I am writing this from Prague in the Czech Republic. Obed and I flew here Sunday from Tel Aviv. It has been a whirlwind three months and we are going to unwind in Europe before heading home.
Last Friday evening we gathered in Jerusalem as an EA team for a final dinner together. It was a wonderful evening and gave us a chance to say farewell. Obed took some pictures of our team so that I can remember the event and recall the significant times spent with a wonderful group of new friends.
|Ann (UK), Cynthia (Swi), me, Katariina (Fin)|
|Petter (Nor), Mats (Swe), me, Elin (Swe), Johanna (Swe), Maria (Swe)|
below: Anne (Nor)
|Helen (UK), me, Jan Erik (Swe), Christoph (Austria)|
|Vidar (Nor), me, Nicolai (Nor), Hanna (Fin), Abigajil (Ger)|
I have already written about how richly blessed I feel to have spent time with the Palestinian people who have demonstrated such patience and perseverance. I also feel fortunate to have met so many wonderful EAs. They have helped to enlarge my world view. As a group they brought an impressive array of personal and professional skills. I am grateful to have shared the often challenging experiences with them. And I know that my life will not be the same.
|Elin and Susanne|
In reflecting on the three months spent in Palestine I have learned to appreciate how complex the issue is. Yet the yearning for justice and fairness on the part of those living under occupation is quite plain to see. The question that I must now confront is this: what can I do to begin to make a difference? What can my friends in the United States and around world do to influence the situation to some degree?
Perhaps we can begin with the acronym PEACE.
· Pray: Pray for the Palestinian people. Pray for the Israeli Occupiers. Pray for those in positions of power. Pray for all people who live in poverty and without justice.
· Educate: All of us need to be intentional in learning more about the plight of the Palestinians and all those who suffer from injustice.
· Advocacy: The call to advocate for the poor was made by the Old Testament prophets and was repeated forcefully by Jesus. As Christian people all of us need to speak out for those whose voices are muffled by unjust policies and economic disparity.
· Communication: Perhaps the most important thing we can do as Americans is to let our elected officials know how we feel about policies that allow Israel’s land grab and inhumane treatment to continue unchecked.
· Economic Measures: For one, Obed and I have decided to boycott Israeli products in terms of our own purchases. Any item that begins with 7 29 on the bar code is made in Israel. Apartheid in South Africa was finally brought to its knees after economic pressures were asserted, including divestment, by people of conscience around the world.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who have been reading this blog and supporting me with your prayers. It has meant a great deal to me. I will continue to blog occasionally to share some of my ongoing efforts and thoughts. God bless you. Please continue to pray for justice and peace.