Pentecostal picnic

On the 17th of June 2011 Sabeel had its first Pentecostal picnic to a public park near Jerusalem. Over ninety participants joined on this unique outing. It started with a bus tour around the Park which is founded over the ruins of three Palestinian depopulated villages since 1967: Yalo, Emmuas (Imwas) and Beit Nuba. Forty-four years ago the people of these villages were forced out of their homes, lands and work by the Israeli army, leaving them to wander to other villages and countries waiting and hoping for the day that will bring them back to their villages. However, instead the Israeli government received donations from its Canadian Jewish lobby to establish a national park over the destroyed houses and other ruins. Rev. Naim narrated the history of the villages and the harsh truth of their destiny. Afterwards he led a walking tour through the depopulated village of Emmaus, mentioned in Luke 24 as the village where Jesus met two of his disciples after his resurrection. Now one can only find a grave yard with some tomb stones with Arabic inscription that tell you a few things about the people who used to live here before they were thrown out as well as the remnants of their destroyed houses. Further down we saw two wells that supplied people with the water necessary for their daily life. One of the wells was dry without any water, but strikingly, one can see a big fig tree growing out from the stone sides of the well with its huge rigid roots digging deep into the middle of the well, reflecting a beam of hope for survival and steadfastness (sumoud).
Rev. Naim ended the program with a biblical reflection where Jesus appeared to the two disciples at the village of Emmaus and with Pentecostal hymns. The participants gathered in a circle singing, praying and hoping that the people of these villages will one day be able to come back again to their lands and homes.

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