Our next visit on our tour of the Holy Land was with Dr. Salim Munayyer who is the founder of an organization called Musalaha: A Ministry of Reconciliation.
Salim is a Palestinian who remembers the early days of Israeli take over of Palestinian land. He tells stories through the eyes of his Father and Grandfather which would just make the most hardened heart melt with compassion. Salim is a graduate of Fuller Seminary, and works to develop friendships with Israeli and Palestinian students. And he does it through CAMPS!!
I sat listening to Salim and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re on to something here.” Because of our work at Camp KIVU in Durango Colorado.
We’re both interested in the good.
We choose to live in a world full of fear.
But we look beyond the fear and see a long-term investment in the lives of people and the heart of the world.
Salim actually invests in the hearts of two very different communities. He takes them to the desert. Puts them on Camels. And they journey. The journey into the wide horizon of the unknown with nothing else to know but the human beings they travel with.
He tells stories of students who would most likely never talk with one another, and when they go to the desert, it only takes a few days before they are sharing life’s most valuable moments.
It’s crazy to think in a world full of fear and danger, it may only take a trip to the desert to curb the cost of securing our world’s future.
I was in Congress last week talking with a high-ranking member of the U.S. House, and I was talking about this need to make friendships. His response: “We just don’t have time for that!”
He’s a wonderfully kind man. He’s a thoughtful man. He’s interested in the Middle East. He’s sponsored bills to help with governance solutions. And when he said, “We just don’t have time for that!” I coiled a little. My response: “Well what do we have time for?”
If we don’t have time to develop long-term friendships with people who see the world different from we do, then we bow to the long arms of defense, security, and we lose our privacy all together. If we just took some time….If we just slowed down a bit….If we just listened to the other….If we just tried…All we have to lose is…Well…Everything.
Thank you Salim for the work you do at Musalaha. If you’re interested in knowing more about Salim and the work he does, check out this link. https://www.musalaha.org