Fact Finding, Solidarity, Witness, and Advocacy
A combination of factors renders these missions particularly exigent under the current circumstances. The total collapse of the Oslo process, the spiralling violence in Israel/Palestine, and the complete cantonization of the West Bank and Gaza has produced a dramatically different environment from the time of the failed Camp David "summit" (July 2000). Thus, the response of Christians and the role of the Church has also changed.
Our fact finding missions are designed to introduce participants to the new and evolving circumstances on the ground in Israel/Palestine, as well as provide the historic perspective and theological framework that is necessary to evaluate future initiatives. Foremost among these is to examine the ways in which the mission environment has changed. These programs expose participants to a wide variety of people representing different bands on the political spectrum, including governmental and non-governmental personnel. Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian, both religious and secular perspectives are included.
A second emphasis of these programs is solidarity, i.e., to engage in an intentional ministry of Christian presence for those whose lives are disrupted by violence and fear and who continue to perform relief and advocacy roles under extraordinarly difficult circumstances. These missions provide emotional and spiritual support that has a fortifying effect on people who feel themselves isolated, misunderstood, vulnerable, and abandoned.
These missions also equip participants with essential skills of advocacy, including lobbying strategies and communications tactics so that the participants can return to their home environments better prepared to effectively "tell the story" and make a positive difference with the information they have gathered.