The Words of the Jenkins Family

Israel Pilgrimage Seventeen - The Second Day

Michael Jenkins
March 15, 2005

Dear Family,

As you can see from news reports, the current situation in Palestine and Israel is very tense. We worked directly with Palestinian Ambassadors for Peace to assist in the release of one of the hostages. We are deeply involved in all communities.

Most importantly we are pursuing a consistent course to strengthen our relationships with the religious leaders. We just concluded two very successful days of a Jewish-Christian dialogue. It was very important and fundamental to the process for peace. We must strengthen the bond between the first and second Israel (Judaism and Christianity) and expand that unity to embrace the family of Ishmael. To achieve this, the central people of faith (religious leaders and religious scholars) must come together in heart and build bridges on truth and love. We must do this with profound and absolute respect for the faith that God has instilled in others with no motive to convert or change but to share and discover the truth together.

Please imagine this setting. We sat, Christian clergy with rabbis and scholars, with the Torah, the books of the prophets and our Bibles in front of us. We went through the scriptures verse by verse on key topics. It was incredible. For example when examining the story of Jacob and Esau we would read the story in English in the Christian Bible and then in Hebrew from the Torah. The Hebrew gives incredible understanding and enlightenment of the deeper meaning. For example, the name Jacob comes from the Hebrew to follow or one who "holds the heel" referring to the birth of Jacob and Esau and the fact that Jacob "followed" Esau and "held his heel'" in the text. What really stood out was the profound idea of the Garden of Eden and the Paradise that preceded all faiths. The clear and strong consensus of all that were there was that the human fall destroyed Paradise and the purpose of the formation of the various faith traditions is to bring us back to the Garden of Eden. Dr. Joshua Ben Ami stated that he has been in many Jewish Christian dialogues but this was the highest level academically and the most rich and meaningful he has ever experienced. We concluded the dialogue on Tuesday evening.

Today delegations have arrived from the U.S., Canada and Europe and we are in full swing. The Muslim and Jewish Ambassadors for Peace from Palestine and Israel are testifying to the incredible impact that the Ambassadors for Peace are having on the state of things between Israel and Palestine. The continued MEPI programs (now the 17th major pilgrimage and the 20th direct activity) since 2003 are continuing with greater strength than ever. About three fourths of the 150 Ambassadors for Peace are here for the first time. It has become one of the most effective ways for the Ambassadors for Peace to "experience" the work for peace directly. They bring it back to their parliaments and to their leaders and eventually engage their nations to contribute to this central crossroads for peace here in Jerusalem.

Each and every time we have come was always during a time of great turmoil. We are sent to diffuse tensions and allow the communications and the give and take between all peoples to continue.

Mr. Walid Sadiq shared sincerely tonight as a Muslim Ambassador for Peace and former member of the Israeli Knesset said that this process is opening the way. He also shared honestly as to how difficult it has been to stand as a Palestinian and an Israeli at the same time. He finds hope in the MEPI process for peace. Dr. Eliezar Glaubach shared that surely this is the central place for peace to be achieved, in Jerusalem, the root of the Abrahamic faiths. Dr. Glaubach shared sincerely and gave a sense of urgency as he strongly asked us to increase our efforts now; the spiritual and academic dimension that goes beyond all boundaries is critical now, for the political means, without the compliment and the leadership of the faith -based involvement, will always get stuck. He encouraged us to speed up our efforts, that the delegations become more frequent because they are bringing the changes needed to achieve the peace that everyone in Jerusalem longs for: Lasting and enduring peace.

The faith-based process never gets stuck because it is not bound and hindered by the restrictions that governments face. The faith approach continues even though governments say we can't talk or recognize each other. The faith-based approach is bound by the principle of loving ones enemies and seeking to reconcile with our brothers and sisters based on the fact that we have one common God.

We are grateful for our Ambassadors for Peace who come to the Holy Land during this time to work even in instability and turmoil. They bring stability and have the power to diffuse the turmoil. It takes time and understanding. It takes love. That's why Father Moon sent us. To bring love to this suffering land. True Parentsí main strategy is to bring true love.

Thanks to Europe, Canada and America for your ambassadors of love. We especially thank our Ambassadors for Peace who live here in Palestine and Israel.

Sincerely yours for the Peace Kingdom.

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