The Story is Still Being Written

October 31, 2018- Posted in Disabilities, Jordan, People, Pilgrim Stories, Pilgrimage

by Barbara Boehm

I stood at the top of the tall stairs, off to one side, looking down as the students climbed from the playground and garden up to the dining room. In the press of the crowd, one boy had to work very hard—he had braces on each leg, and he grabbed the handrail as he pulled himself up, step by step. It wasn’t his struggle that caught my eye; rather it was his raw determination, athletic yes, even balletic! An older student stayed by his side, protecting, encouraging. This was a most remarkable pas de deux. 

A photo of teenage male students in a classroom at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Jordan.

In a gentle whisper, the man next to me recounted how this boy had been found during a field visit to the local community. He had been in a wheelchair, utterly unable to stand. His family had no hope of help until an offer was extended for him to come to the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf. Within months of his arrival, this remarkable boy was climbing a flight of stairs, helped by a proud and loyal friend.

Sometimes the gospel readings about Jesus’ healing ministry have sounded to me like tall tales from long ago. Not anymore. The story is still being written, every day, in the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Barbara Boehm is an AFEDJ trustee from Montclair, New Jersey.