Children's and Family Worker
Jackie Davies is our Children's and Family Worker and she is very busy working in four Methodist churches Altrincham, Hale, Timperley and Bowdon Vale as well as local school and with parents.
On the 13th of May Meg Prowtng and I joined nine other Children and
Youth Workers, on an alternative pilgrimage to the Holy Land organised
by the Amos Trust www.amostrust.org.
We stayed in Bethlehem – an alternative to the usual Holy Land tours where visitors don’t get time to see what an amazing place Bethlehem is, or how welcoming the people are.
During our time on the West Bank we visited the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd’s Fields which are located in Beit Sahour, down the hill from Bethlehem. Our guide, who was born in Beit Sahour, said God chose the shepherds from there to visit the baby Jesus as it is said that if you share something in Beit Sahour everyone will know by the next day! We visited Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemane, The Mount of Olives, the Last Supper Room, The Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
We met organisations and individuals who talked to us about the situation and what it’s like to live there day to day. We listened to people from the Holy Land Trust, The Tent of Nations and Wi’am (Google them, all amazing organisations!) We met Ardie, living in an Israeli Settle‐ment on Palestinian land; Chesca, an Israeli activist with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition and Combatants For Peace, ex soldiers from both sides working together. We dined with Palestinian Christian families, heard how hard it is for Palestinians to build houses and travel anywhere and spray painted the Separation Wall!
After ﬁve days we travelled north, stopping at Jericho, the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea, before spending two nights in Nazareth. We walked down the Mount of Beatitudes and stood with our feet in Lake Galilee, listening to the story of Jesus calling Peter out of his boat. We toured Nazareth with Sally Cook, a Palestinian Christian working with Non‐Governmental Organisations. We visited a women’s cooperative, a steam powered spice mill and ate warm fresh Baklava!
I went with the expectation of walking in the footsteps of Jesus. I had moments of awe – seeing olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane old enough to have been
touched by Jesus and walking in the desert, knowing it looked exactly as it had 2000 years ago. However having heard about Palestinians queuing through the night to cross the Wall to get to work, having their houses demolished in the early hours with nowhere to go but a Red Cross tent, children being spat at in the
street and much more, I have realised that I shouldn’t be trying to walk in the footsteps of Jesus but rather I should be walking where he would walk now – with those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and the peacemakers. We will be talking about our experience at various events at church but if you want to know more just ask – we can’t stop talking about it!
Contact Jackie here...