Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Looking ahead...

After much thought and prayer, it seems like I now have a decent idea what this next year will look like. I decided, after all, to start grad school at Wheaton in the spring in the intercultural studies program (probably with a concentration in development). This would allow me to continue at Wheaton and at my church, Church of the Resurrection. I have come to realize the importance of relationships; staying here for another year and a half would allow me to continue to build on the ones that I have made these last three years.

The program at Wheaton would give me an excellent background in mission/development work and in working with people of different cultures. Because it doesn't have much in the area of social justice/conflict transformation, I would love to attend the the Summer Peacebuilding Institute ( at Eastern Mennonite University in VA this upcoming summer. Some of the credit from this would transfer towards my degree and I would be able to gain some valuable training in this whole area.

All this is on the path towards eventually working in Israel/Palestine, Insha'allah, God willing.

Meanwhile I continue to study and review my Arabic and to build friendships with Arabs in my neighborhood. About once a week I am able to visit some of them in their shops and restaurants and speak in Arabic. This has been SO fun.

On a side note, the US (surprise, surprise) is making a push for a Israeli/Palestinian peace conference in late November. Be praying that Hamas will be included in the negotiations (and negotiations without them is doomed to failure) and that other Arab countries would throw in their support.

Allah ykhalikom, May God keep you!


Kacie said...

I'm almost finished right now with "Power, Faith, and Fantasy - America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present" by Michael B. Oren. It's been fascinating. The older history is interesting, and between WW1 and WWII I actually admired our interaction with the Middle East. Post WWII is a complete mess with completely short-sighted policymaking. Have you read it? I'm interested in what you think of it.

Also - I've realized that although the President only has some say in domestic issues, particularly if congress is against him. On the other hand, he has almost total power in foreign policy - congress only approves big decisions.

That makes me look at next years elections in a whole new way. Foreign policy is hugely important to me and might be the determining factor of my vote.

As a footnote said...

So good to hear God's direction with regards to your decision Jonathan.

Right now you continue to be my source on all issues related to Israel/Palestine so, no pressure.:)

Keep it up friend! I look forward to chatting with you when I get back.