“Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. (Gospel of John 15:13). There is little doubt in the violent circumstances that 15 year-old Aitzaz Hassan lived, that Aitzaz didn’t understand the imminent risk to his own life of intercepting the path of a suicide bomber who was intent on entering Aitzaz’s school where over 2,000 fellow students were studying, unaware of the danger. His friends tell that upon the sight of the bomber Aitzaz had the opportunity to flee with them and perhaps escape but instead chose to tackle and subdue the suicide bomber preventing him from entering the school. Aitzaz was killed as a result of the bomber who detonated himself. At 15 years, Aitzaz didn’t have a significant amount of life experience to curate his enormous strength of courage and noble values. Yet his actions appeared with such determination as if having possessed a longer lifetime of preparation. A determination dispossessed or in defiance of the prevailing self-interest that is so familiar and dominant in world today. Aitzaz, in just the brief final seconds of his life, bequeathed this world a more penetrating lesson on courage, strength and nobility than has been written in the thousands of pages on the subject over the last five hundred years. In this life lesson that Aitzaz Hassan has left us, we must be witness to and understand this purest expression of courage, love, and faith. From here, it is our duty and desire to learn from and honor Aitzaz and ensure that this story about noble character, through his sacrifice, echoes around the world and across all boundaries of country, culture and faith. “
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6 January 2014The Jordan Times
AMMAN — Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, HRH Prince Raad, the Chief Chamberlain, attended the inauguration ceremony of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Baptism Site in the Jordan Valley on Monday. Read the full article
5 January 2014
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday underlined Jordan’s commitment to remain a model of tolerance and coexistence between Muslims and Christians and continue to encourage dialogue and understanding among them to serve global stability and peace. The King made his remarks at a meeting with leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, who are on a visit to Jordan to inaugurate the Lutheran Church at the Baptism Site on Monday under Royal patronage, a Royal Court statement said. Read more...
2 January 2014
The time from Christmas to New Year has not been easy. Coming back to England for Christmas I do not find easy and not just when there is no electricity and heating like this year. I have increasing problems with the Christianisation of a pagan festival to create what in reality has become another pagan festival. Anyway here I am in a part of the world where the birthday of our Lord is celebrated in a very different way and here in Israel we are just preparing to celebrate the Eastern Rite Christmas on the 6th January. Read more...
Ever since the Order took water as a priority concern as an issue in the International community of nations, the Philippine Preceptory has been considering the construction of deep wells in the Island of Palawan in the Philippines. Our brother Chev. Capt. Rodrigo Mejia has been recently designated as a commander of the Naval Forces Reserve-West, based in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) placed the Philippines under a state of calamity specially in the Provinces of Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Masbate, Iloilo, (Central Philippines). With around 6,000 dead and/or missing, property and infrastructure damage financially challenged the nation. Immediate need has been rescue and relief for temporary shelter, food, water, medicines, hospitals, transportation, power and communications. We at the Preceptory though small in numbers thought of embarking on water and power missions. With water missions, the Preceptory through the support of the International Order will procure a mobile water purification system. The design should be so portable that it can reach even the most remote communities that needs water hand carried by volunteers. It is akin to SEAL Teams concept of quick insertion and extraction. This equipment will be owned and retained by the Order. But the same will be available for use by humanitarian missions of the various units of the Philippine Navy Reserve and other partnering NGOs. The concept of operations will be as follows: 1. Identification of the target area. 2. Planning and executing process for the movement of equipment and people. 3. At the site, assemble the equipment and fill out water bladders with thousand liter capacities, then move on to another locality to provide the same service. 4. Missions such as the above are recommended to last between 5 days to 15 days before the troops returns to unit. Plans for the solar power effort are still being developed. Stay tuned for more information as it develops. Update: see the donation request from OSMTH Grand Commander. Donations can be made via PayPal by contacting Chancellor General of OSMTH or using these PayPal Instructions.
Last month, ICRD (International Center for Religion and Diplomacy) conducted back-to-back, faith-based reconciliation workshops in Midyat, Turkey for Kurdish, Syriac Christian, and Arab tribal leaders from the Al-Hassake region of Eastern Syria. Read the full report.
28 August, 2013
Dear Dr. Johnston,
Thank you for this important Templar Up-Date. We Templar’s have noted with prayers and support the success of Canon Cox and the ICRD in his vital work in Syria and share with you our overwhelming concern for our Coptic sisters and brothers. Last week after thought and prayer and with the approval of our Grand Commander, MG Robert Disney, and Grand Commander-elect, Colonel Dr. Marcel DePicciotto, a successful meeting was held in Chicago under the Chairmanship of our Grand Chaplain General, HG Bishop Younan and guidance of HB Metropolitan THEODOSIUS. The purpose for this meeting was to decide how better OSMTH-I can address the exact issues you discuss in this Report.
We appointed an assistant to the GM to focus on “Christians at Immediate Risk”. He will work directly with the Christians in the Countries concerned, coordinate with and through all of our Christian churches that are addressing this problem, seek UN action as possible through our UN delegations, broaden and deepen our cooperation with other NGO’s involved, and prepare on-site reports to spot light the crisis thus hoping that governments will respond to these issues. Of course, we will try to be of assistance to Canon Cox as requested and the ICRD.
Patrick E. Rea
Brigadier General - AUS Ret.
Grand Master III
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