“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

News From Bethlehem Bible College

Spring is here with beautiful sunshine and lovely displays of color. Beauty is seen in the wild flowers of the Judean hills, By Dr. Bishara Awad , President of Bethlehem Bible College “For Christ died and rose to life in order to be the Lord of the living and of the dead.” Romans 14:9 Dear Friends and Partners of Bethlehem Bible College, Spring’s Rebirth Spring is here with beautiful sunshine and lovely displays of color. Beauty is seen in the wild flowers of the Judean hills, in a variety of blossoming trees and in the budding of the fig trees. New life springs forth from every hill and valley, from every brook and stream, from every bird and creeping thing. Spring is a joyful reminder of the promise and hope that lie hidden beneath the darkness waiting for just the right moment to spring forth. For the last six months, the Christians and indigenous people of this land have been under unimaginable hardships, the direct result of a tightening political and economical oppression. They often feel that peace is an elusive dream. However, Christians look to Easter with faith and hope in Christ and wait with expectancy for the dawn of peace and love to break down the walls of injustice just as Spring always emerges victorious over the darkness and cold of Winter. Shepherd Society News On behalf of Bethlehem Bible College and the Shepherd Society, we want to thank those of you who reached out to distraught, needy and poor Palestinians in the aftermath of months of closures and helicopter and tank attacks on their homes and institutions. Through the donations sent to the College and to the Shepherd Society, over 1000 families were blessed with money to buy needed groceries. The majority of these people are still unable to leave their towns and villages due to blanket closures and a state of tightened siege. Many are still unable to live in their damaged or destroyed homes. A friend of the College visited one of the vacated Christian homes that came under fire. Under the rubble, he was stricken by a placque with a cross and the words, “Rejoice in the Lord always!” How many of us would be able to rejoice when facing a catastrophe of this scope? The family who own this home are Christians—the husband, who is blind, conducts regular Bible studies in his home. His wife is a graduate of BBC. Please pray for this family and many others who are suffering silently from the inhumanity of the current situation. Also, please pray for the College as we continue to be a channel of love and blessing through the generous giving of individuals and charitable organizations. Good News A year ago, we were striving to purchase a small piece of land behind the College. So we shared this vision with you in our Easter letter. Your response was overwhelmingly positive. The good news is that the property now belongs to the College, and many of you have honorary deeds that attest to this miracle. Praise be to God! Our future plans will be to construct on the property a building complex that will consist of a student center, a cafeteria, a music wing, a mass media area and a Christian center, as well as a parking garage. A second item of good news is that the Middle East Association of Theological Education has given the official approval to Bethlehem Bible College for a B.A. program. We are very excited as the College is growing to serve all the Arabic speaking churches in the land. A third item of news that we find exciting and positive is that in the month of May, the cities of Bethlehem (Palestine) and Orlando (Florida) will be signing a twinning agreement in order to form a supportive relationship between the peoples and the churches of these two sister cities. The College has been instrumental in coordinating this event. We will keep you posted on further developments.. Visions and Goals The Lord is truly blessing and empowering the Bible College to be a source of strength and encouragement for the declining and suffering Christian community in this land. We presently touch the lives of over 100 students. Our teachers are constantly in demand for teaching and preaching, not only at BBC, but also in Nazareth, Gaza, Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Ramleh. One of our teachers reports that in ministries that he is associated with, 70 persons have accepted Christ over the last two months. Our immediate vision for the future, as set up by the Board, is to invest in human resources. We want to send at least three Palestinian graduates outside the country for continuing education in the areas of administration and accounting in order that they can come back to serve the College’s administrative needs. We are now looking for scholarships and appropriate universities. Who’s Who Among BBC Graduates? The College is now in its 21st year of operation. We have over 300 graduates. Many of these are Christian leaders in various churches and outreach ministries. God has been faithful to give us fruits for our labor by raising up quality men and women who are faithfully serving him. Three graduates are highlighted below. *Attalah Esawi graduated in 1982. He serves as a Practical Ministries’ director and teacher in Bethlehem. He holds an M.A. in Christian Ministries. *Nawal Qumsieh graduated in 1983. She is an evangelist in her home town of Beit Sahour. She is active in a family to family ministry of counseling, prayer, and charitable aid distribution. She finished an Associate Degree in Christian Education. *Hanna Massad graduated in 1991. He serves the only Protestant Church in Gaza City and also teaches for the BBC extension program. He has completed a Doctor’s Degree in Philosophy. We appreciate your part in helping us to prepare Christian leaders who can effectively share Christ’s love with the people here Easter Blessings Christians in this land celebrate Easter with much enthusiasm. They decorate eggs and prepare special cakes to remind each other of the cross and the tomb. The extended family get together in large groups in one of the family homes to rejoice and proclaim the traditional Easter greeting, “Christ Arose”. The response, taken from Luke 24:34, is pronounced with equal exuberance, “The Lord is Risen Indeed (KJV).” And so, we wish you and all your extended family the joy of the first Easter and the many blessings that abound because Christ lives! In Christ’s love, Dr. Bishara Awad

2016-10-24T07:35:55+00:00 April 12th, 2001|Categories: News|