We spent the entire morning at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem It was a very emotional morning. Room after room of personal items, personal stories and history, taking the viewer from the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, to the liberation, displaced person camps and repatriation of the survivors. The most meaningful exhibit is the Children’s Memorial. You enter a dark room, lit by dozens of candles reflecting into hundreds of mirrors. As you stand there, a voice is reading the names, ages, and countries of birth of every child documented to have died in the Holocaust. To say I got chills is putting it mildly.

We then went for a visit ot Sabeel, a liberation theology center. When we arrived, they had just started a communion service, which we were invited to join. After the morning we had just witnessed, it was a welcome event for many of us. Lunch was a traditional Palestinian meal with members of the Christan Peacekeeping Team from Hebron, then two members of the Sabeel board gave us their inspirational stories of how they came to be part of the Center. From there, we visited an NGO, ANERA. We spent time discussing the problems they were encountering as a result of the US crackdown on aid coming into the Palestinian territories.

When we returned to the Hotel, we were thrust into the middle of the current events of the day. The Jewish settler, whose body had been found outside of Ramallah early this morning, was being buried in the cemetary just below our hotel. We had to walk the last 1/2 mile to the hotel from our bus – they wouldn’t let the bus down there. Military everywhere and settlers were coming in by the busload to pray, attend the funeral. It was an experience I won’t soon forget – hundreds of people coming out in support of the family. What an end to a very emotional day.

News Muse note: Beth Sullivan is the bookkeeper for DisciplesWorld and has served as board member of the United Christian Missionary Society and the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago. Sullivan is visiting Middle Eastern holy sites on a trip with her alma mater, Earlham College, located in Richmond, Ind.