Mideast reconciliationBy June Forsyth Kenagy Albany, Ore.
I appreciated the article by Sheldon C. Good about the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (“Event in Holy Land Faces Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” April 16), sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College and held in Bethlehem March 5-9. My husband, Ben, and I were also there, but seeing the suffering of Palestinians was very hard for me. It is so unfair.
One of the conference goals was promoting reconciliation between brothers and enemies, and some of that was achieved as Messianic Jews began to see that the land was not necessarily promised solely to Jacob’s descendants but rather to those who fear God. It was encouraging to me to see them realize the land must be shared. Please pray that the gentle spirit of sharing will cast out brutal selfishness.
Other well-known evangelical speakers not mentioned in your article include Tony Campolo, Lynn Hybels, Bob Roberts and Joel Hunter. The Wheaton College delegation was led by Gary Burge, and they had many one-on-one events with local Palestinians, Muslim as well as Christian.
Ben was happy to chat with Bishara Awad, Bethlehem Bible College’s outgoing president, since Ben had known Bishara from 1979 through 1999 and had attended the college dedication in 1979 while he was a physician at the Nazareth EMMS Hospital.
The most faith-inspiring thing for me was seeing Palestinians — who have suffered so greatly at the hands of Jews — still speaking and acting in love toward them, forgiving their enemies, and working to be reconciled to them. That is “Hope in the Midst of Conflict,” the conference theme.
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