Who: hundreds of children from schools, orphanages, and youth groups around Palestine
When: Friday, December 15, 2017
Where: Bethlehem, the Capital of Christmas!
What: “Journey to Bethlehem” brings children from around Palestine to the capital of Christmas—Bethlehem— for an unforgettable day in the city of Jesus’ birth. An educational journey through the nativity story! During their visit, the children experience…
- Star Street, the path Mary and Joseph took into Bethlehem;
- Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born;
- Manger Square, where Bethlehem’s giant Christmas tree and life size nativity scene stand;
- Shepherds’ fields, where the angel announced Jesus’ birth;
- Milk Grotto, where Mary and Joseph took refuge from Herod’s soldiers; and
- Bethlehem Museum, a museum dedicated to narrating Palestinian heritage and culture through the eyes of Palestinian Christians.
After their educational program, the children gather at Catholic Action Community Center to enjoy face painting, games, refreshments and an interactive Christmas play. At the end of the event, the children receive a surprise visit from Santa who has a creative gift in his sack for each and every one!
Why: Despite the constant inflow of pilgrims from all over the world, for the majority of these children, this represents the first time they have ever set foot in these holy places. Although they live only a few miles from Bethlehem, financial constraints prohibit them from learning firsthand about their faith and national heritage.
- Give disadvantaged children from around Palestine the opportunity to visit the site of Christ’s birth, and to celebrate in the good news of our faith.
- Promote Bethlehem as the city of peace. Ensure that the world hears the peaceful message of Palestinians during this important time of international attention.
- Preserve local Christmas traditions in a context where Christians are a dwindling minority (now less than 2% of the population).
- Support Bethlehem’s local economy. Our Christmas festivities will support local businesses.
- Foster interfaith solidarity in Bethlehem by celebrating together in the joy of Christmas.
How can I get involved?
1) Donate, 2) Share, 3) Leave a comment of support.
Your support will contribute to the costs of transportation, faith educators, refreshments, Christmas gifts, and children’s activities.
Last year, we brought 350 children with your support. Here’s what they had to say…
We loved visiting the Church of the Nativity! We saw the priests give mass for the first time ever!
Our favourite thing was the Church of the Nativity! We loved the paintings of holy scenes!
We enjoyed the museum, especially seeing the solidarity cross because the word ‘peace’ was written on it. We hope that there will be peace for us soon.
I loved the Christmas tree because it was so beautiful! I loved seeing Bethlehem!
Today I learned a lot, that we should love each other and pray for others
Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity are very beautiful and every child should visit!