Team 45 ~ A Mini United Nations

EAPPI Bethlehem Team 45
St. George’s Cathedral, East Jerusalem
Ellinor (Sweden), Sophie (England), Dawn (Canada),
Adele (South Africa), John (United States)
Photo Credit: Joyce

The incoming Bethlehem Team 45 and the outgoing Bethlehem Team 44 have spent the last 3 days in an intense time of living and learning together. Our “mentors” in Team 44 are from Finland, Norway and Switzerland. Team 45 added 5 more countries to the mix: Sweden, England, Canada, South Africa, and the United States. What richness! Our Bethlehem days and nights were packed full: early morning checkpoint watch (more on this in another post), village visits to families with demolition orders on their homes, offering protective presence to school children, visiting refugee camps, attending meetings with local NGOs, supporting non-violent demonstrations, enjoying local hospitality, and participating in a “walking wall prayer” with the Catholic sisters. It has felt more like 3 weeks instead of 3 days. We have heard heart wrenching stories and been amazed by the resilience and open hearted generosity of the people we have met.

Our entire Group 45 consisting of 33 people from 17 countries is now back in Jerusalem for 5 more days of training.  Next Thursday, September 13, we will gather for the official handover ceremony ~ a passing of the torch ~ at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in East Jerusalem. Our teams will then disperse to our various placements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (Tulkarm, Jayyous, Yanoun, Bethlehem, Hebron, South Hebron Hills). We begin our work on Friday, September 14. A Palestinian Christian man from Bethlehem said to us this week that our presence gives him hope. For him we are salt, light, and yeast. As we take up this work of accompaniment, may it be so in so many ways.

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6 Responses to Team 45 ~ A Mini United Nations

  1. aclearpath says:

    Dawn – is it so exciting to be on this journey with you. We haven’t talked for a long time but I spent 2 weeks in the Old City with a good friend – Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian – Palestinian Armenian Christian with tenure at Hebrew U. An amazing and daring activist. I spent time in Hebron, Bethlehem, did alternate tours of the area, and spent time with women who had just received the notice that their homes would be destroyed in East Jerusalem. My former partner, Linda, is active with the IPC (Israeli-Palestinian Confederation), a grass-roots peace organization. With your permission I would like to add her to your blog. Thanks for taking my on this journey with you…

    xox
    regina

  2. Diana McKerracher says:

    We’re very happy to “meet” your team and see the faces you will be seeing every day for the next few months. Your training program sounds great – very extensive and diverse. Here on the BC coast we are feeling the first hint of fall with a cool wind blowing off the ocean. It’s lovely to read your blog – thank you for writing.
    love, Diana & Rob

  3. Bob and Marg says:

    Team 45 looks great. You must be exhausted, excited, afraid, eager, wondering …. All rolled up into one great ball of sensation. Shalom. Salaam Peace.

  4. Audrey brooks says:

    This is a powerful witness for peace, Dawn, our faith communities are honored and blessed that well trained observer teams are in the front of the protest and support for those who are threatened and displaced from their homes and homeland. Hugs, Audrey Brooks

  5. Lori says:

    Thinking about you, Dawn, as you carry out your call to be a witness to the realities of life in your placement area. Take good care. Lori

  6. Thanks for keeping in touch. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin this rich journey.Looking forward to following the blog. Janelle

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