Our first afternoon in Mafraq, John Hollon, two other volunteers, and I had the opportunity to go on a home visit. These are visits where we accompanied one of the local full time servants who provide on-going care and have relationships with Syrian refugees who have moved into the area. For us, this servant was Egab, a man with a huge smile and a humorous joy that seems unending. On our way we make a stop to pick up some diapers, formula, and a few other supplies. These are for a new baby in the family.
Purim is a holiday celebrated by Jewish people for centuries to commemorate the defeat of Haman, who had plotted to have all the Jews massacred in the kingdom of the Xerxes, king of Persia. This sinister plot is revealed and ultimately stopped due to the boldness of Esther and her uncle Mordecai. You can read all about this in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. Continue reading →
Henry Rousso, a Jewish Holocaust historian and Egyptian-born French citizen, was detained by U.S. officials for ten hours after his eleven hour flight from France and was about to be returned to Paris before faculty at Texas A&M University, where he was scheduled to speak, intervened. Continue reading →
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
This is a guest post by my good friend, musician and author, Callen Clarke:
When I was a kid, I asked my mom what Jesus looked like. This is the picture she showed me.
The dynamics of conflict and peace, enmity and friendship in the realities of Israeli and Palestinian relationships are far more complex and nuanced than is frequently depicted in U.S. media and rhetoric. Continue reading →
Most often there is no one “biblical position” on a topic, especially modern ones. Continue reading →
In the world to come, some will finally arrive home because they were foreigners and resident aliens, refugees without a permanent home in this world.
Others will arrive in the world to come as foreigners, empty-handed refugees forced from their home, because their citizenship and possessions were of this world.
The good news for this latter group is that those who were refugees in this world will likely welcome refugees in the next.
Here are some important elements from President Trump’s recent Executive Order regarding refugees and immigration: Continue reading →
I am for screening or “vetting” of refugees seeking to be resettled in our country. I believe there should be in-depth processes which evaluate and validate who enters our nation, especially in times of great conflict and from areas of great conflict.
However, what I have found in the midst of the current national debate on this topic is that most people are unaware of what is already in place in terms of screening/vetting refugees. There is a high degree of assumption that whatever is in place it is not detailed enough. When I ask, “What do you think should be in place to make our system better?” the most common answers are usually related to “background checks” and “how do we know who these people are?” Continue reading →
After making a recent post on my frustrations with the response of my Congressional representatives, I have been told by people I know and trust who have been on the staff of various members of Congress that, despite appearances, our representatives are or, at least, can be affected by their constituents contacting them.
The keys when contacting are: Continue reading →