Restoration

Restoration

Posted January 16, 2015:
The House of Grace

by the editor.

The House of Grace, a church center and the first halfway house for newly released prisoners in Israel, was founded by Kamil and Agnes Shehade in 1982, when as newlyweds, they took in the first ex-prisoner to live with them.

They took in more ex-prisoners, renovated a church to house them all, and, over time, they took on serving children, teenagers, single mothers, families, and anyone else in need.

Right from the beginning, in that house, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze lived and worked together, becoming a light in conflict-torn Israel.

The House of Grace has a close connection with Madonna House.

When Kamil Shehade, a Palestinian Christian teenager, and his friends started hanging out at our former house in Haifa, he was well on his way to becoming a terrorist.

Archbishop Joseph Raya, (archbishop of Haifa at the time and a member of MH), seeing that he was a born leader, took him under his wing, closely mentored him and, as Kamil said, "became his father."

It was Archbishop Raya who told Kamil to found a Catholic center and sent him to Combermere for a year as preparation.

After he was back home for a time, Kamil married Agnes, a Swiss-German, and they had five children. Kamil died in 2000 and Agnes, some of their grown children, and volunteers are continuing the work of the House of Grace.

This is just a brief story about this extraordinary house. For more information, google "House of Grace Haifa Israel".

 

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