Editor’s Note: For this section of our new Newsletter, we thought that the best way for you to know more about our students, staff and faculty is to let one of our graduates introduce them to you. What a better way to get to know Palestinians than from the pen of a Palestinian herself. Amira Farhoud is a graduate from our college. She studied at our Media Department and she just completed her B.A in Biblical Studies with us. We are very proud and excited to see one of our graduates using her writing skills to serve the Kingdom. Enjoy!
Al-Khouries: A Story of War, Love, and a Promise
“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand”. Genesis 39: 2-3.
Every time I think of our very own “Yousef” whose name in Arabic means “Joseph”, God reminds me of the Biblical Joseph who faced disloyalty from his own family, slavery and prison, but regardless said: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”(Genesis 50:20).
The beginning of the story
“In 2007, exactly in December, I got a permit from the Israeli authorities to move to Bethlehem. This is when I witnessed a change in my life”.
Yousef Khoury was born and raised in Gaza. Yep GAZA! – one of the most dangerous places on earth. He had to leave his hometown due to the war. He left his family, friends and home to move to a place he had never been before … Bethlehem!
“God wanted to save me from my life there(Gaza), tolive for Him”.Yousef believes that God saved him from the war and conflicts, back in his hometown, to bring hope and beauty back to his life. He then decided to join Bethlehem Bible College to learn more about his Lord and to study the Word. That decision made a huge difference in his story …
Bethlehem Bible College
The college worked its magic through Yousef’s life; it improved his relationship with His creator and he became more passionate about studying the Word of God. His experience in the college also taught him how to be a real leader and how to love and serve God in the community. The Bible College also taught our Yousef how to be a good and faithful husband. He is now married to a very beautiful lady!
A helper suitable for him
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18.
Yousef met Merna in Beit Sahour and it was love at first sight. Long story short, they got married in 2011 and they make the most amazing, funny and loving couple you could ever meet (I know that cause I am a close friend of them!).
Merna shares with Yousef the same vision and beliefs, she is helping him to fulfill his own dreams and to be the man God wants him to be.
“Aftermonthsof praying we got a vision to servepoor people, broken families and the marginalized of our community”.
Yousef and Merna believe that part of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ is to show in action, to the least in our societies, that God cares for them and loves them. They want to serve people regardless of their background, religion and race; whether they are Christians, Muslims or Jews. For them, evangelism is incomplete if it does not go hand in hand with showing mercy and compassion.
After confirming their vision they asked God “How can we do it?”
“I believe the Alliance Theological Seminary is an answer to my prayers”.For Yousef and Merna, the next step in their journey is to study at the Alliance Theological Seminary to complete a Masters of Divinity. After that, they plan to come back and serve the Lord in His land. Yousef and Merna see themselves in the future serving and ministering to their people.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time;it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3).
Nowadays Yousef serves in a youth ministry called ‘Revival Generation’ and Merna serves with ‘A Pot In His Hand’ a ministry focused on empowering Palestinian women. In Emmanuel Church, they work together in the Young Couples Ministry. They also have been actively trying to raise funds for their future education. Some time ago, God surprised them with a full scholarship from the Alliance Theological Seminary that will cover all their tuition fees. However they still need to raise enough funds for their travelling and living expenses.
Please pray for them and ask your brothers and sisters in your church to keep them in their prayers that God will continue the good work that he has started.
Also, if you would like to help this lovely couple, you can donate online to Bethlehem Bible College at: http://www.bethbc.org/donate. Checks payable to Bethlehem Bible College, and designated for Yousef Khoury, can be sent to:
Bethlehem Bible Co
614-C South Bus. IH-35
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.