From the Manse November 2018

Having spent a few days on a travelling pilgrimage along the Jordan River, and learning about its story and in particular its precarious future as a clean source of life-giving water, I didn't know how to respond.

Of course, there's the blame route - someone else's fault, or the nothing to do with me stance - someone else's problem, and even well, it doesn't mean that much to me as a site of religious significance.

The answer was to dig deeper, to hear the stories of those who lived and were baptised in the river in ancient times, as Jesus was - and to hear the current stories of people's difficulties of access to water - some once a week, some once a month, some, every three months.

No possibility of routine household cleaning, washing children, or drinking water without buying plastic bottles.

I journeyed with local people who have a heart for each other, seeking peace through working together on projects large and small that don't take sides but work together.

I was inspired by the way that our simple presence was received with such appreciation that spoke of our togetherness even across national boundaries, race, religion and culture.

And I came home full of hope that we too can make a difference in the lives of our near neighbours, as we too seek a fairer distribution of wealth, opportunity and respect for one another.

As we seek the paths of peace let us remember the words from the prophet Micah 6:8b: "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".

God bless us with patience and hope,

Rev Suva