Children Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem. This January, as HCEF enables Christian children to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, we will remember these words of Christ with hope.
Children Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem
….And do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these..
This January, as HCEF enables Christian children to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, we will remember these words of Christ with hope.
Many Arab Christian children have grown up in the land of Jesus.s earthly ministry, but their lives are not characterized by personal experience with the shrines and grottos dedicated to our Lord. Instead, they live in the shadow of occupation and hardships pressing in on every side.
Our joyful anticipation of Christmas, and the gift of the incarnation, is shared by our spiritual family in the Holy Land. Yet as we celebrate with gifts, they face crushing economic hardship. As we take holidays from school and work, they struggle to attend school and work at all. Most poignantly, as we gather in churches with joy, they are barred from the sacred places. Bethlehem itself is surrounded by a wall thirty feet high.
HCEF is organizing a Journey to Bethlehem for Christian children from Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank for the third year in a row. Many of the children who come will see the Church of the Nativity for the first time, and they will have the chance to meet other Christian children who share their heritage and experiences. Christian leaders from different denominations all over the world will join the procession declaring peace. They will march through the streets of Bethlehem together, singing carols of joy that unify across the many churches and villages of their origin.
Like angels before them, Arab Christian children will proclaim good news to Bethlehem – "Glory to God in the highest, and peace and goodwill to people on earth." Two millennia ago shepherds heard these words and praised God, and they are just as important to the residents of Bethlehem today.
We hope to cover the costs of close to one thousand Christian children to make the journey. If you would like to donate the cost of one bus, $300, you will help bring forty Christian children on a Christmas ride to Bethlehem. The 50 Jordanian children will need sponsors to cover the cost of their journeys at $250 each. If you would like to donate a modest Christmas gift for an Arab Christian child, you can do so for $10 each – the more you donate, the higher the number of children that will get presents this Christmas. Please click the link below, or call HCEF at (301) 951-9400 to donate or for more information.