Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bind Us Together with Love

My day off continued on Sunday morning, I met up with an EA from the Jerusalem team and we found our way to East Jerusalem Baptist Church.  

After finding the church, Chery, an EA from the Philippines and I enjoyed the beautiful church grounds.  

Yes, there was even a cat to enjoy.

The church was not large, but it felt line church 

The service was meaningful, and in English! 

Rev. Alex Awad pastors this church and his wife, Brenda, is involved with the children’s ministry, (see Bethlehem Bible College blog entry.)

After the service during the hospitality hour, Pastor Alex told us of the international flavor of the congregation.  Some of the international workers from the various holy sites worship here as well as other internationals that now live in Palestine and of course native Palestinians, such as Pastor Alex.

The first person we introduced ourselves to happened to be an artist from New Zeeland.  She indicated she is a volunteer working at the House of Hope in Bethlehem (see prior blog entry about House of Hope.)  In a later conversation after church, we discovered that she was a missionary with Service in Missions in Ethiopia at the same time as my sister, Donna.

I also recognized two of the workers from the Bethlehem House of Hope (see previous blof entry.)  They came to Jerusalem to worship.  They are volunteers from the Bruderhof Community in New York.  You can find out about their sending community at  The Bruderhof is an international communal movement of families and single men and women who seek to put into action Christ’s command to love God and neighbor. 
Pray that these willing servants of God will not have Israeli visa problems,there are many stories of denials. 

Blessings are flowing my way; from Michigan to Bethlehem to Jerusalem, I had dinner with new friends from Philippines, New Zeeland, and New York. 

On Tuesday morning, the circle of Love extended.  Our Muslim taxi driver saw a nun walking; he stopped and picked her up  As it turned out, she was one of the caregivers from the Home of Peace (see prior blog entry.)  We dropped her off at Manger Square to worship and we went on to complete our busy schedule.

I see steadfastness, kindness and love flowing through The West Bank even as everyone suffers from the occupation. 

God continues to answer this song:
Bind us together, lord,
Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

Our Ecumenical God is alive and working here!

Pray for a Just Peace for Palestine and Israel