Telos has taught us that the way to peace comes through hearing each other’s stories and being able to empathize with and learn from those different than ourselves. Telos lives as a bridge of peace to show us how to refuse to be enemies and learn to call the ‘other,’ Brother.
Some years ago I was challenged by Christian friends in the Middle East to broaden my understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I wanted to do more than read media reports; I wanted to listen and learn directly from Israelis and Palestinians. I was able to do that on my first Telos trip in 2009, and have taken many friends with me on subsequent trips. I trust Telos to present diverse voices, encourage empathy, and honor grassroots peacemakers.
In a very complex situation, Telos consistently finds the right balances for the sake of all the people in the Holy Land. Their work gives me greater hope that one day we might indeed see peace there, and because of Telos that day might come sooner.
Telos embodies a ‘radical middle’ approach, creating a safe space where various actors can encounter one another and engage the issues, even across the deepest of differences. Telos teaches us the persistent and sometimes painful patience of building peace. As such, Telos is a personal call to spiritual renewal and common action at home and abroad.
Telos tries to understand the stories of the historical inhabitants of the “much too promised land.” Based on that understanding, Telos seeks to create space for dialogue, reconciliation, and justice, which includes mutual respect for the history and narratives of all the different parties. Telos has helped me to see that it’s possible to be pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.
Telos creates an environment for navigating some of the many complexities that exist within the Holy Land and it’s people; fostering compassion, and an understanding of and genuine desire for peace. Through travelling to Israel & Palestine with Telos, not only did I gain an education in the history & narrative of the region, I also met and learned from peacemakers, and discovered a new kind of grace & love for others in my own life.