On the 1st anniversary of the seizure of the ROCOR Jericho property by PA and Moscow Patriarchate

a letter from Br. James

Jan. 2/15, 2001

St. Seraphim of Sarov; 1st anniversary of the seizure of Jericho property byPA and Moscow Patr.
A personal letter from Brother James, who is living at Jericho


Fr. Valery, Srs. Xenia and Amvrosia of Gethsemane, and Mat. Elizabeth visiting from Australia came to the Jericho property today for a moleben to St. Seraphim and to visit Br. John and me on this the 1st anniversary of the seizure of the property here in Jericho. The sisters reminisced about the way things were last year and how frightening it was. Fr. Valery served a moleben and then gave the icon of St. Seraphim and a blessing cross to be kept with the icons at the caravan. Then the sisters prepared a wonderful lunch which we ate outdoors at the table Fr. Sampson had set up last summer. After that we walked up to the chapel to look through the windows and take pictures. We were not stopped or even greeted by any of the Moscow monastics or workers. (In case anyone is not aware, the Palestinian guards have been gone for several months, having more important things to do.) All in all, we had a very pleasant day. As everywhere else in the Holy Land, we get very few pilgrims these days so this visit today was a special blessing. God grant that next time we commemorate St. Seraphim, we have use of the chapel!

Attached is a report I will file with the US Consul's office in Jerusalem tomorrow or the next day.

Another news item: shelling of Palestinian villages continues, this time within earshot of here. I became aware of it at about 4:10 a.m. today - it was shaking the caravan. Going outside I could occasionally see light in the sky to the southwest of here from the explosions and sometimes red flares arching to the west. Lots of machine gun fire. The last time I remember hearing or feeling a blast was around 7:30 or 8;00 this morning. Otherwise, it's business as usual, sort of like the flooding in the Midwest in 1993: you know it is bad out there for some or many, you might see or hear it in the news, but your life has to go on. But for me, it was a chilly morning spent looking into the distance and trying to pray. How blessed are those who don't attach too much importance to this world and its pleasures!

Don't worry about us here. Nothing happens without God allowing it, but keep us in your prayers. May the holy light of Theopahny shine in us all!

In Christ, novice James

Redeeming the Time

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