Welcome to “A Mosaic For Peace.” Through this blog, I will chronicle my journey and experiences as an Ecumenical Accompanier with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. I will be assigned to serve in one of seven locations in Jerusalem and the West Bank from Sept 11 to Dec 10, 2011. Through this blog I welcome you to journey with me. I go to serve as an advocate for justice and peace, the justice and peace that Jesus lived, the justice and peace that Jesus calls us to live.
You may wonder why this blog is called “A Mosaic for Peace.”
The concept of a mosaic came to me as I remembered a piece of art work that a friend had hanging on her wall, a mosaic created from broken pieces of Hopi pottery. It was of the earth, organic, and totally beautiful. Today, many months after seeing that wonderful artistic creation, it continues to speak to me of of the gift of hope. Hope that is present with us through the joys and the struggles of life, hope that is present with us through the brokenness we all carry. Through all of life, God’s light shines upon us and through us, creating unending beauty.
As I go to Palestine/Israel, I am aware of the mosaic that I am….a mosaic of the various people and experiences that I have encountered in life, brought together to form the person that only I am. And I am aware of the people, yet unknown, that I will meet, each one their own unique mosaic as well, a reflection of the experiences and people that they have encountered in life. Each one of us created by God, each one of us created in the image of God. Together, amidst the pain of a troubled and hurting land, amidst the oppression of occupation, our mosaics will form an even greater mosaic, a mosaic for peace.
I booked my plane tickets last week and will arrive in Tel Aviv Sept 11. That now is less than 3 weeks away. Today was my second basic Arabic lesson, offered over the phone by a kind (and extremely patient!) young Syrian Canadian. He told me a bit of his story, a story of a young man who came to Canada as a refugee, eventually forced to seek asylum in a church to avoid deportation before finally achieving our Canadian immigration requirements. As I listened, I felt his pain and realized that this is the first in a long line of painful stories I will hear over the next months. But I also felt his hope, a hope that sustained him during those dark days, a hope that has carried him to his current life as a young father and educator. I look forward to meeting the people of Palestine and Israel, to feeling the pain of their experiences, but also to feeling their hope, a hope that has endured over the long years of occupation.
This is my first experience of blogging. I hope you will join me on this journey. Please learn with me as I learn from the people I will meet and the experiences I will encounter. I welcome your comments and your questions as you contribute from your mosaic to this mosaic for peace.