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It's been a little over a week since my return from India. I want to thank you for your concern and your prayers while we were away. It was a challenging trip - many miles of travel, and a very intense experience, heightened by such a high security alert, and the Global Peace Conference with URI. I am still processing everything I saw and felt.
I must say I was humbled and deeply touched by the stories of the incredible people who were at the conference. There were people from Uganda who work in the refugee camps, and women from Pakistan working to get young girls off the streets, women from Kenya who told us they would feel more empowered as women if they did not have to bow to their husbands or risk being beaten.
Imagine sitting at a table with men from Israel and Palestine who were talking about ways to bring understanding to their people, or Pakistanis talking with Indians about bridging the wide gap between the Hindus and Muslims. It happened at the conference.
United Religions Initiative puts on a Global Peace Assembly once every three years. This one was in Mayapur, West Bengal- about a three hour drive north of Kolkata adjacent to the banks of the Ganga River - Mayapur is a Hare Krishna Monastery which is on a large and very lovely campus in the middle of farmland. It is a verdant and green area with lots of agriculture. We first spent a few days in New Delhi, which is where we were when the Mumbai attacks began.
Two of the rabbis who came to the Peace assembly from israel had flown
to Mumbai first and hired a driver to take them to the Chabad Center.
The driver told them he was unable to take them because the center was under attack. They were going to visit the rabbi and his wife who were killed. Another friend of mine here in Huntington Beach has a good friend who is in management at the Taj Mahal Hotel- this man's wife and two children had just arrived at the hotel to be with him when they were killed by the attackers.
Security was very high and we had armed guards throughout the conference in Mayapur because of the nature of our meetings the Indian government considered us a high risk. Your prayers were felt and deeply appreciated.
This conference gave me even greater inspiration for the Global Heart Vision and an even deeper desire to find ways to bring greater peace and understanding to our world.
Please go to this link if you would like to see some pictures - www.sarah4hope.org/SARAH4Hope/Mayapur_Pictures.html
my dear friend Sande Hart took these photos -- she is the founder of S.A.R.A.H. - I serve on the advisory board for this wonderful women's interfaith organization.
Love to you all and the happiest of holidays to you, May peace prevail on earth.
Rev. Peggy Price
Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living