Posts tagged Israel
Bethlehem Bible College - June 2019 Update

Greetings on behalf of Bethlehem Bible College, dear friends!

Summer is upon us, and another academic year is nearly finished at Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). We give thanks for BBC’s 40 years of service to Bethlehem, Palestine and around the world.

Ongoing Journey of Faithfulness: Overcoming the Challenges!
Was it easy to start a Bible college from scratch, and build it to be one of the most important Christian educational institutions in the region? What kind of challenges have we faced? How did we manage to overcome them? We endured two Intifadas, several wars on Gaza, lack of money, increasing emigration, and much more. How did we survive? “He was faithful,” answered Dr. Bishara Awad, founder of Bethlehem Bible College.

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Bethlehem Bible College - April 2019 Update

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). They recently shared the following stories about their ministry and involvement in the local community in God’s mission in the world.

After the resurrection, Jesus met his disciples in Galilee where he gave them the Great Commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ...” Matthew 28:16-20

The classic cross, pictured here, is seen throughout the Holy Land and is known as the Jerusalem cross. It is made from locally sourced olive wood and crafted by artisans in the Bethlehem area.

The shape of the cross has a deep historical and spiritual significance. The large cross represents Jesus. The four smaller ones represent the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – going out to the four corners of the world.

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Musalaha - January 2019 Update

As part of promoting reconciliation in the community, we conducted a joint Christmas training for our women's groups from Bethlehem and Aboud, emphasizing the value of giving. The weekend focused on sharing our love and message of reconciliation with children who have physical and psychological needs, many of whom would not be able to spend the holidays with their families. The women prepared gift baskets and gave them to neighbors in need as part of learning to celebrate Christmas through giving, love, and reconciliation.

University students are hard to pin down. For many, their energies are devoted to their studies. They are at the mercy of rigorous course and exam schedules and have too much to do with their limited time.

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Palestinian Bible Society - March 2018 Update

The Palestinian Bible Society held its fourth annual Bible Day in Bethlehem on October 20. Entitled “Let the Children Come to Me,” this year’s Bible Day focused on getting the message of the Bible into children’s lives and hearts. Nearly 1,000 children from all around the land took part, along with group leaders, parents, and church leaders from all denominations. Songs, videos, crafts, outdoor games, puppets, and a live drama engaged everyone with the message in fun ways throughout the day. At the end, each child received a gift bag with a children’s Bible and a USB drive containing several versions of the Bible and audio Bible stories.

The event was broadcast live on Palestine TV and on the Radio Mawwal Facebook page. The next day, Director Nashat Filmon was interviewed on national TV and radio and received calls from Gaza residents who had seen the live broadcast.

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Musalaha - February 2018 Update

Light in the Darkness

On a rainy afternoon in Jerusalem, fifty-seven women arrive at Tantur Ecumenical Institute seeking reconciliation against the odds. Despite common faith in Jesus, the group is far from ordinary – composed of Palestinian Israelis, Jewish Israelis, and Palestinian women living in the Palestinian Authority.

Recent political activity tried to exacerbate the distance between these communities; so, everyone who walks through the door is performing an act of courage, vulnerability, and gentle defiance against stereotypes. Still, each person carries a unique set of expectations or doubts.

In the first session rather than focusing explicitly on the theological rhetoric and the wounds and fears that have historically served to dichotomize these communities, the staff brought our focus to relationship building. The group is broken into smaller circles, and we engage in a game: each person is given a different colored slip of paper.

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Bethlehem Bible College - November 2017 Update

Dear friends,

Greetings from Bethlehem Bible College! I hope you are well and prospering in all that our Lord has called you to do.  

As we approach the end of 2017, we look back over the year to evaluate how we have managed what the Lord has given into our hands and to look forward to planning how we can best follow in his footsteps in the future. We are happy to share the success of our college programs. We have students studying for their BA degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Education, for their MA degree in Christian Leadership and Ministry, and for their diploma in Tour Guiding and Mass Media. 

God has opened yet another door for us at Bethlehem Bible College – our Online Diploma Program in Biblical Studies has attracted students from around the world! Refugees from Syria and Iraq, Palestinians living abroad, and others from the very heart of the Muslim world study together in this interactive program.

