Sam's Life

Follow Sam Around The World

A few days on vacation with family in Slovakia

Sam and family celebrated Jana's and Janulik's birthdays at the Olympia Restaurant in Poprad, Slovakia.

The US struggle for religious reconciliation

Just as I was leaving for Slovakia an article appeared in the New York Times about a form of US religious repression. It appears that a private/parochial school sports league in Texas that includes non-Christian, as well as Christian and Jewish schools, is rejecting a Muslim high school’s basketball team. The majority “Christians” want to make certain that none of the students from the Islamic Iman Academy in Houston are “terrorists” or have some sinister, ulterior motive for wanting to play basketball with Christians and Jews.What are these Texas adults teaching their children through such xenophobic behavior? The high school students most likely just want to play basketball!  Anyway, you can read about the controversy by clicking here.

When confronted with a negative, we optimists can always find that glimmer of hope! And in this case hope shines brilliantly through the actions of the Rev. Bob Roberts of Norwood Church in Keller, Texas. Roberts’ church seeks to connect with local Muslims by forming relationships around common interests, such as cooking, hunting and camping. Recently, Roberts and six other pastors organized a hunting and camping trip with seven imams, or Islamic religious leaders.

Sam joined the Occupy Slovakia rally in Poprad. He says the new democracies in Europe and the Middle East/Africa must join the rest of the world in working for a better life for all.

And isn’t this what Jesus taught us to do–to build relationships? Hats off to Norwood Church and Bob Roberts. Thank you for being a part of Trac5 and demonstrating love to your Keller, Texas, Muslim neighbors.While the situation with Iman Academy underscores the need for greater understanding and reconciliation among American Christians, Muslims and Jews, Norwood Church shows what can and must be done!

Celebrated wife’s and daughter’s birthdays!

I’ve had a great time being with Jana, Janulik, “Kenny” (our Schnauzer) and friends here in the Tatry Mountains near the border of Poland—I’m posting a few photos of my stay here. A few days ago we celebrated my wife’s 60th birthday and Janulik’s 30th birthday.

And we helped Occupy Slovakia

I also joined an Occupy Slovakia rally on the local town square in Poprad. When asked by the local TV news reporter why I was participating, I said, “We have the same problems throughout the world. One percent wants to dictate policy to the 99%. It’s time to unite for change.”

In view of all the new democracy movements in North Africa and the Middle East, and the continuing development of the democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, we must join hands–all of us–in creating a better future for this and future generations. After all, our concerns are the same–human/civil rights, climate change, the environment, living wages, healthcare, etc.

This is not the time to sit back and do nothing! We must work for a better tomorrow. We will have successes and setbacks, but we must plan and work hard.

I’ll begin my return trip to Saudi Arabia tomorrow—taking the train to Bratislava, Slovakia, to spend a few hours with family members there before taking the airport bus on to the Vienna, Austria, airport to catch my return flight to Jeddah.

In Jeddah I’ll continue my work in the field of religious reconciliation between the three major Abrahamic faiths: Christians, Muslims and Jews.

In mid-April I’ll take another short break to attend the World Conference of Friends (Quakers) in Nairobi, Kenya. A really big “thank you” to all my friends at the Annapolis (Maryland) Friends Meeting for making this possible! Did you know that Kenya has the world’s largest population of Quakers? More on this later…

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March 16, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Glad you are getting the Texas story out there.

    Travel SAFE, Sam.

    Cheers, Marina

    Comment by Marina Bühler-Miko | March 16, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you, Marina. The Texas school story certainly demonstrates the need for inter-faith conflict resolution in the US. There is so much misunderstanding. It’s very sad, indeed.

      Comment by Sam Shropshire | March 16, 2012 | Reply

  2. Sam – love your posts and am learning from you. Keep up the good work. Greetings from Riva. Joyce Edelson

    Comment by Joyce Edelson | March 17, 2012 | Reply

  3. Sam – learning lots from your comments — keep up the good work. Greetings from Riva. Joyce Edelson

    Comment by Joyce Edelson | March 17, 2012 | Reply

    • Joyce, thank you for your kind words! Blessings on you and all other friends in the Annapolis area. ~ Sam

      Comment by Sam Shropshire | March 17, 2012 | Reply


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