Why do the innocent suffer?  Why won’t the troubling cease? Why won’t my people listen?  Why can’t we all live in peace? Why did I take a class called Outrageous Hope from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary?  Why did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say “Never lose infinite HOPE”? Why did I travel with Grace Tours and not EO (Educational Opportunities)?  Why did I decide to travel with a group of seminiarians?  Why did we spend most of our time in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jericho and the West Banks?  Why was the cost $1,000 less with all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) included?  Why was the meeting with Archbishop Elias Chacour a blessing to me?  Why have I never met the International Christian Committee in Israel executive director in my 2 other trips to the Holy Land?  Why come people treat others people like they are less than human?  Why come I enjoyed being on the Sea of Galilee this time more than the two other times?  Why come I enjoyed staying in the Golden Crown Hotel in Nazareth and the Shepherd Hotel in Bethlehem more than I did the Olive Tree in Jerusalem?  Why does the Israeli-Palestine conflict look like, feel like, apartheid?  Why do Palestinians need a permit to leave the Gaza Strip or the West Bank?  Why should I, an African-American pastor from West Virginia be concerned about this issue?  Why am I am my brother’s keeper?

Jesus said if you did it to the least of them, you did it to me.

I believe and know that I took this class because Dr. King was right if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

I don’t want the people of Palestine to lose Infinite HOPE.

I chose Grace Tours because it’s a justice and human rights issue for me.

I decided to travel with seminarians because I wanted to reconnect with Garrett after 25 years and I knew I would be blessed because I came.

We spend so much time in Nazareth, Jericho, Bethlehem, and the West Bank because I wanted to put faces on the issues, the pain, and their whole experience.

The cost issue is interesting because we are here two days longer and all the meals were included with Grace Tours.

Archbishop Elias Chacour has a heart for God’s people and I was blessed by his testimony.

It’s good to meet people to minister to the poor, the least, the lost.

The comfort of hotels is important but we should never place your comfort over people who are suffering.

I want to be on the right side on the justice issue because I am my brother’s keeper.

I have been called a trouble maker and I honestly consider it a compliment.

When I was in seminary in the 1980’s, apartheid was wrong in S. Africa and apartheid is wrong in 2014 in Israel.

Jeremiah Jasper


One thought on “Why?”

  1. I believe you covered everything well and have a non tourist view of the Middle East because of your faith based curiosity and desire to be a voice for social justice.


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