The call came out of the blue; they often do. “Pastor, would you be willing to help Christians living in the Holy Land?” The man on the other end of the phone was not a native English speaker, but he knew Bishop Doyle and so I engaged him in conversation.
“Do you know of our plight?” Well, sort of…I knew that Christians in Egypt and in Palestine are experiencing economic and social pressures and that there is a mass exodus. “Do you mean those who live in the Occupied Territories?”
He was delighted to be able to talk about his reality. “I don’t approach with political language. Most Americans I talk to don’t know about the Occupation.”
We talked about the impact of the wall the Israeli’s have built and the difficulty of finding work in the West Bank. He talked of the sorrow of leaving his family to come to the United States so his children could have a better life.
I agreed to allow him and his companions to come to St. Stephen’s in July to share their stories and their wares. They will be here July 12.
Throughout the Easter season we have been reading the Acts of the Apostles. The missionary journeys of Peter and Paul were not unique to their time, I am finding. Christians are still on the move to bear witness; churches are still here to receive journeyers for the faith and to support them. May we be as open as Ananias and Lydia to receive the Word of God from afar.