The Palestinian Bible Society
Doug Hollar, one of our Outreach Foundation team and a member of First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso, Indiana, wrote this excellent summary of our day:
"In contrast to yesterday's noise and crush of people and cars, today started with a very quiet and somewhat eerie bus ride to the Palestinian Bible Society (PBS). Why so quiet? All the Palestinian shops and businesses were closed and hardly anyone was on the streets as part of a strike to support the more than 30-day hunger strike by more than 1,500 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. They are not asking for release but rather for human rights such as improved family visitation and not being arbitrarily detained without any charges.
At PBS, we met with Nashat Filmon, the general director, and were both disheartened and encouraged by all that he shared with us. He stated that PBS tries to be a continuation of that light born here in Bethlehem centuries ago and to facilitate the birth of Jesus Christ again in each of God's children. They "sow the seeds" and wait for God to reveal himself.
PBS accomplishes this with the help of 50 staff (20 full-time) in ten centers throughout Palestine. They distributed more than 150,000 Bibles and Bible materials last year including a recently published and much-needed new Arabic version of the Orthodox New Testament. They distribute Bibles in several languages and even on MP3-like devices which run on solar power! Through the centers they offer support and training for churches, programs for women and children, and social and relief programs. Nashat also told us the horrific story of one of their PBS colleagues who was kidnapped and then executed when he refused to convert to Islam and deny his belief in Christ. For PBS it has been a painful ten-year journey to process their forgiveness of the kidnappers. We promised to pray for and support the success of their efforts and for peace and the well-being of all people in this area.
Today President Trump arrived in Jerusalem. Interestingly, both the Israelis and the Palestinians are hoping for his support of their agendas. We pray that the hand of God will guide these rulers to new realms of understanding and resolution."
Amen, Doug, Amen...
The Outreach Foundation
Palestinian Bible Society