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Musalaha - October/November 2017 Update

Musalaha has been increasingly active in bridge-building between Christians and Muslims in Palestinian communities, applying the same principles used in reconciliation work between Israeli and Palestinian believers. Through these initiatives, we have introduced Musalaha's curriculum to Muslim communities and have been learning how we can use our knowledge and experience to ease some of the tensions between Christians and Muslims. This pressure is mainly caused by historical prejudice, stereotypes, and politics, and has increased dramatically in recent years.

When one of our Palestinian staff members was asked to put a committee of young leaders together to discuss activities and reconciliation work between the communities, she quickly found fellow Christians ready to join the cause. Reaching out to Muslim leaders, however, turned out to be much more difficult. This wasn't because they were not interested; she just didn’t know any on a personal level, even though she lives in a mixed neighborhood.

This skepticism towards the other community has many reasons, most of which go back to religious stereotypes, fear of the unknown and even racism. As humans, our opinion of the other tends to be based on what we think we know about their culture or religion before we have our own experience with individuals of that group. We also tend to judge other people based on the extreme manifestations of their culture and religion, rather than considering nuance and individual faith and experience.

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Bethlehem Bible College - May 2017 Update

An invitation to the Bethlehem Bible College Conference
Christ and the Checkpoint: Jesus at the Center
May 28 – June 1, 2018

We believe that theology and religion are important and continue to shape how people around the world view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is a lot of fear and rejection of the "other" and the commandments of Jesus are cast aside. Our goal is to return to the basics of our faith and bring Jesus back to the center when it comes to kingdom and end-time theology, Christian advocacy for peace that is rooted in justice, and our mission to our neighbor. 

Bethlehem Bible College invites you to the fifth "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference in Bethlehem from May 28-June 1, 2018. The conference hopes to follow the success of the first four conferences. The theme of this conference will be "Christ at the Checkpoint 5: Jesus at the Center." 

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Bethlehem Bible College - March 2017 Update

I was a stranger and you did not take me in, I was naked and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.   Matthew 25: 43

Dear friends of Bethlehem Bible College, 

What we do for one, we do as if we are serving Jesus. This was the mentality of a group of BBC staff who visited the governmental hospital in Bethlehem to spend time with patients in need of dialysis. The staff spent time sitting, talking and laughing alongside those that were undergoing treatment.

This BBC group was the first to visit the dialysis section in the hospital. It was a big room with around twenty-two patients that undergo the process three times a week for five hours each time. In the Bethlehem area alone, there are one hundred patients including children.

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Musalaha-A Ministry of Reconciliation-November 2015 Update

Musalaha’s Spring Youth Desert Encounter achieved another year of taking 30 Palestinian and Israeli teenagers and youth leaders to the desert as they embarked on a reconciliation journey. Few from this equally mixed group of guys and girls were acquainted with each other before boarding the bus, yet by the time we reached Chai Bar resort, where we were staying the first night, this group of youth were carelessly chattering away. It was clear to me that some of the girls regarded the prospect of spending three nights under the stars on desert dunes and going four days without a shower with apprehension, but that adolescent burst of energy was not lacking. The eight counselors were also not short on energy as many of them had participated as youths. It was so exciting to see a new generation of leaders coming up through Musalaha’s programs.

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Bethlehem Bible College - July 2015 Update

Grace and peace to you from the Land of Christ, the very place that Jesus came to earth to be born, to live and die and pay the ultimate sacrifice for the whole world. But also from the land of resurrection and Pentecost. God has honored Bethlehem Bible College to be the only Palestinian Arabic training college in the whole country, where leaders and students come to learn and be equipped for the work of the Kingdom and for advancing the cause of Christ not just locally but also globally. 

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Musalaha-A Ministry of Reconciliation - June 2014 Update

Dear Friends, 

Musalaha’s Israeli-Palestinian Children’s Summer Camp is designed to provide a framework for Israeli and Palestinian children to meet together in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Here they have the opportunity to build relationships with children from the other side who they might not have the chance to meet and learn to counter many stereotypes.

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