February 06, 2020 by Jesse Lebus
St. Luke’s, friends and family:
This week, I spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the Diocese of Pennsylvania, in Norristown. I joined Anglican lay people and clergy from across the world to develop a plan in support of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center. Established in 1965, under the oversight of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the JPBC provides physical rehabilitation services for children with disabilities, inclusive education for these children (alongside children without disabilities) and works to empower their mothers and families through participation, awareness raising and capacity building.
Apart from the challenge of disabilities, these families are faced with impoverishment and the lack of opportunities that come with such circumstances. JPBC is the only institution of its kind that serves Palestinian children in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and because of situations that are beyond the scope of it’s young patients, the center has seen funding dry up. Despite all of the amazing work that takes place they are operating at a $1m deficit.
As a member of the steering committee, it is my responsibility to help raise several million dollars over three years to assist with the week-to-week costs and planned renovations necessary to provide adequate care to families facing a very difficult state of affairs.
I share this with you for a number of reasons. The first is that I want you all to know that I bring St. Luke’s with me in this ministry. Your support and blessing has given me the room to share my gifts with the wider Anglican Communion and I am very grateful. The second reason is part of the first: it’s important for us to remember that we are part of something that is much bigger than St. Luke’s and Sea Cliff. Of course, our primary ministry is focused here at home, but occasionally we must prioritize efforts that take us further afield.
The last reason that I wanted to write this letter was to commend the Basma Center to your prayers. We believe in the power of prayer and it is part of the work to which we have been called. May my work be yours.
Lord Christ, we remember how you brought light into our world and how you remind us that we too are the light of the world. We thank you for the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre and the care and rehabilitation it provides for children who may have been pushed to the fringes of society. Help us to carry a light of hope into the dark corners of our world, in the knowledge and faith that, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” Amen.
Your brother in Christ,