Last week a few of us went into Jerusalem for the morning – we made it to the Temple Mount, although actually entering the Dome of the Rock is only for Muslims, and apparently it’s been that way for a few years now. It is absolutely gorgeous architecturally – it’s hard to imagine that this place, this monument has been the cause of so much anger and fighting and death. Also hard to imagine that it was here that Ariel Sharon and his entourage walked up to the Temple Mount, and began this current Intifada.
After the Temple Mount, and an annoying sidetrip to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior to try and get my Visa straightened away (which I wasn’t able to) we walked into East Jerusalem and to the offices of Sabeel. We met with the staff there and worshipped with them in their weekly worship service, which Naim Ateek (the founder of Sabeel) leads. Afterwards, we ate lunch together and got a chance to hear more about Sabeel and about their lives. I talked to Naim Ateek’s daughter a lot, and heard about her experiences in the states, where she studies. All in all, it was a good day. Some of us will head back to Jerusalem to meet with Sabeel on Thursday. They are planning an International youth conference, primarily aimed at Palestinian and American Christian youth, to get together, learn from one another and learn about the current situation. We will meet with Sabeel and help them with some of their brainstorming.