Meet the Super Family of BBC
They say that youth are more prone to getting bored, and leaving. They say that youth always search for an easy, comfortable life. And come on, it is their right! It is the least anyone should ask for. But not in my country!
It’s always a joy to my heart to see Palestinian Christian young couples living their life here in this region without complaining, and without the intention to leave, because they believe that it’s God’s calling for their lives.
What an honor to write about friends that share this journey with me, a similar vision, memories, real friendship, and who I knew from the very beginning.
In 2009, Saleem was working with a Christian institution, and he came to BBC to give a course about leadership training.
I remember that day very well as my lifetime friend Lubna and I were both freshmen in the Mass Media Department. Everybody got excited about that program. Saleem caught our attention with his leadership skills, his passion and enthusiasm.
We participated in that training program. We were enjoying every challenging activity and training, but something else was catching Saleem’s attention. I will let him continue the story:
“Lubna caught my attention, and I started to see her a lot through the program and the activities we used to do. We started to get to know each other and talking more. And that’s it! I got trapped!! We got engaged, and after almost a year, we got married in August 2012.”
My very best friends, Saleem and Lubna Anfous, have been married for five years. They have a little girl, Celia, who is three years old. They are expecting another baby girl in July!
BBC’s Magical Touch
Lubna was a student at BBC in the Mass Media Department. She graduated in 2011, and after getting married, she joined the Online Diploma in Biblical Studies at BBC. Saleem was also a student. He also studied Mass Media, and then continued his BA degree in Biblical Studies. He is a current student in the Masters of Christian Leadership at BBC.
They both admit that BBC changed their lives in bringing them together, but also acknowledge the impact on a spiritual level! Especially Saleem:
“When I first joined BBC, I was almost lost. I had many questions going on in my head about God’s control on earth, and about God’s accepting certain things to happen; especially at that time, while the second Intifada was taking place in Palestine. I used to ask many questions on why God was letting such bad and unjust things to happen to my own people, the Palestinians. After this dilemma, I decided to give God a break from my life. But studying at BBC changed everything. After so many strong discussions with some of the faculty, and after some courses, my heart started to change. I started to know God in a very different way. This knowledge of God answered many questions I found hard to answer in the past. My faith took another turn after BBC. Now I understand that my faith does not concentrate only on me and God, but that it is about everybody else too! It is how I influence others through my faith.”
For Lubna, she said that she took her faith seriously long before BBC, but being a student at BBC enriched her faith more and more.
Unless the Lord Builds the House, the Builders Labor in Vain
But first, God! They both know that without God, they can’t build a strong house. They say, “We both have a serious relationship with God, and we both are still learning how to get closer and stronger with God as a family.”
Celia, their three-year-old daughter, is a very clever, talkative, funny and happy child. She understands everything they teach her much faster than the kids her age. As challenging as it sounds, she is such a blessing, and as Lubna always says, “Sometimes she is the one who teaches me things!”
In nurturing Celia, they make sure she knows how important God is in her life. “We talk about Him all the time with her, we read her a story from the Bible each day, and every night we pray with her before she sleeps.”
“We also teach her to trust us in all circumstances. We want Celia to come to us and trust that we will always be there for her. One more thing we try to do is to maintain a positive energy. We always make sure to talk about positive things, and to tell our daughter positive things. Most importantly, we make sure that whatever we teach her, we do as well. This way she can notice that we really do what we teach her to do.”
Work and Ministries
Saleem is my co-worker at BBC. We both work in the Development and Communications Department in the same office – full of women! Poor guy, he always has to engage in girly talks!
“I make videos and small movies about different topics. I love my job because it helps me show my Palestinian Christian identity through those movies. We show our daily life, and the events that take place in our country. We show the positive and beautiful side of Palestine.”
“I’m also part of the Christ at the Checkpoint Young Adults Committee. Their vision is mine as well. We aim to encourage the Palestinian Christian young adults to stay in the land, be light and salt in it, speak up against unjust situations and lack of rights their people are living in, and do this all through a biblical perspective.”
Another ministry Saleem participates in is the Revival Generation movement. He has passion for youth, and through this ministry, he serves the youth leaders in Palestine by training them on how to be effective leaders to the youth.
Lubna does a similar line of work. “I work in a Christian media organization as well. I do graphic design.”
In Palestine, you never know what the future will hold!
“Living in Palestine, and in the Middle East in general, taught us that nothing is certain, and everything may change in a blink of an eye. We never know what will happen ten years from now, whether we will still be living in the same house, or working in the same places. And that’s because of the uncertain political, economic and religious situations. So, you don’t really plan many years ahead in your life. You just live day by day.”
Even in these unsure situations they live in as a Palestinian couple, they live, and they live abundantly.
“We refuse to leave Palestine as most of the young couples are doing, because we have a call. God called us as a family to live in this land, and to serve Him and the community here. We are called as a family to impact. We see every little thing we do as a family, as small as it is, and as funny as it is, as a way to reach to people – to give them hope and to draw a smile on their faces.”
A perfect example of this is their participation in the Marathon of Palestine, which they do every year as a family, and calling themselves: “The Super Family.”
Saleem: “Superman is on old comic character that we all know and love. I love him because although he has a lot of struggles, problems and his own weaknesses, he is strong! He does good. He fights for goodness on a planet that is not his, for people that he does not belong to, but he serves and loves anyway. From him, I want my daughter to learn how to help people and to not be a selfish person in a world where everybody only thinks of himself!”
A Sound of Hope
Lubna ended the interview with a strong message of hope: “I encourage the Palestinian youth to have a sense of belonging to their land. Even though we have a lot of struggles and challenges in different ways, even though we lack basic rights here in Palestine, don’t think that by leaving things will get better. Every country has its own challenges. God brought you here, in this land. Stand still for your country, belong to it, love it, be proud of it, and try to be a change!”
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.