3 July 2011
The 3rd Sunday After Pentecost
New Story Leadership for the Middle East is an organization that brings together Israeli and Palestinian young adults to work, live, and share their stories with one another and with faith communities. Two participants in this summer’s program spoke at Seekers this morning during the time of sharing the Word.
The first speaker was a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem, who told the story of how his family has struggled to maintain title to its land in the face of Israeli occupation. With documents from Ottoman and British rule showing their continuous ownership of olive groves and other fields, the family has begun to use its property as an international peace center, despite attempts to turn the land into state property.
The second speaker was an Israeli Jew, who told two stories of human connection. One was about watching Arab children play while he was standing guard as a soldier. Joining into their game of hide-and-seek by pointing out places to hide and mis-directing the seeker, he enjoyed their smiles and laughter and the way that they seemed to ignore his uniform and M-16. Another was about the Arab driver of a truck full of watermelons, who seemed genuinely concerned for his well-being as he examined documents at a check-point in the cold, dark hours of the night. Again, this middle-aged man seemed to ignore the military trappings, instead remembering that this soldier was also somebody’s son.