We trust that the end of the year is wrapping up well for you! As the year 2016 comes to an end, we reflect on where we have come from but also plan for where we are headed. The past year has been full of amazing opportunities for BBC to reach out to our community through our students and staff, our faculty and those that partner with us from abroad or by coming and volunteering locally. Our hope and focus is that what is taught and modeled here at BBC will extend beyond the classroom, and that our students will be ambassadors to whatever workplace or ministry they work in on behalf of the kingdom of God.
The Outreach Foundation is excited to announce that Frank Dimmock will join the mission staff on January 1, 2017, as an Africa mission specialist. For thirty-five years Frank served the church in Africa as a Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-worker, focusing on ministries of health and development. More broadly, his central interest is the welfare of children. Since 2013, he has worked with Presbyterian World Mission as the global poverty alleviation catalyst, based in Louisville. A native of North Carolina and graduate of North Carolina State University in pre-medicine, Frank has a master’s degree in public health and completed doctoral work in international public health and epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health in New Orleans.
This is the third year that the Palestinian Bible Society carried out one of its biggest programs known as the Bible Day Event. The emphasis this year was on Palestinian youth and the role of the Bible in their lives. The event took place at the Cultural Palace in Ramallah with over 1,000 people attending! “So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” was the title of this special and long anticipated conference, with a focus on three main issues: love God and his word, love your neighbor, and love your country and citizenship. The conference attracted more than 1,000 youth from Palestinian cities ranging from Jenin in the north all the way to Bethlehem in the south.
"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The church in the Middle East lives by these words of God to Joshua. They are strong and courageous despite their vulnerability. The church in Egypt is no exception. Christians represent only 10% of the population in Egypt, and Presbyterians are only 10% of the 10%! Nonetheless, they are bold in their witness as they live out the gospel message of loving their neighbors, no matter if the neighbors are Christian or Muslim. Whether a large city church or an old rural village church, they know their purpose is to reach out in love to each other and their neighbors.
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is might has done great things for me. (Luke 1:47-48)
Last Sunday I sang a hymn that paraphrases the “Magnificat” of Mary, the praise she offered in the presence of her older cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. “Canticle of the Turning,” as the hymn is called, is a stirring text that God is about to turn the world upside down through the one born of Mary. The lively Irish tune and the hymn text communicate the hope that God is going to intervene and that he is using this servant of the Lord to accomplish his mighty acts.