Conway Holy Land Presentation: Bryana Russell
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Leaving Jerusalem, we sped past the blur of limestone-built settlements into the vast rocky farmland of the Judean Hills. Stopping seemingly in the middle of nowhere, our Arab-Israeli driver told us in broken English to get out. Despite apprehension and disbelief, and with a silent prayer, I climbed out of our taxi with my parents and three young boys in tow. What, I wondered, had I gotten us into? Pausing only momentarily to wave goodbye to the driver, Aman, we climbed over a make-shift boulder barricade to journey deeper and further along a pebbled-path in the West Bank. A few moments later, a passing shepherd came over to greet us. “You are welcome here.” This visit to the Nassar family farm, also known as the Tent of Nations, set the tone for my time in the Holy Land. Down the blocked road, behind a fortified fence, hospitality, warm tea and a story of perseverance met us in a cave they called home. This meeting recalibrated my research. I had come to better understand the role of women in reconciliation efforts in the Holy Land and found instead nuanced answers to the questions I stumbled to articulate.
Join me on Monday, April 1 at 12 pm, as I share my encounters with those who labour to make manifest the Peace of Christ in the Holy Land. Hear stories of those who, echoing Mary’s yes, choose to be a hospitable dwelling for Christ, resolving to accompany Him in suffering. Retrace with me our steps through the Judean hills as we followed Mary and Joseph’s trail into Bethlehem for Christmas. I will explore themes of hospitality, embodied experience, and Jürgen Moltmann’s theology of hope in a land of tension.
There will be Palestinian food served following the presentation. And as the shepherd told us, so I tell you. You are welcome here.
Room 100, Regent College
Paid parking available at Regent College and UBC