(Picture 1 : Taken on a beautiful night with a Palestinian family in the West Bank)
Everyday when I get home from work I check out the world news online to find out what is happening in Israel and Palestine. It breaks my heart almost daily as I read of more deaths. I rarely talk or write about it because it's hard for people to relate when they haven't seen the situation.
When I was in Palestine I wrote here that the situation in Gaza was a timebomb. Over the past few months it has begun to blow. Due to rocket fire from Gaza, Israel have launched collective punishment on the people there. The borders are closed and the supply of the basic needs for life have been restricted.
Everyday you read about the Israeli army moving into Gaza, killing militants and far too often civilians. As those of us born into the Northern Ireland troubles can relate to, there is much fault on both sides. Two days ago a Palestinian rocket killed an innocent Israeli. This was the first Israeli killed by a rocket in nine months. In response Israel launched an attack yesterday killing 5 militants but also a six month old baby. Today 4 palestinian boys were killed while playing soccer.
(Picture: A wee palestinian lad who I played footie with outside Bethlehem)
In the nine months since the last Israeli died, 200 palestinians have been killed. The population in Gaza are struggling with poverty and oppression.
I love Israel and her people but I wonder if their government is really obeying what YAHWEH has commanded through the Torah and the prophets.
Isaiah pleads with the people to seek justice, correct oppression, and defend the fatherless and the widow (Isaiah 1:17). Proverbs teaches that the Lord will plead the cause of the poor over those who rob them or cheat them in courts of law (Proverbs 22:22-23). The list goes on.
Israel's prime minister Elud Olmert says he wants 'terrorists' to pay a heavy price.
But who are the terrorists?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Really excited about going back to Jandira this summer. I wrote about the last trip here.
This year I'm helping me old pal Al lead two teams of 76 people altogether to build a secondary school. Plans are coming together and we got a kick-ass team assembled. Check out the Emmanuel-Africa website that Zico and Rick have put together.
This will be my fourth time in Africa and I'm more excited than ever because of the potential of this project. To give secondary education here is to give hope and a future. We believe that ‘Light to the Nations Secondary School’ can produce men and women of God who can be future leaders and influencers in Uganda. Read more about it on Al's blog.
We holding a big auction on 29th March. All proceeds going to the building fund. Let me know if you think you could contribute any items that would make us some cash.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I spent another couple of days in Rostrevor last weekend with the Benedictine Monks. I wrote about my previous visit here. I would highly recommend a retreat there for anyone who would like to get away from the noise and stress of life.
The monastry is a modern building set in a valley surrounded by the mourne mountains. It is designed to let the maximum amount of light in.
Brother Thierry has become a friend (a friend who reads this blog!). An hour in conversation with him provided me with more wisdom and reality that reading 20 books could. It feels like having a chat with Jesus, at least how I imagine that would feel.
Come on now, little one, get away from your worldly occupations for a while, escape from your tumultuous thoughts. Lay aside your burdensome cares and put off your laborious exertions. Give yourself over to God for a little while, and rest for a while in Him. Enter into the cell of your mind, shut out everything except God and whatever helps you to seek Him once the door is shut. Speak now, my heart, and say to God, "I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek." [Anselm's Proslogion xxvi]