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Peace Not Walls

Holy Land Youth Mission – Peacemaking in the Streets

Holy Land Youth Mission 2011

Palestinian young women meet bar mitzvah celebrators on the streets of Brighton, Michigan.

On the way home one night, we passed this interesting set of young people. We asked if we could take a picture with them.  Afterwards Martha inquired about their costumes and found that they were celebrating a bar mitzvah.  She let them know that the “beautiful girls” (their words not ours) they just had their picture taken with were Palestinian. At first there was silence, then a “no way, here in Brighton?  My mom’s gonna flip out!”  They all went merrily on their way. 

Perhaps this is how peace begins, when we all realize that we are all just teenagers living our lives and we’re in this together on the same streets.  Just another God moment on the streets of Brighton as part of our Bridges Not Walls program!

From Lisa Jeffreys, Coordinator of the Holy Land Youth Mission 2011  
The Holy Land Youth Mission was begun years ago when leaders in the Southeast Michigan Synod decided to take youth there to visit the young people of our companion, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.  They then brought Palestinians here the next year, and several   exchanges have occurred.  The 8 young Palestinians just completed three weeks with the Southeast Michigan Synod and are safely home.  They attended camps, visited churches, told their stories and had lots of fun and deep conversation.  Plans are underway to bring Palestinian youth to the next youth gathering so they can illustrate what faith and life are like for Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land.   See photos or check out their facebook page at 2011 Mission Trip.