My friend Sami Awad is one of the bravest people I know. He leads an amazing organization in Bethlehem called the Holy Land Trust. In fact, Sami is a friend to many of us sharing this Lenten journey to Easter. When asked what the days leading up to Easter feel a year ago, Sami shared: It's been a long and dark winter in the Holy Land.
Anger and hatred continue to hover over our heads like dark clouds that refuse to move on. More people feel discouraged. The young are losing hope for a better future, as they see no leadership guiding them; the old are losing hope for a dream they once carried that peace in this land is possible, everyone is becoming more entrenched in victim-hood and darkness.
So where is the hope in all this? Within the approaching season; the Easter Season.
Therein lies the symbolism of hope.
This holy season is a time for rebirth, for a renewal in and of the Holy Land. It is a time when we pray that God opens the hearts of all those who live in the Holy Land, Palestinians, Israelis, Jews, Christians, Muslims - and make what seemed impossible possible; to transform death into life, darkness into light, and resurrect in them His hope and grace!
We at Holy Land Trust continue to do this work through many programs, with the local community and with internationals coming to the Holy Land. From training in nonviolence, understanding the effect of fear and trauma, and leadership development to protecting local farmers during Olive Harvest, organizing our 4th Annual Bet Lahem Live Festival, and recruiting for the Palestine Summer Encounter. We take every opportunity to bring the message of Hope to the peoples of this land throughout the year.
My prayer for me and for us this day is that we might also take every opportunity to bring the message of Hope to people for whom it has been a long and dark winter, near and far.
To learn more connect with Sami B Awad on Facebook and Twitter