Dear Brothers and Sister’s at Byåsen Church, Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
First of all, let me start by sending you greetings from Hope Church in Ramallah. And by thanking you for walking with us during this difficult time. I am also thankful for the opportunity that I had to meet you and worship with you in June of this year.
Let me start by saying, it is really challenging and difficult times that we are going through right now. This year, as you may have heard, Christmas celebrations are cancelled in Palestine, so at Hope Church as well, Christmas this year will be different than what we are used to. No decorations, no celebrations, it will only be prayers, and prayers around peace and Justice. Most people even are struggling to put up a Christmas tree at home, because of how much people are mourning here.
It is hard to live everything happening, and to watch the daily killing of hundreds, as people here watch only the news all day long. It is hard to see light during this difficult time. But, despite everything, we are trying to hold each other, and walk together so no one feels alone.
The full closures on the West Bank and between the cities are suffocating us. In terms of movement in the West bank, it became really hard to get from one place to another in the West Bank. Many people lost their jobs, including members at our church, and many others are struggling to keep their jobs or their business open. This comes as a result, of the closures and no tourism.
It is again, a difficult period. But we are trying to stay hopeful.
First advent, we had a confirmation service for 8 students, and youth and church members wrote prayers and hung them on the tree instead of the decorations.
We will also keep lighting the advent candles, and pray for strength, courage and peace.
We are always strengthened by your friendship and by your prayers. We continue to pray for each other, to always walk with each other during the difficult times.
Peace to you, and I wish you a blessed Advent.
Rodny Said, Rev at Hope Church Ramallah