Sept. 30, 2009
Well, after encountering Archbishop Abuna Elias Chacour in little Richmond International Airport on Friday morning, and getting from him a lead on whom to contact, I had high hopes of getting a great interview of a leader of the Jordanian government as I was embarking on a tour journey. Of course, I knew this was huge long-shot. But the kind Archbishop (whom I had first met in northern Galilee when in the Galilee nine years ago), told me just whom I needed to try to reach, and gave me contact info.
What were the chances of running in Elias Chacour at that location (he walked by my airport gate because he mistakenly walked by his own …and kept walking and walking and walking…)? Probably a thousand-to-one.
But now were the odds that I could pull a member of the royal family into an interview on short notice? Probably ten thousand-to-one. But for the next 24 hours of journey that lay ahead I sure could hold on to the hope.
God is good.
In the next day or two, I will be posting on the Presbyterian Outlook Web site the videotape of a 25-minute interview with Prince El-Hassan bin Talaal, which was recorded yesterday in the royal palace of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Prince Hassan is one of the most intelligent humans I have ever encountered (two degrees from Oxford, fluent in six languages, founder of many humanitarian, academic, peace-making organizations, including founding director of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies. He is a man who has poured himself into making Jordan not only a haven of peace in one of the volatile regions of the world. He also has leveraged his role on the international stage to build understanding between Muslims, Christians and Jews – courageously and publicly challenging prejudice among all peoples, especially his own.
Watch this page for this exciting report.
Yesterday we visited Gadara – where Jesus cast the demons out of the man into the herd of pigs…
Jerash – the largest ancient Roman city in antiquity… and…
Then it was on to the Royal Palace.
Today we visited the site where John the Baptist did his baptizing …
…then Madaba – where a 7th century mosaic on the floor provides an extraordinary map of the Middle East …
…then Mt. Nebo, where Moses viewed Jericho and the Promised Land …only to die there.
And then drove into the night to Aqaba – on the northern tip of the Red Sea.
Tomorrow we’ll tour Petra. An awesome day awaits!!!