Can I tell you about it?
First a little context. I am in a land where it is almost impossible to not talk about faith and politics. Two topics that can quickly clear out the cocktail party. I have friends who are pro Israel and those who are pro Palestine. I’ve never been comfortable with these terms, I guess because they are too simplistic for a complex situation.
As I sat with a new friend this week who does great ministry with Christians, Jews, Messianic Jews, Muslims and the non-religious, I loved hearing what he was “pro” or for. Essentially, he was pro human. This is not a cop out or wishy washy leadership. The Way of Jesus is his model, so being “con” to a people group makes little sense to him.
My Day: our tour group had a free day today, so some went to the Holocaust museum here in
Jerusalem while several others rested. I had the chance to go back over the border to Palestine with some incredible men who serve Christ by serving teenagers through Young Life here in the Middle East. They had to sign some papers with government officials to make Young Life a recognized group in Bethlehem. Pretty big event.
Throughout the day I met many Palestinian Christians who touched me in a deep way. They were kind.
They loved their families, their land and Jesus. While sitting in this home, I totally forgot I was in Palestine. I just felt like I was in any other home (yet this one looked out over the field where the story of Ruth and Boaz took place) The story I kept hearing and feeling throughout the day was that the Palestinian Christians have felt little support from American Christians. A dear woman had tears in her eyes as she told me “the Americans think we are beasts.” I caught a glimpse of this pain. The number of Christ followers in this land dwindles away year by year. Has our support of Israel been to the detriment of the church in Palestine?
Later in the day we visited a place called House of Hope that ministered to special needs kids who had been abandoned by their families. One blind boy was very eager to sing several of the Christian songs he had learned. My friend Yousef works with Young Life and he comes to have “club” with them twice a month and these beautiful people go to Young Life camp every year called Capernaum.
These are just a few of the events of the day. It was rich.
A young Palestinian man made a comment to our group that really stuck with me. He said that Americans now come into Palestine very quickly to see stones, but he urges us to spend more time in the future with the living stones to hear even more stories of God’s faithfulness.
I sat with some living stones today in a land of beauty and turmoil.
While some things are still complexities in my mind, others are not.
I ask that you join me in praying for the Shalom and Salaam of Jesus to all nations.