Forwarded from the Center for Religious Tolerance, a URI in North America Cooperation Circle.
I recently received the letter below from Elias Jabbour, a long time CRT peacemaker. Many of our CRT supporters have met Elias either in Israel or here in the US and I thought there would be interest in hearing from him. — Andy
March 15, 2012
As we move through Lent, toward Easter I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have so faithfully kept us in your prayers and supported us with your contributions large and small. As you watch the news you cannot miss the fact that these are times of worsening conflict and uncertainty among the people who live in the Middle East. But for many of us the immediate proximity to open warfare and the carnage seen on your TV screen puts new tensions and more difficulties in our daily life.
Since our beginnings in 1978 we have faithfully followed the call to make peace and settle conflict and suffering both at the grass roots level and through efforts at governmental and international levels where we can give voice to God’s message of love and reconciliation. This has involved us in constant dialogue with leaders from every faith, every ethnicity and political identity. We have, over the past 34 years engaged in peace education of children and youth as well as their parents, through Peace Youth Camps, the Peace Kindergarten, college and university student involvement and through Peace Institutes and serving with academics world-wide. At the House of Hope and in other venues we have hosted gatherings for hospitality and interaction between religious, tribal, and non-governmental groups and spokespersons seeking an end to the walls of division and encouraging a glimpse at the human commonalities between all people.
Over these 34 years new projects and programs have been established. Some have given way to other forms of peacemaking and to humanitarian calls for relief as these become calls for help. These frequent calls have stressed our resources and we have sadly been unable to meet the needs that are beyond our capacity. and keep other activities going. In all this we have been led through prayer to reorder our priorities and let some things go in order to follow the leading of our Lord the Prince of Peace.
I ask your many prayers regarding peacemaking. I also ask for your giving to help get the message of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation to a conflict torn generation. The peace making process has been long and difficult. We have more work to do. An old African proverb, out of Uganda and surely with Arab roots goes: If you want to go fast, go alone, If you want to go far, go together. Peacemaking takes time. We cannot do it alone. Please help us go as far as it takes by doing it together. Heyam and all our House of Hope family join me in wishing you a Happy Easter, our love and God’s blessing.
Elias J Jabbour, Director
The House of Hope International Peace Center
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