"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which God hath made known unto us.And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger." Luke 2:15-16
After hearing the song of the angels, the shepherds made haste, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which God hath made known unto us!"
Good things are happening in Bethlehem and we can all 'make haste'! As the birthplace of Jesus, and with more than 2000 years of rich history, Bethlehem is a historic city, recognized by UNESCO, and it is within the state of Palestine.
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is on the ground, bringing hope in Bethlehem! As we continue our commitment to creating jobs, advancing education, building and rehabilitating homes, support for the elderly and development of healthy growing children we are confident and excited about all that is coming to pass!
2012 has been a remarkable year as we continue to see the hand of God work on behalf of the Palestinian Christians and Palestinians at large. Your support, in every capacity, goes a long way in creating hope and building bridges to promote peace, prosperity and human dignity for our sisters and brothers! We could not experience the same level and quality of success without you! Thank you for your support, not just at Christmas, but all year long!
NGOs, Business and Organization representatives and leaders, as well as Ecumenical Religious and Civic leaders came together to promote peace in the land of peace through HCEF's Bethlehem Heart of Christmas Program which includes The Children's Journey to Bethlehem and the Joint Simulcast Message of Peace.
Through the Children's Journey to Bethlehem for Peace at Christmas, HCEF brought 1000 children to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas! Ecumenical Religious and Civic Leaders came together for the Joint Simulcast Christmas Message of Peace! Armenians, Catholics, Episcopalians/Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox, Muslims and Presbyterian from Bethlehem and Washington all came together to exchange greetings and messages of peace! Truly these are good signs of hope in the land of peace! We look forward to the day when all people can travel freely, come together in peace without occupation and walls of division.
HCEF worked throughout this year to maintain our current and more traditional programs as well as seek progressive and creative ways to build new partnerships and bridges to promote peace, prosperity and human dignity in the Holy Land. Although some headway has been made the road to peace and prosperity remains bumpy, unpaved and long. As we turn our hearts and eyes to 2013 we are even more hopeful of all that can be accomplished!
Thank you for your trust throughout the year! We will continue to work to earn your trust and we pray we can count on your moral and financial commitment to the Holy Land Christians and HCEF in 2013.
Great things are happening in Bethlehem! And, just as the shepherds made haste to see what God has done in Bethlehem – I encourage you to do the same. I invite you to stay tuned with HCEF! Like us on Facebook, visit us on YouTube and Twitter, visit our website at www.hcef.org, and watch your inbox for our press releases and announcements and ways to get more involved.
The HCEF Board of Directors and Staff and I wish for you the blessings of Love, Peace and Joy at Christmas and Always!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Rateb Rabie, KCHS