Musalaha’s Palestinian-Israeli Summer Camp

Musalaha’s Palestinian-Israeli Summer Camp

Here is a picture update from last week’s summer camp. Tomorrow I’ll post my reflections on the camp. It was really wonderful, as you can see from the pictures below.
During leader orientation we did the activities we asked the kids to do later in the week. I think the guys did a pretty good job (even though we women won)!
Hillary, one of the other leaders, with one of the girls in her cabin during the Bible study time.

Doing something like a Bible drill.

The kids did even better than the leaders with the newspaper clothes. I had a soft spot in my heart for this kid… just look at that face!

I saw this girl walking through the camp on the last morning and chased her down for a picture. I think her shirt  is great — and perfect for the camp.

So much fun!

This little guy was so sweet. He wanted his face painted as a football (soccer ball). He is originally from South Sudan.

We had moon bounces galore and lots of water one afternoon. Everyone had a wonderful, fun time!

No caption necessary:-)

More fun.

Enjoying the water.

Picture in Ronit’s hand: what she said she was going to do to my face. My face: what she actually did to it. I’ll post the video she made in the next few days.

Diligently working on the crafts.

“The Real Musalaha”

“The Real Musalaha”

Saturday I attended the weeding of some friends of mine in Bethlehem. I sat across from an Israeli and a Palestinian friend. They were getting along great. I kept hearing, “I love you sister!”

Eventually, the conversation turned to Musalaha, where they concluded together: “This is the real Musalaha.” Sitting at a table, doing life together, enjoying each other.

My beautiful friends.

I’m thankful that the work we do is laying the groundwork for these relationships to begin. May more continue beyond our programs and into normal life.

It is my hope that someday these friends will not have to wait for permits and special events to see each other.

Tribute to Judi

Tribute to Judi

This is my post of thanks that God has put some wonderful people in my life here in Israel and Palestine.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the end of this life-phase when my lovely housemate and co-volunteer Judith left to go home to Austria. For the last five months she has been a huge blessing to me, sharing both my home and office… the younger sister I didn’t expect to have here. It has been so helpful to have someone to process with, and she has been so gracious in being my primary sounding-board through lots of big issues needing to be worked through as I’ve experienced life here.

I am incredibly impressed with Judith’s ambitious and adventurous spirit, her diligence, servant heart, intelligence, and kindness. I expect this twenty-one year old to leave a tremendous mark on the world, and am thankful to have her as a great friend!

Here are a few memories we have shared:

Lots of fun and laughter in Bethlehem and Jerusalem!
Sharing great friends (and YANIF)

Riding this “British awesome” camel… 
Working for Musalaha, going on the Youth Desert Encounter, learning a lot about cultural differences in organizational structures.
Having our eyes opened to the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, experiencing the confused phases of understanding , grief, frustration, and the beauty of reconciliation.

Thank you, Judi. God bless you as you transition home. My prayer is that you will have a wonderful time and find contentment in Him wherever you go. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Coventry 2

Coventry 2

I thought I’d share the report I did on the Coventry Conference and some pictures from the professional photographer who joined us. It really was a great time. I am hoping we’ll do a conference in the States sometime before too long!

The beautiful Coventry Cathedral was a wonderful location for the conference

On May 20th and 21st participants from the UK, other European countries, and America gathered in the iconic Coventry Cathedral to join Musalaha for our first international Reconciliation conference.

Musalaha was invited by Christian leaders in the UK to share first-hand experiences and lessons learned in reconciliation with the wider body of Christ – whose members have increasingly felt the need to choose sides as they consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The powerful story of the Coventry Cathedral was meaningful to our participants as they heard testimonies of reconciliation in the place dedicated to forgiveness since its devastation during a war-time attack in 1940 and rebuilt as a testimony of faith and hope.

Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas
Speakers included Palestinian and Israeli leaders such as Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas as well as other leaders. We also worshipped in Hebrew, Arabic and English and heard powerful testimonies, including some young Nigerian leaders in reconciliation.

Participants were very encouraged by testimonies and teachings from Musalaha’s ministry partners. We were joined by Cathy Nobles and students from YWAM’s School of Reconciliation and Justice, Tanas Alqassis and Rev. Joseph Steinberg from the Church Mission Society, Rev. Gilbert Lammerts van Bueren from Near East Ministry and representatives from the Baptist Mission Society.

We were excited to have approximately 150 participants representing a wide variety of churches, organizations, and communities.

Insights following the conference made one thing clear: the message of reconciliation is not only relevant for those of us living in areas of conflict. It is the call of God for all believers.

Here are some quotes from participants:
The variety of speakers, insights, demonstration of faith in action! Very exciting ministry that challenges everyone’s thinking.

I realize now that as a Christian I am involved… I should be a peacemaker.

The quality of the speakers was absolutely first class!

The respect that the team shows each other also witnesses to the power of your message. Insightful.
Great Britain is in need of this message, especially within the church.

The conference was everything I had hoped it would or could be. I feel better equipped with all the excellent teaching and sharing… to take Jesus’ way of the cross through the middle, without being swayed by the rhetoric or fears of either side in the Body of Christ in the UK.

All of us have been inspired by the teaching and especially by the high quality of testimonies and the way Salim Munayer and Evan Thomas have answered questions: sincere and with a sense of humor. It was not easy to keep out of politics and at the same time remain relevant to the situation which you as Israeli’s and Palestinians have to face. For those of us living in the west, it was humbling to witness how you are forced to identify with Christ more fully because of the conflict. A true encouragement to all of us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus.

For more information, please visit Here are some more pictures of the event:
Thank you so much for your prayers for the conference. We felt the presence of God and are thanking Him for a wonderful time.



Last week I had the opportunity to go to the UK for a conference we (at Musalaha) organized. The conference was to share about what God is doing in reconciliation here in the holy land, and elsewhere in the world. I hope someday we can do a similar conference in the States!

Here are a few pictures:

Me with my friend and coworker, Ronit, in the beautiful Coventry Cathedral, which we called  home for three days.
The crowd.
With Diana and Ronit, two Messianic Jewish Israelis who shared their testimonies at the conference. It was fun to have the English and Middle Eastern worlds I know collide!
Youth Desert Encounter

Youth Desert Encounter

During the week before Easter, I had the opportunity to go on one of Musalaha’s Youth Desert Encounters. Israeli Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christian youth go into the desert for several days for an experience they will likely never forget. Here are some pictures from the journey:

The men proudly joined forces to move a very heavy table.

The Israeli girls talked on one side of the camp…

As the Palestinian girls hung out at the table with Judy. It made it difficult that several of them didn’t speak much English.

Our hike ended right near the Red Sea, and we had the opportunity to visit Eilat briefly. 

At the camp in the desert, a scenic location for our meetings.

I love camels.

An Israeli girl and one of the Palestinian guys. One of Musalaha’s ways of encouraging relationship-building is to put the kids together in uncomfortable situations, so they learn to work together:-). This is fun AND uncomfortable!

I finally rode a camel. So much fun!

I admit, the scenery made me feel a little bit like I was in a movie.

Everyone hanging out in the desert.

By the end of the trip the kids had built some good friendships. Here is a Palestinian girl with two of the Israelis.

I loved seeing the kids get to know each other during the trip, and am hopeful that these experiences will influence their perspectives for years to come.