Presentation on theme: "Dr. Nohemí Pagán Dr. Samuel Pagán C HALLENGES AND P OSSIBILITIES IN I SRAEL AND P ALESTINE."— Presentation transcript:
Dr. Nohemí Pagán Dr. Samuel Pagán C HALLENGES AND P OSSIBILITIES IN I SRAEL AND P ALESTINE
S ALUDOS CORDIALES …
G REETINGS … After visiting the Middle East for over 30 years we decided to accept the calling to serve in Israel and Palestine to teach Bible and Spanish at Dar al-Kalima College, within the context of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. We serve under the auspices of the Common Board of Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We serve there with your support and your prayers…
A L AND WITH H ISTORY … We serve in an extraordinary Land which has a great history and spiritual legacy. In the Land of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel, the Biblical prophets and Jesus… It is also the Land of contemporary people of faith and hope! Jewish, Christians and Muslims! This is the land of the Prayer Wall, the Holy Sepulcher, and the Golden Dome! Indeed these are lands with history, challenges and possibilities…
T HE W ALL OF P RAYERS …
T HE L AND OF J ESUS … We went to serve in Israel and Palestine (the Holy Land) with thee main responssabilities: To teach at Dar al-Kalima College: Hebrew Bible and Spanish to future tour guides. To help and support in the design, organization and implementation of special programs, like the Birthday of Jesus for the Bethlehem children and the International Scholars Conference on Peace. To research and write.
R ESEARCH In order to respond to the challenges of creating and implementing programs of transforming education in an environ of tensions and wars, Nohemi published a children book to affirm the values of forgiveness and reconciliation, A Special Sheep. Among other projects Samuel worked in some research to study and understand the continuities and discontinuities between Latin American Liberation Theology and Palestinian Contextual Theology (see the Signos de Vida Journal): E.g., the socio-political context of liberation, the Biblical and theological themes developed, and also the main theologians.
T HE L ITTLE T OWN OF B ETHLEHEM We serve and teach in Bethlehem which is a small town with a great history… Ruth and Naomi lived and worked there, and there they decided to face the future together in the name of the Lord… King David was born and grew up in this small city! But its most famous and known inhabitant was indeed Jesus, which according to the Christian Scriptures was born in a manger in a place now identified as the Nativity Church.
T HE L ITTLE T OWN OF B ETHLEHEM
L IBERATING E DUCATION
T RANSFORMING E DUCATION
T HE B IRTHDAY OF J ESUS
W E S ERVE IN T HAT R EGION ! We serve in the midst of these lands of great importance and history, which are fundamental for the three monotheistic religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The believers of these three religions go often to these lands in pilgrimages to profess their faith and to remember their traditions, receiving a positive impact in their lives. They go to the holy places with curiosity and devotion, to remember the history of their forefathers and mothers, and also to affirm the traditional teaching of their religions…
T HIS IS A R EGION OF C HALLENGES … This very region, which is an extraordinary place and where their traditional leaders affirmed the values of peace and justice (e.g., Elijah, Deborah and Isaiah), there have been some of the most violent and unmerciful recent battles and wars. Indeed this is a very violent and volatile region in the world! This a region where some of the most blind and fundamentalist religious groups of the world gather… And we need to realize that fanaticism and fundamentalism are two of the most dangerous attitudes that attempt against the movements of peace and justice in the world...
I T IS A V IOLENT P LACE ! Since the beginning of the State of Israel in 1948, the regional social and political situation has deteriorated gradually and increasingly: Continuous wars, indiscriminate bombings, terrorisms, land occupation, political oppression, military interventions, social instability, economic crisis, family disorientation, community unrest, personal insanity… And all this violence, injustice and insanity takes place in the very same lands where the Prince of Peace was born…
A W ALL D IVIDES THE C OMMUNITIES
T HE C HECK P OINTS
L IKE J AILS
M EN AND W OMEN ARE C APTIVES !
P EACE IN THE M IDST OF THE S TORM ! We know, however, that the last word in these critical situations is not of destruction and despair, but of peace and justice! And that type of peace is not the result of military might… Neither it is the product of unfair negotiations that impose more unjust burdens to the people… It is not even the transitory calm associated with hidden dialogues, which promote new generations of resentments, hatred and hostilities… We served as agents of peace and reconciliation…
R ESPECT A MONG R ELIGIONS !
T HE D OOR OF P EACE IS NOT W IDE !
P RESUPPOSITIONS To understand what we do in the Holy Land it is important to take in consideration the following presuppositions: Transforming and liberating congregational and missionary ministries respond to the real needs of the communities… Relevant and successful programs are not exported neither imported… To be successful in the creation and implementation of programs, specially in critical contexts, the serious evaluation of the real needs of the community is much needed to identify the real roots and the concrete causes of those difficulties…
O UR F OOD ? C AMEL ?
A M INISTERIAL C OUPLE
O UR J OYS To this region, that at once is holy and violent, the Lord has called us to serve and live, to enjoy and share our faith, to share our hope, to present our message of forgiveness and reconciliation, and also to celebrate what the Lord is doing in the midst of this historical and Holy Land… And that is the reason why we affirm the message of reconciliation and hope… Based in that message we tell Palestinians and Israelis, believers and non- believers, military personnel and pacifists, politicians and to the general public, that the only way to achieve lasting accords of peace is to affirm justice as a major component in the dialogues and negotiations…
O UR P RAYER
G OD B LESS Y OUR A LL … Dr. Samuel Pagán Dr. Nohemí Pagán s: