Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Call to Action

Sparkfly contributor Mandy McMichael has a friend who is a mission intern with the United Methodist Church. Mandy's friend Ashley lives in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Bethlehem has been in the center of much violence lately. Two weeks ago Ashley found herself in the midst of the conflict. While Ashley was at work, gunmen broke in and staged their fighting from her rooftop home. Here is an excerpt from a recent letter she sent Mandy and others.

"How can things like this happen and no one ever knows about it? How is it possible that people can enter your home by force . . . and just take over and use your space that way . . . I do not want sympathy for myself from others, I want someone to do something. I want to do something constructive. I want someone to care about these people that I love. I am frustrated at the continued silence that surrounds this situation, where people and homes are violated and where bullets kill in an indiscriminate manner.

'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,' I find myself constantly asking what on earth can this mean here? What does this love look like when your enemy, your persecutor is your oppressor? Does anybody know? Does anybody care . . .

People who live for each other know what it means to take action. People who live for others teach you to give a little bit more, they teach you to love even when it hurts, and they teach you to cry out a little bit louder against injustice.

So, what can you do, what can you say, what role can you play in creating new possibilities?
You can start by sharing this story with people . . . You can educate yourself [about what is going on in Palestine] . . . You can pray for people here . . . send letters of encouragement . . . You can come to Palestine . . . You can write to the President, to the Senate, to Congress . . . you can post things on a blog . . . all these things you can do to express your concern about the silence of what goes on in other places, and your desire to know and hear more about the reality of situations where oppression and injustice have become the status quo."

Ashley is living out her part in the body of Christ. Let's pray for Ashley's strength as she ministers during stressful and dangerous times. If you want to know more about Ashley you can visit her blog: http://www.ashleyinbethlehem.blogspot.com/

For more information on the United Methodist Church's Mission Intern Program visit:
http://gbgm-umc.org/global_news/pr.cfm?articleid=3294&CFID=2805232&CFTOKEN=27299426
and
http://gbgm-umc.org/global_news/pr.cfm?articleid=3294&CFID=2805232&CFTOKEN=27299426

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mandy Mc said...

Suzanah - thanks for posting this. I will have to let Ashley know about this blog so that she can have access to its wonderful group of ministers.

7:30 PM  
Blogger sparkfly said...

Thanks, Mandy. She could add so much to the conversation.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am over fifty and I just want to say that you younger women seem to have a handle on what is really important in life. You do not have the problem of a power struggle or of impressing others nor of having to do things as they have always been done. You seem so supportive of each other and not concerned with trying to look better than a sister. I sense no jealousy and that is so wonderful. There are no price tags or hidden agendas. I am so blessed when I read Sparkfly and see how so many of you younger women are answering your calls in so many diverse ways.

12:50 AM  

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