by Rev. Anne Derse, Deacon
Honoring our commitment to love and serve our neighbors, during Christmas this year St. John’s worked with the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) to lead a fundraising campaign to purchase an urgently needed ultrasound machine for St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus, West Bank. AFEDJ wrote a wonderful article about this effort, which is the second piece in this newsletter. Additionally, the General Manager of St. Luke’s, Dr. Walid Kerry, sent the beautiful note below. We hope to hold a joyous dedication ceremony with St. Luke’s by Zoom once the ultrasound is purchased – stay tuned for more information!
Truly, I have to begin my salutation by saying, “Dear all” because there are so many individuals who contributed to this great effort, and I am, indeed, all of us at St. Luke’s in Nablus, Palestine, are beside ourselves with joy and appreciation. We thank you John and Heidi; we thank Rev. Sari and the entire congregation of St. John’s Norwood, and we thank all of the other congregations and individuals who contributed to this campaign and who so selflessly took it upon themselves to offer aid to complete strangers in need the world over. The counterpoint to that thought, however, is that we do not feel, at all, like strangers. This was an act of community, of family, and we are proud and honored to consider all of you the family of St. Luke’s Hospital.
I was quite honestly shocked to hear this outstanding news. We assumed that this latest meeting would address some progress and brainstorm further steps to support the drive, but when you announced the campaign’s unequivocal success, we were left virtually speechless; therefore, suffice it to say that these humble remarks, which pale in comparison to and which truly fail to adequately express our deepest and most heartfelt sentiments are the most reasonable facsimile I can manage to render my emotions into words. Truly, God bless you all. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your efforts, for all you do, for enriching our lives and the lives of so many people, whose prayers have been answered, and so many of whom never knew they had real-life guardian angels looking over them. We humbly thank God for sending you to us, and as much as we are humbled by your example, we are equally honored to carry the responsibility of putting your good works into action on the ground.
Once again, thank you, and God bless you all from everyone at St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus.
Sincerely yours,Dr. Walid KerryGeneral Manager