Posts tagged Musahala
Musalaha - August 2019 Update

Musalaha’s summer camp in Bethlehem: Is it about serving 85 children with 20 volunteers and 7 interns in 6 days? Is it having fun, playing games, making new friends, and enjoying summer? Sure. But what makes a difference in the lives of the participants that lasts more than a few days?

That’s Musalaha’s intention: Planting seeds of RECONCILIATION between the participating children – half of them Muslim, half of them Christian – and teaching them the golden rule “…do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12). Seeds of bearing “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22:23). These two themes were the topics we planned this year’s camp activities around – that was the well-prepared plan for the group of kids with diverse backgrounds, coming from different areas around Bethlehem.

Read More
Musalaha - October/November 2017 Update

Musalaha has been increasingly active in bridge-building between Christians and Muslims in Palestinian communities, applying the same principles used in reconciliation work between Israeli and Palestinian believers. Through these initiatives, we have introduced Musalaha's curriculum to Muslim communities and have been learning how we can use our knowledge and experience to ease some of the tensions between Christians and Muslims. This pressure is mainly caused by historical prejudice, stereotypes, and politics, and has increased dramatically in recent years.

When one of our Palestinian staff members was asked to put a committee of young leaders together to discuss activities and reconciliation work between the communities, she quickly found fellow Christians ready to join the cause. Reaching out to Muslim leaders, however, turned out to be much more difficult. This wasn't because they were not interested; she just didn’t know any on a personal level, even though she lives in a mixed neighborhood.

This skepticism towards the other community has many reasons, most of which go back to religious stereotypes, fear of the unknown and even racism. As humans, our opinion of the other tends to be based on what we think we know about their culture or religion before we have our own experience with individuals of that group. We also tend to judge other people based on the extreme manifestations of their culture and religion, rather than considering nuance and individual faith and experience.

Read More
Musalaha - A Ministry of Reconciliation - May 2016 Update

Do you like having fun with kids? I do. I love seeing the wonder on children's faces when they encounter something for the first time. One of my favorite recollections of wonder as a child was when I first saw oil poured into water. I kept trying to stir the solution faster and faster to see if the oil would dissolve, yet every time, the little bubbles of oil would push through the water to remerge in its previous state, a layer of oil. You just can't mix oil and water. Many times the same is true of Jews and Arabs, and even Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians. We don't mix. I am not saying that we don't attend each other's congregations or pray together at conferences. Of course we do. But we don't let our guard down, talk about the tough questions and bring each other into our lives. 

Read More
Musalaha-A Ministry of Reconciliation-November 2015 Update

Musalaha’s Spring Youth Desert Encounter achieved another year of taking 30 Palestinian and Israeli teenagers and youth leaders to the desert as they embarked on a reconciliation journey. Few from this equally mixed group of guys and girls were acquainted with each other before boarding the bus, yet by the time we reached Chai Bar resort, where we were staying the first night, this group of youth were carelessly chattering away. It was clear to me that some of the girls regarded the prospect of spending three nights under the stars on desert dunes and going four days without a shower with apprehension, but that adolescent burst of energy was not lacking. The eight counselors were also not short on energy as many of them had participated as youths. It was so exciting to see a new generation of leaders coming up through Musalaha’s programs.

Read More
Musalaha-A Ministry of Reconciliation - June 2014 Update

Dear Friends, 

Musalaha’s Israeli-Palestinian Children’s Summer Camp is designed to provide a framework for Israeli and Palestinian children to meet together in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Here they have the opportunity to build relationships with children from the other side who they might not have the chance to meet and learn to counter many stereotypes.

Read More