Light in My Country: Student Testimonies
We are very proud of our students as they are fulfilling God’s calling in their lives. We invite you to read more about some of their testimonies, ministries and the great job they have been doing in our society!
While reading and watching the videos below, please keep these students in your prayers, and pray for more students as we are about to start recruiting for our next semester!
“Studying is the light I walk under in serving the Kingdom of God. It grows and deepens my faith life and trains me to minister.” Abu Ayman’s testament of growing in his faith and the impact on his community is a beacon of hope in the heartbreaking reality of brokenness.”
– Abu Ayman, Online Biblical Studies
“I can confidently say it is an amazing program that allows pastors, lay church leaders, and believers to build many essential skills regarding faith and ministry. The program bestowed a new eye to the world, God, and to myself. In fact, I became more of a man of prayer. The challenges I still have are how to live in this world but different from it, as well as how to preach Christ in my context and environment with strong faith, self-trust, and no fear. Through the program, I’m learning how to meet my challenges. I encourage those who read my story to try and join and discover the beauty of such a program.”
– Azad Kosa, Online Biblical Studies
“When we decided we were going to visit Ritaj, a 4-year-old cancer patient from Gaza, we went to the hospital she was getting treatment at in Jerusalem. It was so weird for me in the beginning because we had to wear sterile clothes, gloves, hats and we even covered our shoes!
When I first saw Ritaj, so much love flowed from my heart towards her. I start questioning why a 4-year-old girl has to suffer and go through all of this. This isn’t how a little girl should be living her life! She had no hair, and the cancer made her blind! I could see her, but she couldn’t see me!
I didn’t know what to do or how to act! I wanted to show her how much I love her, but at the same time she couldn’t see me. She couldn’t look into my eyes!
We introduced ourselves. She introduced herself to the five of us as well, and I sensed how clever this girl was – how sociable! She talked, laughed and played! This made me think that this tiny girl with cancer really knows how to live and how to handle such pain!
During this time, a connection started to form between me and Ritaj, and before we left, she called my name and asked to shake my hand. She felt the gloves I was wearing, and she asked me, “Why you are wearing those gloves? I want to feel you!” She broke my heart. I wanted to feel her too, and have physical connection with her without any boundaries, but I couldn’t!
This little girl had so much hope in her blind eyes! Despite everything she was going through, she still smiled and laughed and enjoyed life! She encouraged me; she taught me that life goes on, and that we have to be strong in our most weak places!”
– Damres Nawawra, Biblical Studies student
“A lot of us were very sick and couldn’t even travel as we were heading to Jordan to serve Iraqi and Syrian refugees. I was sick with a high fever, and my voice was hoarse. I was supposed to lead worship for all of our activities while we were there!
On the day of the church’s weekly meeting, the one where we were supposed to lead worship, nothing went right. I was very, very sick; I couldn’t sing, but I prepared the songs anyway. I couldn’t write devotions to share with the worship songs, and the computer that had the worship lyrics was malfunctioning, with no internet access to find the lyrics online!
We knew the Enemy was against us. We went away to pray. We asked for protection and healing and that God’s work would be done.
Amazingly, my voice came back! The team and I were anointed by God that day and we were able to carry on worshipping in loud, clear voices and the lyrics came back to me – even the ones I never memorized! When we thought everything was falling apart, we were amazed that people actually ended up coming to the front to receive blessings.
That night, we were on fire, and we didn’t want that night to end. We stayed up until four in the morning the next day, praying and praising God for what he had done among us!”
– Ala’a Khair, Biblical Studies graduate 2018
“My pastor once asked me to share my testimony with the church. I was terrified. What shall I say? What should I begin with? Will they accept me?
When I shared what God did in my life in front of my church, I felt courage and strength from above. I shared my testimony and the great things God had brought me through! After I finished, my pastor told me that he just witnessed an arising of a great servant and preacher. I thank God for blessing me and putting his words on my lips! I’m humbled by God’s graciousness.
