Yes, we’re home from our Holy Land Tour of Greece, Israel and Egypt, and we’re almost completely recovered . . . but not quite. But in the meantime, I thought I’d recommend an online gift shop where you could do some really unique Christmas shopping for your loved ones this year.
You may or may not be aware that the city of Bethlehem is under Palestinian control nowadays. This means that any Christians who live inside the city limits are an actively discriminated against minority, according to David Meier, founder of International Travel and Tour Consultants of Hurst, Texas, and former Children’s Education Minister at one of my pastor’s childhood churches. This goes for the Palestinian Greek Orthodox Christians who run The Herodion Store, which our tour bus visited on our tour of Bethlehem, where we viewed the Church of the Nativity.
My wife and I picked up a hand-carved Olive wood Nativity Set with a wind-up star that operates a music box which plays “Silent Night.” I expect to see it on my doorstep via UPS any day now. If you order soon, you can definitely get one shipped to you before Christmas. They have machine cut sets which cost less, but they feature less detail. I’m hoping you or someone you know will purchase a hand-carved Olive wood Nativity Set from Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem, Israel/Palestine. My travel guide (on which I’ll be posting later) says that Christians have been making these in Bethlehem for hundreds of years.
I think getting one of these things is a must for any traveller to the Holy Land, and it offers the added benefit of demonstrating the sincerity of your love and your “evangelical catholicity” for Greek Orthodox believers as well as the fundamentalist church whose pastor is friends with the proprietor of the shop and who, in fact, offices inside the shop itself, from what I understand. This church is full of real heroes of the faith. I’ll be posting on them later as well.