimately brought about a democratic government in Libya. After Lisa lost her brother in the Lockerbie attack, she pursued a degree in law with the desire to use her training to build peace and reconciliation in Libya. Before the death of Qaddafi, Lisa established Peace and Prosperity Alliance and sought to meet dignitaries, ambassadors, and other Libyan public figures. After the fighting ceased, Lisa took a team to Libya to help people in need and has recently returned to teach leaders and students about peace and restoration rather than revenge and war.
Lisa (second left) shares her thoughts with Qaddafi in New York
"During the first months of the Libyan revolution, the international community and the Civil Society Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) supported the masses. Prosperity Alliance was among the pioneering NGOs that provided humanitarian support to the masses. During that time it was apparent that what the Libyan people need most was capacity-building programs to unlearn what the tyrant had tried to implant and to relearn the principles of democracy and leadership. Lisa Gibson offered crucially needed financial and capacity building support during this period.
"In addition, she made efforts to recruit professional trainers to share their experiences, skills, and knowledge with the Libyan people, aimed at supporting the evolvement of a new vision that can enlighten transformation from the past to a positive future in Libya. The workplace conflict management presented by Lisa was among the seminal courses that inspired attendance and has been highly valued. The personal experience of reconciliation that Lisa has been through after the tragic loss of her brother in the Lockerbie tragic accident is inspirational.
Lisa Gibson with a new friend during a visit to Benghazi, Libya
"Lisa is a role model to the Libyan people, where she succeeded in transforming her suffering and pain into grace and love for the people who were oppressed by the same person who was accused of her brother's death. In December 2012, Lisa spent the anniversary of her brother's loss and her Christmas holiday helping facilitate workshops in Benghazi, Libya, in spite of warnings by American foreign minister about the danger of travel to Libya. She was allowed to teach and speak in Libya when few Americans were allowed into the country. Lisa has taken her message of forgiveness all over the world, including to war-torn countries like Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Egypt, and Israel, sharing her message of love, hope, and reconciliation."
It concluded by saying, "Lisa is a true humanitarian. Some of her achievements includes but are not limited to the following: Christian Book Choice Award 1st Place for her book 'Life in Death.' Lisa Gibson's second book, 'Releasing the Chains-Timeless Wisdom on How to Forgive Anyone for Anything,' was just released. Some of her other achievements include World's Women For Life Secretary 2009, Denver and Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, Libya Partnership Leadership Team, Director of Mission's Council, Nebraska Bar Association, Georgia Bar Association, Past International Coordinator For United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, and Past Executive Vice President Omaha Junior Chamber of Commerce. Lisa currently serves as Vice Chair of the Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission."
Past recipients of the award have included Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu.
Well done, Lisa. May all of us learn from your example of Christian love and forgiveness in this violent world that we live in.
For more information on Lisa's work, please go to: www.peaceandprosperityalliance.org.