Happy Mother’s Day!
We started the day at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem. At the English-speaking service, which was packed with people from around the globe, Pastor Beth gave the sermon (Gospel reading was John 14:23-29) and Matt provided special music. Among the visitors was a group from the Fargo/Moorhead area. On the other side of the building, a few of us attended our first-ever Arabic-speaking service.
After the services, we hung out with other worshippers and talked to a group of local ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission volunteers. They told us about their work. Next we had lunch with ELCA Global Mission’s Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director, and Robert Smith, director, Europe-Middle East Desk. It was exciting to hear their thoughts about current ELCA Global Mission projects and visions for the future.
In the afternoon we attended a Service of Thanksgiving at the Church of the Ascension. The service celebrated Augusta Victoria Hospital’s 100th anniversary on the Mount of Olives. Matt provided special music again, and Dr. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of Lutheran World Relief, gave the sermon. We got to meet Dr. Noko at a reception following the service.
On our way back to Ecce Homo (where we're staying), we stopped by an outdoor café, where we shared observations, camaraderie and nachos.