After six months of working through the application process for a position of EA for the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israel, I was ready for the two-week orientation at Scarborough Missions in Toronto on Jan 4. There I met 18 other people from other denominations and countries who are going to all corners of the world. I was consistantly placed just beyond my comfort zone- great preparation for my placement – as I was exposed to my cultural bias, theology, technology, public speaking, International law, as well as an abbreviated history of the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
My most memorable session was with Bob Holmes, a Basilan Priest working with Christian Peacemakers, http:// www.cpt.org/speakers/bob_holmes, who taught us techniques of non violent intervention. I had seen him in two episodes of ‘Extreme Clergy’ on Channel 21, Vision TV. In one, he was in Israel/Palestine and in the other he was in Columbia. I was amazed at the work he was doing and felt privileged to have him share some of his experiences with me.
I am now reading, trying to learn a little Arabic, brushing up on my computer skills and getting in shape. The next two weeks will go quickly!