Tuesday, September 1st, 2020
Last year, Bishop Gutiérrez saw holy opportunity in a partnership between the Diocese of Pennsylvania and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and that partnership continues to grow even in the midst of the pandemic.
At the invitation of the Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Bishop is now the vice chair of a steering committee organized to raise much-needed funds for the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center, which is the church's ministry in Jerusalem for children with disabilities.
Yamen, five years old, was diagnosed with autism at the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center and is now enrolled in the Center's Inclusive School. Kefaya, Yamen's mother, says that after seven months in the school, "He has changed and developed rapidly, because now he is in the right place." When COVID-19 prompted a nationwide lockdown, the Center responded by introducing an online therapy program, which Kefaya says is making all the difference. "It gives me the chance to join my son in all activities with his teachers and therapists," she said. "I have a clearer understanding, and I'm developing my own experience through these sessions." As for Yamen, every time his favorite therapist appears on screen, he exclaims, "Wow!" and claps his hands in delight.