Mount of Olives

There are several sites venerating Christ's Ascension, but the one we visit is owned by the Muslims. But they permit the main denominations to celebrate there. Even in Jerusalem there are signs of cooperation.
Bethany, on the eastern side was the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus frequented by Jesus, so he would have travelled the road into the city. He could have used the olive groves as a place for prayer. Here he might have taught the 'Our Father'. The church commemorating it carries the Latin name Pater Noster. We find the prayer in English (of course), Afrikaans, Telugu, Zulu, but didn't see Zambian Tonga.
And down the Palm Sunday road, stopping where Jesus wept over the city at Dominus Flevit. There's Mass in progress so the one photo I'd hoped to repeat from our '67 visit is not possible. But a resourceful son insists we return later in the day and with special pleading, because there's another mass, they take pity on this old man returning after 49 years so open a side and then a back door to let him in. Meanwhile we've watched the most beautiful sunset over the city as the evening call to prayer rings out over the valley. And we get the photograph!
At the bottom of the Mount of Olives is Gethsemane, with ancient olive trees going back to the first century and a series of churches to mark the spot. We join others in praying round 'the rock of the agony', but my 'moment' is to spot a few stones in the garden itself arranged to spell 'peace'. Please, Lord, let it be so.
Then to the crest of the mount again and a visit to the Augusta Victoria Hospital. Built by the German Kaiser in the 19th century as a pilgrims' rest house, then headquarters for the British during the mandate period, and now a tertiary level unit as part of a series of hospitals providing services to the Palestinian people. I feel as if I'm in 1980s medical adviser role again. The 118 inpatient beds specially for renal dialysis and oncology, with just yesterday approval to open a 41 bed elder and palliative care extension. Patients are generally bussed in from the Palestinian areas, carers with them. 40% are children. Cash flow is a major problem, with slow payment by the PA. Funds are supplemented by international support and local enterprises, including the yield from several hundred olive trees. 
So when we go olive harvesting - what fun and laughter for the afternoon as we fill two large bags - we're helping the families of those children.  I end up with large olive oil marks on the knees of my jeans - no not from praying; kneeling on the tarpaulins sorting out twigs from fruit!
The day ends with opening of an education unit for children undergoing long term treatment, for example dialysis. PA ministers of health and education are there, so are we in our olive-picker glad rags. There are Catholics and Lutherans and many more. Cooperation and hope. Given the number of cameras and interviews taking place I suspect it will be headline news in Ramallah tonight. 
We enjoyed the buffet and Palestinian music to end the function, and then a merry singsong in the Lutheran administrator's house. No they weren't drinking olive oil.