Despite the declining Christian presence in Bethlehem and against great odds, Bethlehem Bible College is still standing, in the words of Brother Andrew, as a ‘beacon of light’ in this historic town, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and extending His peace to everyone through various outreach programs.
Since 1997, in celebration of the Christmas message, Bethlehem Bible College has hosted a Christmas banquet as a form of encouragement to the Christian community and as an evangelistic outreach. People from all over the West Bank and from different religions and denominations are all invited to attend and have the opportunity to hear a Christ-centered message as part of the program.
Our guest speaker for this year was Reverend Victor Hashweh. Rev. Hashweh is an Arab Christian from Amman, Jordan and is one of the key evangelical Christian leaders of the Middle East. He is an evangelist in itinerant ministry throughout the Arab world and Europe. Focusing on the shepherd’s reaction to the angel’s message, Rev. Hashweh shared how the angels did not appear to religious people but to normal individuals, noting how Christ did not come to establish a religion but to transform lives. At the end of his sermon he invited the audience to receive Christ as their personal Savior. Around thirty people responded to his invitation.
Akram Nassar, director of Bethlehem Bible College choir, invited everyone together for caroling. The choir sang traditional Christmas songs in Arabic such as ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’. Later in the evening, the Ramallah Local Church choir impressed everyone with a beautiful performance. Interspersed between songs, Jackie Kakish, the choir’s director, narrated Christ’s presence throughout Scripture, from Genesis to the gospels narratives.
As fairy lights and carols filled the banquet hall, the people of Bethlehem, both Christians and Muslims, were reminded of the greatest miracle that this little town has ever seen.