But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us”.Romans 5:8
As I write this month’s newsletter we are in the middle of Holy Week. A time of reflection in preparation for (Latin) Easter early April. Eastern Orthodox Churches base their liturgical calendar on the Julian calendar and will celebrate this important Feast early May.
Bishop Graham Tomlin of Kensington recorded 9 Holy Week reflections as a “Virtual Pilgrimage” which can be viewed on our website and they are also available on Premier TV and Premier Radio as podcasts.
In order to create an international community, we are planning to organize an informal Zoom Call “Tea & Talk” on Monday 5 April at 4 PM UK time and want to invite 30 people to join us to meet with Rev. Nabil Shehadi and Chef Zaki Ma’ayeh and learn more about culinary traditions during the Feast of Easter in the Holy Land. Our participants will have the opportunity to meet with families in the Holy Land and learn how they are celebrating during this time. If you like to join – please register on Eventbrite “Feasts of the Holy Land – Tea & Talk Event” or connect with us directly.
Slowly but surely Covid19 restrictions are lifted and we are pleased to know that all churches in the Holy Land are open and local people are able to attend Easter celebrations. Travelling to the Holy Land is still restricted and the economic situation for many families is becoming increasingly difficult. In particular many people are in need of medicines and medical support. The story of the Khoury* family is one of many stories we recently heard from our friends in the Holy Land:
The Khoury* family with five members: father, Issa* mother, Sarah* two daughters Samira* and Dunia* and a boy called Daniel*. The eldest daughter, Samira is in high school now and she is under much pressure. A friend of the family explained how the hard circumstance this family is going through. The father, Issa is the main supporter for the family. His wife Sarah, never worked and is going through hard times because she is diabetic and she cannot work. Issa worked in a souvenir shop, where they had tourists coming every day especially in high seasons. When Covid19 spread in Bethlehem in March 2020, his boss gave him two month’s salary out of sympathy, but then ended the contract with everyone in the souvenir shop. Issa recently bought an apartment and cannot pay his loan and now having to survive with the basic needs and the medicine for his wife Sarah. Samira recently discovered that she is, like her mom diabetic. Samira is depressed and not knowing how to deal with the situation. To add to the pain, they all have Corona now and are not able to buy the basics like vitamins or pain killers. The Khoury family is in need of medicine. Samira needs lab tests, medicine and injections.
(*) These names are not their real names in order to protect their privacy. Please help us support families in the Holy Land! You can go to our website and donate through our Stewardship or Signatry accounts and we will ensure with our church partners that medicines will reach the families in need during this Easter period.
Jesus died for our sins, and He has risen from the dead to pave the way for the bright future of humanity!
Anita Delhaas- van Dijk