Kraybill: Respect for Jews, Palestinians

Sep 24, 2018 by

“At that time the Canaanites were in the land.” With that casual aside, the biblical account of Abraham and Sarah arriving in Canaan states that the territory already was populated. “To your offspring I...

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MCC, Syrian partners give light in a dark time

Jul 9, 2018 by and

In the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Ibrahim Nseir stands on the pile of rubble that used to be his church. The building where his congregation worshiped is now broken stones and dust. It’s a sunny day, the...

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Kraybill: Jesus calls women to the center

Jul 2, 2018 by

Nancy Kauffmann of Goshen, Ind., has long been a pioneer as a woman in congregational and denominational leadership. So it’s not surprising that a painting by Chilean artist Daniel Cariola in a chapel next...

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Opinion: A prayer for Syria — freedom from fear

Jun 4, 2018 by and

“Fill me with your love, O Lord,” I say to myself as I breathe in. “And free me from fear,” I think on the exhale. I’m sitting in a black van, parked on the side of the highway in Syria. As I look...

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Somewhere to be

Jun 1, 2018 by

I’m technically on a “blogging sabbatical,” but I decided to interrupt it to offer a few reflections and observations on a trip I’m presently on to Israel and Palestine. One of the things we...

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Kraybill: In trouble for speaking truth

May 21, 2018 by

Don’t expect to be popular if you advocate Sermon on the Mount values at a time when even prominent Christian leaders schmooze politicians who trumpet greed, nationalism, racism and adultery. Alone in the...

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A Holy Land eye-opener with MCC

May 14, 2018 by and

David Chow recalls sitting in Sunday school as a child in a Christian Missionary Alliance congregation in Calgary, Alta., and learning what the nation of Israel meant for Christians. Chow grew up believing the...

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‘Step onto your land’

Mar 13, 2018 by

On the first day of the Mennonite Central Committee Ottawa Office student seminar, MPs and government officials explained to us all the reasons why Canada will not pressure Israel to end the military...

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War will not stop us

Feb 27, 2018 by

Come to me, all you that are weary . . . and I will give you rest. — Matt. 11:28 “I always pray, God, please protect us today.” Rima Absi is speaking about the rocket fire in Damascus, Syria. She is...

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Kraybill: Promised land, with a caveat

Feb 26, 2018 by

Renewed controversy in recent months over the location of Israel’s capital (Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?) takes my imagination to biblical Bethel in the West Bank. At this “thin place” between heaven and...

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Ending the Forever War

Jan 5, 2018 by

We are now facing what some people are beginning to call the “Forever War.” Whatever or whoever or however it is we are fighting, the war just keeps going on and on and on. Afghanistan has now...

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Prophecy doesn’t justify Trump’s Jerusalem statement

Dec 14, 2017 by

In a recent broadcast of The 700 Club, the evangelist Pat Robertson welcomed President Trump’s announcement about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “It’s absolutely crucial in terms of...

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Good news for Jerusalem?

Dec 12, 2017 by

My wife and I have led 13 groups of college students to the Middle East since 1991 as part of Eastern Mennonite University’s required cross-cultural program. During the semester-long immersive travel, we...

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Kraybill: An ill wind, or good?

Jun 19, 2017 by

The whirlwind appeared so quickly and came so swiftly toward us on the dusty road at Tel Dothan that I scarcely had time to take the lens cap off my camera. Then the little twister was upon us, blinding our...

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MCC aids Iraqis who’ve slipped through safety net

May 15, 2017 by and

As more than 350,000 Iraqis have fled violence in and around the city of Mosul, Mennonite Central Committee is providing food and household supplies to those who slip through the safety net of other...

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Kraybill: Where truth confronted power

Mar 27, 2017 by

Today multiple versions of “truth” compete for attention in politics and media. We ask the same question Pontius Pilate famously put to Jesus: What is truth? (John 18:38). Truth already had been...

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Every little bit of aid shows love in Syria

Jan 16, 2017 by and

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Ibrahim Nseir, a Presbyterian pastor, was chatting at a Beirut hotel in late November with others attending a gathering of Protestant leaders from the Middle East and beyond when a call...

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Kraybill: Do you want to be made well?

Jan 2, 2017 by

With cancer in his middle-aged body and the prospect of lifespan shortened, Doug Brewer joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2014 while health permitted. Near the start of the Via Dolorosa — the...

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MCC Christmas message: Pray with us for peace

Dec 15, 2016 by , and

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Exactly 200 years ago, in the...

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MCC’s crisis response in Syria is its largest ever

Nov 29, 2016 by and

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The humanitarian work of Mennonite Central Committee in Syria during this time of war grew out of the placement of a single worker with the Syriac Orthodox Church 25 years ago. “It’s...

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Kraybill: The two Joshuas of Jericho

Oct 10, 2016 by

Anyone who grieves the loss of life through war in Syria today might also lament the slaughter that took place more than 3,000 years ago at Jericho when Israelites crossed the Jordan River into Canaan....

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Syrian refugees depend on MCC food

Jun 6, 2016 by and

With the war in Syria entering its sixth year, it’s easy to get lost in the facts and figures: As many as 470,000 dead; 4.6 million refugees who have fled the country; 6.6 million displaced within it; 13.5...

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In Iraq’s war zone, aid workers trust God

Jun 6, 2016 by and

From her home in Franklin County, Pa., 18-year-old Rosa prepared last month to depart for the city of Sinjar in northern Iraq and remain there indefinitely. Sinjar is still considered a war zone. Kurds and...

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ISIS the stuff of fears

May 23, 2016 by

When I visited the Middle East last year, I was surprised to hear many people say that the United States created the Islamic State group and continues to support it. At first glance, the statement seems...

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Opinion: Coercive economic actions are ineffective in Israel/Palestine conflict

Mar 28, 2016 by

I share the longing of many others in the Mennonite church for an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and I grieve the suffering of Palestinian people. But I have reservations about the...

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