Join the clearing landmines campaign from the area of the “Valley of Monastery” (Jordan) and contribute to the re-establishment of the Romanian skete of “Saint John the Baptist” from Jordan, where the pious saint of Romanian origin served (celebrated by the Orthodox Church on 5 August).
A fund raising campaign was set up for this purpose. The Romanian Patriarchate opened special accounts in RON, USD, EURO, at the Romanian Commercial Bank, through the Patriarchal Administration, where people can send their donations for the works to be done at Jordan. Further details can be found at the Representation of the Romanian Patriarchate in the Holy Land (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The cost of clearing landmines in the area amounts to 4,000,000 USD
As a result of the armed conflict of 1967, the church of the Romanian skete and the building that housed the cells of the monks were damaged and made uninhabitable, and from 1970 forward the access in the area was forbidden. The Israel authorities mined the terrain (about 3,800 mines were placed) and surrounded it with a fence. At present, the region is declared closed military area on 5 km distance from the River Jordan to the interior of the country, the access allowed only with military escort.
In 2015, the eight Churches owning plots of land in the area (Qaser al-Yahud), among which the Romanian Orthodox Church too, made a committee of initiative for identifying solutions for clearing landmines and restoring access to the area. In this sense, a specialised firm was identified and chosen for the humanitarian operations designed to demine the zones of war: HALO TRUST American – British firm. This one drafted a clearing landmines project of the area, the total surface of the mined land stretching on 55 ha. The project is scheduled for two years time (2017 – 2019), the necessary costs amounting to 4,000,000 USD (four million US dollars).
We will be very grateful to those willing to support this project, making it known to their friends and to those who love the Holy Places, and remember in our prayers those who can make donations, Very Rev. Archimandrite Teofil Anăstăsoaie, representative of the Romanian Patriarchate at the Holy Places and Superior of the Romanian Settlement in Jerusalem, Jericho, and Jordan, said.
The personality of Saint Ioan Iacob from Neamţ is related to the history of the Romanian Skete at Jordan. Pious Ioan Iacob, native of Crăiniceni, Botoşani County, was the igumen of this monastic settlement from 1947 – 1952.
Saint Iacob’s stay here was not an easy one because of the special conditions of the climate (in summer the temperature easy exceed 45 – 50 degrees Celsius), and of the material needs, having been an area of desert with no water. Yet, Saint Ioan knew the comfort of the Grace of God here, his efforts being rewarded with spiritual joys which he mentioned in the beautiful poems and prayers he wrote on the bank of the River Jordan, Archimandrite Teofil Anăstăsoaie said.