Bethlehem Bible College - April 2013 Update
Women’s group at Bethlehem Bible College encourages women to pursue their God-given dreams
Madleine Sara is not only Rev. Jack Sara’s wife but a professor at the Bible College with a strong vision for empowering women.
Why did you start a group for women at Bethlehem Bible College?
My personal calling is to be engaged in women’s ministry. I have a strong passion for women. I believe in women and their potential. For 13 years, I served in our church leading women’s Bible Study and Discipleship groups. When we, Jack and I, came to the Bible College, I was searching for my role here. I felt the Lord’s hand guiding me to continue working with women, and that all the previous years were preparation for something bigger. My dream is to have a women’s center, and what I’ve started at the Bible College is a step of faith in making this bigger dream a reality. In an Arab society, open doors for women are limited. Although many women have college degrees and wonderful potential, they often get married young, do not pursue these degrees, and stay at home.
What is the purpose of your group?
I hope to empower women to be active in their societies. This begins with a woman understanding her worth, value, and God-given purpose in life, then giving her the tools and the power to pursue this vision and dream. Even if a woman stays in the home, she has a huge impact on her children and the next generation that will lead society. I want to see change in my society and women influencing our children, our communities, and our nation. I strongly believe I will see a generation of powerful women with great spiritual influence. In my role, I want to create the space for every woman to realize she is created in God’s image; that this gives her value and purpose. “I am a Pot in His Hands” is the name I received from the Lord for this project, because every woman can be molded by God to fulfill His purposes.
What do you think are the main issues facing women in Palestine today?
In a male society, it is a struggle for a woman to find her place, both in the secular world and in the church. Although others and I have teaching gifts, we do not always have the opportunities to use these gifts. Women in the church are often restricted to children and women’s ministries. Though we might have the same talents, gifts, and capabilities, there is less chance for me as a woman to live to my full potential than a man. Another issue is the lack of respect and dignity. Even if women have jobs, they are often looked down on. I believe women deserve to have a refined sense of identity, authority, and dignity.
What success have you seen from this group?
My idea is that this group will multiply. When women leave this group after a few months, I would like them to lead groups of their own. This is what I have done. Now, two of the women who were in previous groups are helping me lead a group. One of the women who participated last fall in our group was afraid to speak and pray publicly. She had struggled to accept her outward appearance. Because of our group, she decided to eat healthy food and embrace her elegant qualities. Although this woman knew the Lord for years, in our group she has changed. Wonderfully this woman has shared her testimony in church and is a living example of great results. This is one of the women now helping to lead a group with me this spring. My hope is that this group, “I am a Pot in His Hands,” will create the space and the spiritual atmosphere for women to change and experience the power of influencing others, and that our numbers will grow exponentially.
Note from The Outreach Foundation
Outreach is honored to be a partner of BBC in training both men and women to increase the capacity of the church in a challenging context of minority presence. We are grateful for your participation in this great work with your gifts that enable us to do that. On behalf of our partners at Bethlehem Bible College, we thank you.
Minimum Goal for 2014