Faculty meetings were held on 13 and 26 May to finalize details for the graduation ceremony set for 13 June 2003 at 4pm. Brother Andrew has accepted an invitation to attend the event and he will be accompanied by Brother Landrum Bolling,

May 2003
Academic News:
Faculty meetings were held on 13 and 26 May to finalize details for the
graduation ceremony set for 13 June 2003 at 4pm. Brother Andrew has
accepted an invitation to attend the event and he will be accompanied by
Brother Landrum Bolling, who has been closely involved in Middle East
peace efforts for decades. Brother Landrum is currently director at
large of Mercy Corps International, a nonprofit voluntary organization
that exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping
build secure, productive and just communities. He also helped to
establish the Landrum Bolling Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and
Social Sciences at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

Several of the nine fourth-year students scheduled to graduate this
month are seeking advanced training and BBC considers this a good
indication of the potential and motivation displayed by BBC graduates.
Fadi Zoughbi is awaiting final acceptance from Oral Roberts University
in Oklahoma and will enroll in the Education department of the MA
program. Khader Khalileh received a full scholarship to complete an MDiv
at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Louiza Kattan is
awaiting acceptance to the MA Counseling program at Alliance Biblical
Seminary in the Philippines. Both Niveen Amar and Rana Al-Shaar are
being considered as candidates in the Youth with a Mission Discipleship
Training program starting in January 2004 in Cyprus.

BBC continues to seek applications for new faculty. Most recently Ms.
Shireen Awad, who has a Master of Science in Educational Administration
from Texas A&M, joined the faculty in a part-time teaching capacity to
teach education courses.

A graduation ceremony for the Tour Guiding Class of 2002 has been
scheduled for 20 June at which a total of 22 graduates will receive
certificates. If the situation continues to remain stable in Bethlehem,
a new session will start between 15 September and 1 October. The Tour
Guiding program has been suspended since fall 2002 due to the repeated
disruptions caused by curfews and closures.

Prayer requests for the Nazareth Extension program:
*Pray that BBC will be granted permission to rent a larger space for the
library, which will be the first Christian public resource library in
*Pray for Nabil Samara’s arrival and integration as the new full-time
administrator of the Nazareth extension program;
*Pray for the upcoming board meeting and decisions regarding the new
academic year and coming administrative transitions.

Four students and two staff members are participating in an
extracurricular course entitled Evangelism Explosion, held at Immanuel
Church. Eight BBC students will be traveling to Spain during the summer
for a training course in youth evangelism sponsored by Life Agape. BBC
hopes to be actively involved in other events designed to promote local
evangelism efforts.

Nine third year students and their families organized a picnic at the
Bet Al-Liqa center on 15 May 2003. The discussion focused on challenges
facing Christian families, and ways to educate children according to
Christian values. Dr. Raed Abdul Masih, who was previously active in
BBC’s Al-Amal Counseling Center, was the faculty leader for the

BBC recently submitted an article on the Gaza ministry of BBC alumnus
Dr. Hanna Massad to Overseas Council UK for inclusion in its monthly
magazine. Copies of this article, entitled “BBC: Good News for the
Palestinian Church,” can be made available upon request.

Project News:
The building committee has met several times recently to discuss
progress on the BBC campus expansion project and the final revisions of
the architectural plans should be ready by the end of this month.

Progress on the transformation of a classroom into an insulated
soundproof studio for the Mass Media project is continuing and the
estimated date for completion is the end of June. Also under
construction are two audio-visual editing rooms, a Mass Media
administrative office, and a storage room. Stephen Grace, who visited
the campus for the purpose of conducting a consultation on the
construction of the studio in February 2003, will be returning on 16
June to check the wiring and other technical considerations. All the
necessary equipment has already been purchased with the assistance of
equipment consultants Mats Levander and Oskar Linden. Mass Media project
leader Maria Levander will visit for a brief consultation on 8 June.

Overseas Council UK is sponsoring a fund-raising event on 15 June to
raise money for Overseas Council and its partner schools, one of which
is BBC. OC Team Director Fred Connell will be cycling from London to
Brighton, a distance of 60 miles, to raise support for the ministry of
OC Team. If any of BBC’s supporters would like to make a donation to OC
Team in response to Fred’s cycle ride, OC Team can arrange for these
funds to be remitted to BBC. OC Team will assign 5% of each gift
received in response to the cycle ride towards its support costs, and
will remit the remaining 95% to the college specified by the donor.
Donations may be made by check payable to OC Team and posted to the
office at:
OC Team, Overseas House
New Road, Colston Bassett
Nottingham, NG12 3FQ
An accompanying letter should state the college that is to be supported
through the gift. Secure credit card donations are also possible via
www.octeam.com (“Donations” link).

