Tag Archives: Peacemakers

Lives of Unwarranted Compassion

IMG_4557Years ago I had an experience with the God of Compassion that changed the course of my life.  In the aftermath of anger, depression, and outrage at injustice in the world, He wooed me with His surprising, redemptive, and mischievous face. With what I called fits of unwarranted compassion. 

Yesterday I returned from a 10 days of traveling through Israel and Palestine with The Global Immersion Project to learn about the conflict in the Middle East and between Israel and Palestine in particular (a daunting task I know).

Again, God showed up in the midst of anger, depression, and my own outrage at injustice. Although this time, God took the form of everyday people, of everyday peacemakers. 

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It was an incredible way to learn about a people and a conflict and cultures that I’ve never really known much about. I learned from and was welcomed by Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. I was encouraged and convicted by the creative seeds of hope and peace they plant daily in the most contentious soil in the world.

I haven’t even begun to wrap my head and my heart around what I’ve learned and seen. How I’ve been challenged and convicted. Called out to contend for the common humanity of the people around me. The people I often choose to ignore. Not to see.

Over the next weeks and months I hope to share with you the stories of peace and hope and brokenness and life that I was invited into. Once a week I will be blogging about these everyday peacemakers.

These people who live out LIVES OF UNWARRANTED COMPASSION. Not just fits and bursts, but entire lives dedicated to the costly work of peacemaking. Of choosing compassion and understanding when it would be so easy to choose hatred, bitterness, self-protection.

One of our peacemakers that we met at The Tent of Nations, Daoud Nassar, told us,

“The moment you open your heart to another, you are more powerful than your enemy–even if they have a gun.”

(Check out an interview with Daoud on Relevant Magazine here if you want to get a sneak peak of the incredible stories and sacrifices these peacemakers live.)

I pray that together, through these stories I am so humbled to share, we can open our hearts to new stories, to the those we do not understand, and to those we may even want to call our enemies.
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Send me on a Global Immersion

Hello! I’ve missed you. Missed this.

Today I am posting for the first time since coming back to the States to tell you that I’m leaving again. No, I’m not moving again. My heart and my feet are planted firmly back here in San Diego.

But I am excited to tell you that I’ll be traveling to the Holy Land for two weeks at the end of February. 

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I don’t know much the about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the politics or the history–besides the colorful maps that accompanied the pink Precious Moments Bible I had as a kid. I do know it is a region of great hope and expectation as well as a place of injustice and pain for Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide. I don’t know much, but I want to learn more.

Israel is a far cry from salsa dancing and mangos, but my desire to go stems from the same goals that led me to Central America. I’m excited to search for the bright spots. To learn from men and women who are seeking third ways and actively working toward peace. To open my heart to yet another region of the world in order to more thoughtfully and intentionally care for those in my immediate world.

When I was in Guatemala last year I was very lucky to live with a family that taught me so much about how to engage thoughtfully in really complex and overwhelming problems—poverty, civil war, genocide. They introduced me to the idea of choosing a third way in a conflict, not taking sides, but being pro-peace. Throughout my year in Guatemala, I met some courageous and creative men and women who are working to bring hope and peace to their communities.

I’ll be joining with a unique learning community made up of men and women who span the spectrum of society to learn and travel together to the Holy Land. The experience is being guided by The Global Immersion Project (TGIP), a humanitarian organization that seeks to cultivate peacemakers through immersion in global conflict. TGIP has carefully developed a network of Israeli & Palestinian leaders and friends who will help train us for the work of local and global peacemaking.


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Our cultivation will take place in three phases: (1) Understanding; (2) Exposure; and (3) Integration. The Understanding phase has already begun as our learning community is exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as developing a practical grid for everyday peacemaking. The Exposure phase will occur from February 28-March 9 on the ground in the Holy Land and will involve shared tables & friendship-making with the everyday peacemakers embedded within the conflict. The Integration phase will help us to process and learn from our journey as a whole while gaining the necessary resources to live as everyday peacemakers within the familiar soil of our North American contexts.

I’ve had the opportunity to do some grant writing for TGIP this past year, and I have been struck again and again by their thoughtfulness, integrity, optimism, and commitment to peace. There’s no one else I’d rather learn from or journey with to the Holy Land. Plus, one of my bestest friends and favorite processing pal—the daughter of the couple I lived with in Guatemala—is going too. Icing on the cake.

As you know, I am someone who longs to participate, locally and globally, with God in His work of restoration & reconciliation. I view this experience as an environment where God’s cultivation of me will further focus and fuel His just and compassionate reach to others through me. Would you prayerfully consider financially investing in my growth in this way?

The entire cost of the experience is $3000 + flight. All donations are tax- deductible and will be processed through TGIP’s organizational sponsor: a registered nonprofit called Thresholds.

To contribute financially to TGIP via Thresholds’ secure website:

1. Please go to: www.thresholdscommunity.org/, click “Contribute”, then choose the “Give Online” option. From there, select my name (the first one–woohoo!) from the pull down list of people and projects. (To reach this page directly, click here.) You will receive an email confirmation of your gift that can also be used for tax purposes.

2. To give by check, please go to the “Contribute” page on Threshold’s web site. From this page, under the “Give by Mail” section, you will be able to print out a pledge card and return it with a check made payable to “Thresholds” at the address given. You will receive a printed receipt from Thresholds for tax purposes.

I also welcome your prayers and encouragement, questions and feedback. I’ll be posting updates and musings here and would love you to journey with me here on my blog or over coffee or chai tea lattes or Skype dates.

Thanks for your love and support,

Aly

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