Tuesday, October 30, 2007

 

One year later

October 30, 2007

by Clarke Walker, New Jersey

It has been a year since we embarked on our journey to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Just minutes after midnight we left the comfort of the United States. We knew from our preparation that we would be witnesses to the sacredness of the Holy Land and also of the oppression that exists there.

We had hope that in a year there would be improvement for the Palestinians living there, especially the Christians who are trying to be Peacemakers and Reconcilers. The situation is just as complex now but there are if not signs of hope at least recognition by some of the parties that change must take place.

A few weeks ago we got to hear Archbishop Elias Chacour speak at Nassau Presbyterian Church. When we were at Mars Elias, the educational institution he founded, he was recovering from surgery so we did not get to meet with him then. I am glad we finally did. The Archbishop is a true Peacemaking and we pray for his success.

Less than a week later we heard Jeff Halper speak at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. Jeff is Director of ICAHD. We met him on the first day of visit. It was great to meet him again and get an update, though sad to hear there has been no stopping of the house demolitions and building of walls.

Tonight I heard Rev. Ted Wright who with his wife Susan are regional liaisons for east and central Africa. They help connect PC(USA) churches and middle governing bodies with partner churches and institutions in the area. They focus on evangelism and new church development in Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. (More about our international missionaries at http://www.pcusa.org/mission/missionchallenge.pdf ) Ted emphasized the importance of visiting mission partners oversees.

One of our goals was to have others visit the Holy Land to see and be witnesses for themselves. And next week we are sending another group from New Jersey. I can’t wait to hear about their journey.

I pray for them, and that they meet the wonderful people that we did. Most of all my heart is with out host family, that they are well and living their dreams.

Clarke


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