I speak to you in their name as a member of the HCEF from Beit Sahour, the city where the first message of the birth of our savior was heard. It is my city.


I speak to you in their name as a member of the HCEF from Beit Sahour, the city where the first message of the birth of our savior was heard.  It is my city.
Five years ago, I joined the team of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. The reason that I joined is because I intrinsically believe in the work HCEF has undertaken –to help Christians in the Holy Land by providing assistance in many ways.

I had contacted Rateb Rabie by phone during the Nativity invasions by the Israelis, and the long days of curfew that the Bethlehem district was under that followed.  For those of you who may not be familiar with the term — “curfew” means that neither we nor our children may go outside of our homes.  For almost two months, we were let out only for two hours each day to obtain the neccceties to survive. 

I asked Rateb, “What can you do to provide for the families that are in urgent need of enough money to buy the basic living needs for their children?”  He responded immediately to the urgent request to help the Christian families who were desperate for a hundred dollars.  A small grant was contributed to the Beit Sahour Municipality and the funds were used to create jobs. 

You must know that the Palestinian Christians are a very dignified people, and it is very difficult for them to accept money given to them.  Since then, I have become more involved with the many programs that HCEF are involved with. 

Through my work in the Beit Sahour municipality I gained knowledge of my people and got to know their situation. I learned a lot about their needs and tried to call upon those who would answer our appeals.  As you people who work hard in involving yourselves with our cause and helping with the survival of our existence, you know that the political situation is deteriorating, and every day many jobless people are added to the long list of people with no jobs. This continuation of the illegal Israeli occupation and the ongoing siege leaves many of our citizens with no source of income. Many can barely earn enough wages to put food on
the table, or pay for other necessary requirement.

House renovation was a project launched by us.   The main aim is to renovate the houses that are in need and in bad condition.  Another aim was to provide jobs for laborers. 
Forty-three houses in Beit Sahour the city of the Shepherd’s Field, where 80% of the population is Christians; forty-three houses have been successfully renovated. thanks to HCEF.  

You can’t imagine the joy those families felt to have someone find a way to provide the renovations for  their leaking roof,  or their flooded sewage, or their leaking windows & HCEF did this.

I am a proud member of HCEF and I can bring to you the gratitude those people felt toward all of you who have contributed to this vital and urgent project that helped by providing jobs for many and renovating many damaged homes. 

Here’s one recent example of HCEF –The Hannona family is a family of seven, living in a newly-built house that was not finished because of lack of any employment due to the travel ban enforced by the Israeli military (IDF). The family was coving the windows with nylon and the bathroom doors with curtains. I and another representative from the HCEF office in Bethlehem visited the house. (It was winter cold at that time, and just let your imagination run to understand what the living conditions were)

The owner of the house wanted to kiss our hands; that’s how desperate she was. I told her “No, please don’t do that.” But she wished us well, and thanked God for the generosity of HCEF. An Engineer immediately estimated the cost and ordered the needed work done.

The Hannona home is one among the forty-three other houses whose prayers were answered. There are many more stories like this one.

In closing, I wish to thank you all who contributed in making many lives warm and safe in their homes. Please keep us in your prayers.