Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of
The Presbyterian Church (USA)
Housing Rehabilitation Brochure Program (PDF)
The Holy Land (Jordan, Israel and Palestine) is home to over 350,000 Christians, most of whom are descendants of Jesus' disciples and those whom the disciples converted. Sixty years ago, Christians accounted for about 18% of the population of the Holy Land; now they are only about 2%. There remain about 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories.
The Holy Land's Christians, largely invisible to their Christian sisters and brothers in other countries, struggle to survive and live out their Christian faith in circumstances of military occupation, high unemployment, severe restrictions on travel, limited educational opportunities, and perhaps most difficult, a sense of isolation and abandonment.
Christians in the Holy Land are in a desperate struggle to survive as a community. Widespread unemployment and underemployment have placed most Christian families under the poverty line. The crippling hardships which they must endure every day continue to foster despair and emigration.
Fortunately, there are ways in which we can help the Holy Land's Christians to remain in the land of Jesus. One of the most significant of those ways is an ongoing program of housing rehabilitation.
Partnerships Increase Possibilities
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) and the Presbyterian Church (USA) – Israel/Palestine Mission Network have developed a program to provide suitable housing for needy Christian families in the Holy Land, through the renovation of existing, but substandard, homes. This effort provides employment for hard-pressed Christian craftsmen and laborers in the rehabilitation of the homes of impoverished Christian families.
HCEF and the PC(USA) Israel/Palestine Mission Network share a vision and a commitment to this effort, and their cooperation is good news indeed for the Christians of the "MotherChurch" of the Holy Land. This flows from the Mission Statements of the two organizations, as seen below.
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)
(1) Promoting peace and justice in the Holy Land, seeking to remove the causes of human suffering so as to replace despair with hope, fear with security, and humiliation with human dignity;
(2) Developing bonds of solidarity through church-to-church, family-to family and person-to-person programs which bring Christians together in cooperative efforts;
(3) Designing and carrying out specific projects to provide healthy living conditions for the Arab Christians in the Holy Land
At a time when conflict and violence are daily realities, HCEF and the Israel/PalestineMission Network of the Presbyterian Church strive to transform unsafe houses into secure, welcoming homes for Palestinian Christians.
Housing Rehabilitation Program objectives:
-To help Christian families remain in their homes by providing safe and decent living conditions to the most needy among them, thus discouraging emigration.
-To create job opportunities for skilled craftspeople and for laborers, to include unemployed members of the beneficiary families, where possible.
-To support Christian craftspeople, suppliers of materials and transport services, and other individuals involved in small businesses in the Holy Land.
Since 2004, HCEF, with the help of private funding from the United States, has been able to respond to the urgent requests of roughly 1500 Palestinian Christian families for home rehabilitation, leading to jobs for electricians, masons, plumbers and other craftspeople, and providing new business opportunities for suppliers of goods and services. As of early 2008, over 400 additional requests for home rehabilitation in the Palestinian territories are under consideration.
The Housing Rehabilitation Program reduces poverty and enhances the dignity of the lives of Palestinian Christian families. Most of the homes which HCEF has upgraded have not received any type of repair in more than 30 years. While HCEF's rehabilitation programs are of high quality, they are also very economical: the cost of typical home reparations is generally between $2500 and $8000.
HCEF regards the Christian heritage of the Holy Land as a fundamental tool in increasing awareness of the destitute conditions in which all Palestinians live today. Community-based programs like the Housing Rehabilitation Program bring to the attention of the outside world vivid stories of love, struggle and the quest for freedom. This program opens hearts and minds; enriching the lives of those who support the work.
“In my last visit to Bethlehem, where I met with the living stones and HCEF staff, I realized that we, the WesternChurch, still owe to the MotherChurch in Jerusalem our help in sustaining its being."
Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes,
Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
Head of Staff and Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
“Fellow Christians, I encourage you to join me to support this program “to make a difference and better the living conditions of our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land.”
Rev. Fahed abu Akel
Moderator 214th General Assembly of Presbyterian Church( U.S.A)
YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THIS GREAT WORK! HERE’S HOW:
· Pray for peace in the Holy Land
· Build solidarity with the ‘forgotten’ faithful by visiting the Holy Land, working alongside those who are rehabilitating homes, and breaking bread with the families, thus getting to personally know them.
· Donate funds to support the Palestinian Christians.
· Encourage your church to get involved. Church members may act jointly to sponsor specified repairs.
(√) Please apply my donation to the following Individual cost of works:
Cost for Combined work per house:
Two ways to send your donation!
PC (USA) or HCEF
The Presbyterian Church (USA):
Gifts can be made through Extra Commitment Opportunity # E052805, Affordable Housing in Palestine. Gifts should specify that funds are designated for the HCEF Housing Rehabilitation Program.
Individuals send remittances to:
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Individual Remittance Processing
P O Box 643700
Congregations send funds through the usual receiving site. For more information, go to
The PC(USA)'s office for the Middle East has approved receiving contributions to this project as part of the church's commitment to support affordable housing for Palestinian Christians in order to encourage them to remain in their homeland
Housing Rehabilitation Brochure Program (PDF)
| Holy Land Christian
Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)
6935 Wisconsin Avenue, Ste 214
301 951 9400; www.hcef.org
NAME & TITLE: _______________________
CITY_________ STATE ____ ZIP ____
TEL (____)________; EMAIL: ____________
Make checks payable to HCEF
or use credit card
Visa _ American Express _
MasterCard _ Discover _
Name on Credit Card___________________
____ ____ ____ ____
EXP date __/__ CVV ___
Total Contribution: $ _______________
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
For more information, contact:
Mr. Donald Mead, Vice-Moderator of the Israel/Palestinian Mission Network of PC (USA), firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. George Ghattas, HCEF Vice President/
Country Representative, HRP@hcef.org
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), in joyful obedience to the call of Christ, and in solidarity with churches and their other partners in Israel and Palestine, covenants to engage, consolidate, nourish and channel the energy in the Presbyterian Church (USA) toward the goal of a just peace in Israel and Palestine by facilitating education, promoting partnerships, and coordinating advocacy., a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization, is committed to: maintaining the presence and welfare of Arab Christians in the Holy Land, and developing bonds of solidarity between those Arab Christians and other Christians in the world. HCEF seeks to accomplish its mission by: