Imagine driving up a mountain in a small village in the northern part of Israel. The twists and turns to the top are hair pinned, narrow, and with each change in direction there is a stark reminder of the narrow paths of progress in Israel.
As we rounded off to the top of the hill, a beautiful school campus came into view. Modern buildings, playgrounds, and office buildings provided clear evidence of something BIG going on, and we were about to see one of the most interesting education projects going on in the region.
Ellias Chacour, author of the world’s best selling Blood Brothers, was the Archbishop of Galilee for nearly a decade. As the patriarch of this magnificent campus, Chacour’s dream is to provide education for Palestinian Children, Israeli Children, Jewish Children, Muslim Children, and Christian Children. And what a job they’re doing.
Providing a top tier education program is no small project, but with a dedicated staff, Chacour has assembled one of the best academic locations in all of Israel. His resolve is unwavering. His mission is clear. His eyes tell of a long life lived in and out of conflict. And overall, he expresses the love of Jesus in all he does.
As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But early in 1947, their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps. An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. How was he to respond?
He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” In Blood Brothers, Chacour blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of modern Israel. He touches on controversial questions such as “What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? “, “What does Bible prophecy really have to say? “, and “Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled? ” Originally published by Chosen Books in 1984 and now expanded with a new introduction by the author, a new foreword by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and a “Since Then” epilogue by writer David Hazard, this compelling book offers readers hope-filled insight into living at peace in the most volatile region of the world.
Since the publication of Blood Brothers, Chacour has been nominated for three Nobel Peace Prizes, and travels the globe sharing his message of peace and reconciliation.
We had a chance to spend two hours listening to the story of Mar Elias School from a hero of the faith. Ellias Chacour is one of those men in the world you don’t get a chance to know very often, and begins our series on Great Men and Women doing Great things for the cause of humanity.
I would like to offer a public Thank You to Archbishop Chacour and his staff for making this meeting possible. It was truly an inspiration.