Nuestro ministerio en Israel y Palestina

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C HALLENGES AND P OSSIBILITIES
IN I SRAEL AND PALESTINE
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 WALL
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.
J ERUSALEM
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 TOWN 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 TOWN 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...
IT
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 WALL 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 nonbelievers, 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
E-mails:
[email protected]
[email protected]
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