The Ecumenical Accompaniment group 63 gathered in Jerusalem last week to wrap up their three-month stay in the Holy land with a debriefing and handover ceremony to the incoming team, group 64.
An experience of a lifetime came to an end and now the advocacy work back home for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine begins. WCC Weekly asked five departing EA’s to briefly share:
- What made you sign up for the programme?
- In three words, how was it?
- The most important experience you bring back home?
Edna from Sao Paulo, Brazil:
- I wanted to learn more by being closer to the Palestinian people, rather than just reading about them.
- Challenging, a turning point in my life and that there are multiple truths in this conflict.
- The Palestinians’ resistance and their belief in a peaceful future.
Margriet from The Hague in the Netherlands:
- To pursue peace in a different setting than my church at home.
- Confusing, impressive and hope versus despair.
- Meeting children and gaining their trust.
Malin from Gothenburg, Sweden:
- I am a human rights worker who believe in international presence, and I wanted field experience.
- Educational, engaging and frustrating.
- To meet people with different backgrounds and to feel that you are in the middle of a rich history.
Dave from Skipton, Yorkshire, UK
- Came two years ago, and learned a lot about the situation. So, I wanted to come back for a longer stay this time and try to contribute to make things better.
- Humbling, moving and anger-inducing.
- The humility, generosity, kindness and dignity that the Palestinian people show.
Lanny from Minnesota, USA
- Have dealt with conflict resolution for the past 20 years, especially within churches. Trying to understand why this conflict isn’t solved.
- Intense, challenging and hopeful.
- The resilience of the human spirit and dignity.