On Monday 19th of Dec 2016, the Birzeit Senior Citizen Center (BSCC) hosted a tree lighting ceremony for this year’s Christmas tree. Fr. Dr. Louis Hazboun, parish priest of Birzeit, and Mr. Ashraf Said, Director of the West Bank’s World Vision Jerusalem led the event. Local Christian youth, volunteers and BSCC gathered together in festive celebration to share the joy of Christmas with the elders of Birzeit. Fr. Louis opened the occasion with a brief word of insight on the Christmas season and the spirituality of the holiday.
HCEF’s BSCC Supervisor, Mr. Nicola Kawas, thanked the elders and all who attended for their participation. Mr. Kawas stressed the importance of the Christmas message of love and peace, offering encouragement to all present. He emphasized the love and compassion that Jesus Christ showed to the world through His birth and life. Mr. Kawas urged the audience to kindle their hearts a new with this love, following the example of their fathers and mothers who have kept the hope of Christmas alive and well for centuries.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Mr. Kawas also thanked the parish, Fr. Louis, the Christian Youth Center, and BSCC volunteers and staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of the elders during the past eleven years. Finally, Mr. Kawas thanked the Birzeit Women Committee and World Vision Jerusalem for their permanent partnership with HCEF in its various programs, especially in the Bethlehem Heart of Christmas program and the distribution of Christmas gifts to the children of Birzeit.
As the celebrants lit the Christmas tree, a sense of warmth and holiday cheer permeated the event. Inspired by words of hope, the elders celebrated their rich lives as pillars of the community, and graciously accepted Christmas gifts.
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