I still face the same fears every time I speak, but God’s faithfulness always arrives on time to strengthen and encourage me. I still can’t believe that it is me that has the honor of sharing God’s Word with all kinds of people. I’m certain that it is always the Spirit of God speaking through me to the world!
Just like David, I also say, “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (Psalms 51:15)”
-Adham Araj, Biblical Studies graduate 2019
“To build a better world, you have to build a better generation; and to build a better generation, you have to start with the children! That’s what I’m proudly doing. Children are like sponges, they absorb whatever you teach and tell them. I teach them the Word of God: verses from the Bible, stories about people from the Bible, and stories about Jesus. I challenge them to think about these things and follow in His steps. I ask them, “How do you handle your problems when you need to share, or obey your parents or even sit quietly during class?” What they learn in class will be practiced in real life.
One child I work with has autism. He was lonely and preferred to stay alone. If anyone spoke with him, he would become angry. I was more careful and loving with him, helping him to feel like he was part of the class by playing on the playground and helping the other children to befriend and accept him. I taught them about differences in one another, but how that should be celebrated and embraced! Little by little, he began to speak and become more social, and all of the children began playing together. I love seeing their lives being transformed!
It is a great pleasure for me to serve among the future generations! We invest in our present to create a better future. It’s just like what Jesus said in Luke 18: 16, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’”
-Issa Sleem, Biblical Studies graduate 2018
“Kassandra grew up attending a Baptist church in Palestine, but in recent years has taken on more responsibilities serving in the church. Her studies at BethBC have prepared her for her intentional ministry with the children and youth she engages with every week. “When I prepare for a Sunday school lesson, or a youth group lesson, I always include things that I learned from my courses so that I can benefit others. I feel that it is a big responsibility, yet it is always a blessing to have the opportunity to witness to the youth.”
– Kassandra Al-Massou, Biblical Studies graduate 2019
“Alfred is a first-year theology student at BethBC. His goal in life is to represent the image of Jesus in the best way he can in the context he lives in. He said, “I chose BethBC because it is the only college in Bethlehem that teaches the Word of God, and I want to develop my skills and myself to be effective in ministry in our society. I’m already growing in my faith, and I can see that my life and heart are changing.” Though he is still just at the beginning of his studies, he is continually eager to pursue his studies to grown in wisdom and understanding of God to share with others he comes in contact with.”
-Alfred Ghawali, Biblical Studies Student
“When you make disabled people happy, feed people with your hands, make them laugh, spend time with them and tell them a story – all of these little things make a difference in the Kingdom of God. “
-Elham Nissan, Biblical Studies Student
“Saleem Anfous has used his gift of video production and media expertise to serve BethBC through the Communications and Development department. Saleem graduated from BethBC’s New Vision Media Center in 2007 and is enrolled in BethBC’s Master’s in Christian Leadership and Ministry. When asked why he finds this work meaningful, he responded, “Working in our department gives us the ability to communicate effectively and creatively the mission of the College, as well as share about the realities of our life here in the Holy Land as followers of Jesus.” Today, Saleem produces and films most of the BethBC’s videos you find on our social media and newsletter. His work is expanding, and others are asking for his services.”
– Saleem Anfous, Mass Media + Christian Leadership graduate 2018
“Elias D’ies, a recently elected member of the Beit Sahour Municipality, is a graduate of the Tour Guiding program at BethBC. “Since I discovered my call and passion in my life through my study at BethBC, I have decided that I need to stay, live, and give all of my life here in Palestine to serve my community in different ways. I believe in positive change, and every single person can be the change he or she wants to see in life. I hope to create new classes in schools to work with students at a young age to deepen their social responsiveness toward their city, thereby creating young leaders who are capable to lead the community in the future.” Elias continues to serve as a city council member in the Municipality as well as project manager for a local NGO.”
-Elias D’ies, Tour Guide graduate 2010
M.A. In Peace Studies
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.