(My regrets if you receive this a second time, as I figure out these wix tools.)
Our blog has been a way for our young pilgrims to share a glimpse of all we experience here. From now on, it will also publish snapshots of our reality, message, and mission here at Emmaus, and of course, stories and insights of this poor beggar's trails in the Holy Land and beyond...
To you former pilgrims, supporters, family and others who mean so much to me,
If I'm lucky, I'll get a post out every couple weeks. If that's too much, please unsubscribe! I love to have your updates and prayer intentions, too, so email me!
Lord, so many stories of late. They'll have to wait for upcoming posts. Today I'll stick with a news flash:
Above is a photo of the ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, where two sisters and I were able to follow up Natanyahu in laying a wreath in remembrance of the victims. Holocaust is just before Independence Day, 70 years now, and the memorial has a path leading up to the tombs of the State's founding fathers. Is the State of Israel really a triumph? Most Arabs would cite it also as a tragedy, except this one: click here for his youtube testimony.
Thursday, Easter Season will come to a close and we'll head up to the Mt. of Olives for Ascension Mass at dawn. Before it's too late, what about the Easter joy of Emmaus? A joy so strong that the two disciples walked the 30k both ways in one day? This year, I got two rounds of the distance, too, first leading the annual Easter Monday walk, with 50 pilgrims from 19 nationalities. Two weeks later, a Protestant pastor hired me to walk with him...an 80-year-old full of energy and tales...Mr. Younger, it was an honor. Walking the trails, we avoid all the car traffic, but not the sheep!
Emmaus lies on the back side of the hill you see in the distance. The sign behind the tree is an ad for the high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, coming soon...
Often rains ceases from mid-April until October, but this year storms of blessings have kept falling. Last week, we were at the dinner table when all of a sudden...an apocalyptic crash! All was dark except Our Lady, warm above the candle. As it turned out, Christ hadn't returned just yet.
Most of our electrical work, computers, and holy site cameras and appliances were fried. Br. Anton spent the day getting things running again and assessing the thousands of dollars in damages, along with minor roof leaks and water damage to our road. A few things are covered under warranty, but nothing insured. (It's a bit complicated to insure a place that has no address, as the property we rent from the Carmelites is technically in no-man's-land, and what with the impossibility so far of having a legal non-profit status, due to the weakness of the accords between the Vatican and the State of Israel, etc.).
And so I renew our call for your support, and I offer our thanks to those who are giving, and the two of you who give monthly! I thank you in the name of our brothers and sisters, and also on behalf of the stellar eleven young Americans who will arrive next week!
Most will spend a month, then three will stay on for a five more weeks of service: half of it here, and half of it with a new project of the Hebrew-speaking Catholic parishes, a childcare, preschool, and after-school oratory for the children of immigrant and migrant worker Catholics and other Christians, mostly Filipinos, Indians, Ethiopians, and Eritreans. Below is Gina with the kids as well as Fr. Jose, the director, and an Egyptian nun. Gina is a young woman who spent time with us before I set her up for a time at the children's center. Pray for her as she prepares to enter the Carmel! Again, please consider a one-time venmo, check, or Paypal gift to help with our holy site repairs. Please also consider a monthly Paypal gift, even $20, for our mission to open the door here for young Americans! Click here for payment methods.