The library staff of BBC is busy organizing its third annual children’s
summer library camp, which will begin on Monday 16 June and continue for
a period of two-three weeks. TEAR Fund New Zealand is one of several
organizations which has expressed interest in contributing funds toward
this project, which will be attended by 60 children of various age
levels and will include art projects, sports, Bible stories, local field
trips, and a parents’ exhibition on the last day.

The BBC choir held its first practice session on 9 May 2003 after a
suspension in activities of more than two years. Arrangements are being
made for the choir to perform two selections at the graduation ceremony.
The choir has also received an invitation to perform at a Christmas
Peace event in Northern Ireland between 12 – 18 December 2003. This
invitation was extended by Rev. Alan Mitchell of Sligo Presbyterian

Dr. Raed Abdul Masih has agreed to organize a BBC Alumni Society with
the assistance of BBC alumnus and Talitha Kumi teacher Ms. Firyal Husan.
An initial meeting will be scheduled in September, followed by an Alumni
dinner to be held later in the year.

A pastor’s retreat is being organized for the last week of July thanks
to funding received from Open Doors. A BBC staff retreat will take place
at the end of June following the graduation ceremony.

The community center is offering a course in Modern Hebrew language
instruction which began on 19 May. Approximately 65 students are
enrolled in this class.

Rev. Alex Awad and his wife, Brenda, UM missionaries with the General
Board of Global Ministries, are rejoicing in the purchase of a church
van, thanks to funds received via UMC Advance Project, 013558-6.  The
van will be used to facilitate the varied ministries of the Awads, in
particular, church, college, Shepherd Society, and UM Visits.
Approximately $18,000 was raised through gifts from United Methodist
Churches. The Bible College advanced funds for the outstanding amount of
$10,000.  The Advance is active for the remainder of 2003-2004.
Additional gifts will be used to pay off the Bible College loan.

Shepherd Society:
Enrollment in the Families Sponsorship Program has increased by
approximately one-third over the past year, bringing the new total from
54 to 76. This program matches needy local families with donors willing
to commit $50 per month for a minimum period of one year. More
information on this and other outreach programs can be found at

Volunteer/Visitor News:
Dan Simmons of World Vision visited the campus on 1 May 2003. Other
visitors to the campus during the month of May include Pirrko Saila of
Patmos; Rev. John Angle accompanied by a group of seven visitors from
the UK; David Wildman of the General Board of Global Ministries of the
United Methodist Church; Sara Bailey, under the auspices of the
Prsebyterian Church USA; David Neunebel of Americans for a Just Peace in
the Middle East; and Aril Edvardson of Evidence of Faith who accompanied
a television film crew to record an interview with Bethlehem Mayor Hanna
Nasser for Norwegian television on 22 May. In addition, BBC alumnus
pastor Khader Al-Yateem presented an inspiring devotional to a staff
gathering on 9 May and led the student chapel service on 13 May before
returning to his congregation in Brooklyn, NY. Also, fourteen volunteers
serving the local humanitarian organizations of Bet Jemimah, Caritas,
and House of Hope visited the campus and listened to presentations by
Bishara Awad and Salim Munayer.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for BBC’s 9 fourth-year students being awarded BA degrees
and 14 second-year students being awarded Associate diplomas on 13 June.
Pray that the Lord will continue to sustain them as they seek His will
and serve His kingdom by pursuing advanced degrees, participating in
training events and conferences, working within the community, and
serving the needs of the Palestinian Church. Pray that in all ways they
will glorify the Lord’s name and honor the goals of Bethlehem Bible

The high court ruling regarding the Nassar family land which was
scheduled for 1 June 2003 was postponed for the fourth time, with no new
date provided. The family, which includes BBC alumni Tony and Nisreen
Nassar, ask for your prayers for a just resolution which would
acknowledge family ownership of this land which has been farmed by the
Nassars since 1924.

BBC is praying for new peace efforts which stipulate a comprehensive
cease-fire, relaxation of movement restrictions, and a return to the
negotiating table.