Meet One of Us: Friends of BethBC
Since the founding of Bethlehem Bible College in 1979, there has been substantial growth and development that has blessed countless people. But where did it all begin? How has BethBC managed to continue on in teaching and training up leaders for the next generation?
Arriving back to Palestine after studying in the United States, Dr. Bishara Awad had a vision to create an evangelical, interdenominational Bible college in Palestine. He had noticed that many of the young Christians like himself had set out to further their theological education abroad, but never returned. He met with many local Arab pastors and shared his idea of starting a college that would equip, train and prepare leaders in ministry in Palestine.
The pastors and local leaders that listened to Dr. Bishara’s idea for a Bible college were met with unanimous agreement that this type of institution should be established. One pastor from Jerusalem gave Dr. Bishara twenty dollars as an offering for the first funds of this endeavor. This sparked an idea with Dr. Bishara that became known as the 240+ Club. The idea was that if people were willing to give $20/month for a year, then the college would receive $240 each year by one person. A painting of a tree with many branches covers a wall in the main lobby of the College now, and it is the commemoration of the 240+ Club. Each leaf is a family name, church or organization that has donated $240/year or more to the College. Over the years the tree has grown and is seen as a symbol of the growing work of God in our community and beyond. The faithful donations and prayers of our friends have helped to establish a place of training and education for local Palestinians to serve and be a blessing both locally and abroad.
It was no small feat to get BethBC up and running. It has proven the same in its upkeep and sustainability. We are tremendously grateful to those in the 240+ Club, but also to those that have come and visited or volunteered, taught, shared and journeyed with us over the years. The culture of the Bible College is truly an interdenominational one, and we see the richness of this diversity and exchange. The partnership of our friends both locally and abroad are not taken lightly, and we wanted to share our thanks to this truly global mission that has allowed the reach of the College to expand and bless not only locals, but also those around the world.
The blessing of friendship is one of the most beautiful things that we can experience in this life. We are proud and honored to share our thanks and love with our friends as International Day of Friendship comes on July 30th. To those that have been with us from the start: thank you. To those of you who have come alongside us over the years: thank you. May God bless you for your partnership and diligence in continuing to spread the Word of our Lord to our students in Palestine and beyond. We are grateful.