God’s Miraculous Work in the Lives of BBC Students
BBC’s mission is to train people to serve Christ in the world, advocate a Palestinian Evangelical perspective, and model Christ through community development. Through the years, BBC has done its best to achieve this mission. Whenever you meet a student or a graduate, you can tell the difference in his/her life, and the role that BBC played in their lives.
The following students are a very good example of this, in that they have only been at BBC for one semester and you can quickly notice the change in their lives.
Susanna and Damres are first year Biblical Studies students at BBC. Damres is twenty-four, Susanna is twenty-two, and they both live on campus. Whenever you see them you can’t help but ask them about the hope that they have.
Here is a short interview with both of them; enjoy sensing the spirit of God in their lives.
BBC is a Calling
When asked why they chose to attend BBC, Damres said that she heard about Bethlehem Bible College from her church’s pastor, and then searched for it online. “This year I decided to give my life to the Lord, and walk with Him. I wanted to know Him more, and I felt that he was telling me that He wanted me to study His word at BBC; so I did.”
Susanna’s story is a bit different: “Since I was in tenth grade, attending BBC was a dream for me. I started to seek God more, and my journey in faith started. I wanted to come to BBC because I knew that a lot of believers were there, that I would have a chance to minster, and that it has a spiritual atmosphere. Studying at BBC would help to strengthen my faith because at that time of my life I didn’t know anything about the word of God. I found that BBC is the perfect place for that.”
Life Before BBC
When we asked them about their lives and faith before BBC, we got fascinating answers!
Damres: “I was one of those people that have a lot of dreams and plans for their life, but they all failed! I failed to achieve all of them in one way or another. Later on I knew the reason. It was Him! Of course He didn’t mean to let me or my dreams down, but he wanted to fulfill His own dreams in my life! The moment I decided to walk with God, He revealed that He has another amazing plan for my life. Automatically everything started to work out for my best including my studies, job, life and everything!”
Susanna: “Before BBC, and before faith, I was a lost girl. I couldn’t find myself in any way, and I always felt that I was worthless without any vision for my life. But God gave me real worth; He gave a goal for my life. Then I wanted to come to BBC, and serve Him in any way possible. Before, I used to hate myself A LOT; I hated my face and my personality. He made me see myself in a different way, I stared to love myself; my hair, my teeth, my eyes, and everything about myself! God taught me that everything He does in my life is for a reason. Now whenever I face struggles, even if I don’t know the reason, I have learned to wear the glasses of faith, and to believe that all things work out for good of those who love God.
For example, now I work at the kitchen on campus; I wash dishes, which is something I don’t really like. But I know that God put me in that place for a reason, and that He will use me there among the people I work with. I face a lot of challenges nowadays, but I know that I’m in safe hands.”
A Second Home
Damres: “There is a very special relationship between students and faculty at BBC. Teachers don’t treat us like they are better than us. They are very close to us, of course there are boundaries and respect, but at the same time we act like we are family. The students are so close to each other, and despite our differences, we accept and love each other. I think it’s the love of God that connects us.”
Sussanna agrees with Damres that despite the differences between the students’ denominations and backgrounds, they are one family. And she added: “I prayed a lot before I came to BBC, because everybody told me not to expect much from anything new I was about to experience. But what I found was a lot different. We are all one family, there is love and warmth. It feels like home, and every time I move between the classrooms of the campus, I feel like I am moving inside my own home.”
We didn’t even need to ask them how BBC changed their lives as it was quite obvious, but we did ask them, and their answers encouraged us a lot.
Sussana: “At the College, I’m growing in faith, especially in prayer. I’m working on myself, on how I should accept the other. At BBC, I have learned to love as Jesus loves. BBC is working on our behaviors and life styles.”
Demares: “The College is preparing me to grow in wisdom and faith so I can get ready to go to the battle field.”
My Ministry is God’s Ministry
Regarding their current ministries and future dreams and plans, Damres said with eyes filled with faith: “Before God I was a lost girl, I didn’t know my goal in life or anything about my personality. But everything is different now. I have a different personality, and I’m still working on it. I want to look more and more like Jesus; I want to love like him and to see people through His eyes. Now I still don’t know exactly what my ministry is, as I mentioned before that I’m still a young believer, so I’m still growing and learning and praying that God will show me the ministry He wants me to be part of. The only thing I know for sure is that my ministry is God’s ministry.”
And she added, “For the future I plan to finish my BA, and then pray to the Lord so he opens doors of ministry for me.”
For Susanna it’s a bit different. She is already in ministry. “Before I came to BBC, I was a Sunday school teacher, and now I am ministering at the Lutheran Church in Bethlehem at Sunday school. I may start a ministry in an orphanage in Hebron. God gave me the gifting to work well with kids, so whenever I’m around kids, teaching and playing with them, I feel I am truly myself, and I can give from all of my heart.”
At the end of the interview they both asked for prayer for their ministry, and for God’s fulfilling promises to be true in their lives so that the One who started the good work in them will continue.
These two students are just a fraction of the overall stories from our student body. We encourage you during this special time of Christmas, the time of giving, loving, and welcoming baby Jesus into our lives, homes, and countries over and over again, to help these Palestinian students to grow in faith and finish their studies at BBC.
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.