A voice crying out in the wilderness

by Jemmina

So I’m down to my last week,
of course I always knew this week would come. You can’t go on a short term trip without think how short that term would be. That doesn’t make it any easier, it doesn’t make the fact I have to say goodbye to everything and everyone.  But I’ll post more about that later.
One of the things I have enjoyed and will miss greatly is the conversations shared over lunch in the office. Naturally, with so many people from so many backgrounds, discussions are bound to happen and they are almost always fascinating.
Most recently we started talking about how someone could be involved with Musalaha but still hold very close to their beliefs of land and ‘chosenness’ which turned into a conversation about staff members and their personal beliefs and how they feel about the land, conflict and the Christian response.
I have often said that the young people I have met here inspire me and keep me passionate and I will carry their stories with me for the rest of my life.
But day-to-day, getting up to go to the office every morning I am kept inspired by the people I work with, they truly are ‘voice crying out in the wilderness’ and you will be hard pressed to find many like them in this part of the world.
Its these people that make me believe that there is a Third Option, a both-and way of approaching this ugly, monstrous conflict.
Like the Jewish-American mum who finds herself unable to do nothing when faced with the realities of the conflict for a Palestinian mum,
or the Palestinian woman who is passionate about the younger generation seeking out the ‘other-side’, and gives up her time and energy to see it happen.
The conversations and time I have been able toe spe with the staff here has been life-changing and opened my eyes to completely different ways of thinking.

And so as I prepare to go and I start saying my last goodbyes, I find myself in a weird head space.
Trying to figure out what effect my stay here has had, and whether it has been for better or worse.I know for a fact that it has had an effect on me, definitely for the better, I am leaving a different person.
But for Musalaha Youth, for the situation, for the people, have I had a lasting impact?
Sometimes as just one person, it is easy to feel so small, so helpless in the face of injustice.
I won’t go into details as it is a story for another time but this week I found myself face to face(literally) with the ugly, snarling face of injustice and I was paralysed  I did nothing, I didn’t move. I just sat there.
The guilt that came with that inaction is indescribable, I have always known that guilt is a result of certain actions, but of inaction also? That’s a new one.  And the guilt weighed on me all day, its easy when you can trick yourself that you live in a little bubble where nothing goes wrong and nothing affect you. But the minute that bubble bursts, you’re faced with real life. Its like the song from my favourite Kiwi song bird, Brooke Fraser;
Now that I have seen, I am responsible‘.
So here I am, carrying around this responsibly trying to figure out what to do with it.

I’ll leave on a positive note, last night was my last night at church, and as I sat taking it all in I was able to thank God into bringing into that place. Church has been amazing, I have learnt so much and loved so much simply by being part of the community. One of the worship songs we sang I felt was fitting as I prepare to go back and figure out where to go from here;
Where You go, I’ll follow
Where You stay, I’ll stay
I will follow You

How You love, I’ll love
How You serve, I’ll serve
If this live I lose, I will follow You