Home Away From Home
Most of us can identify the feelings that come from being away from home and staying in hotels, guesthouses and other accommodations when we travel. While it can be fun and exciting, there is something reassuring about being in one’s “own space” that is your home. There’s a comfortability and familiarity to one’s home, and that is why, with hospitality being the crown jewel of Palestinian culture, that we, at the BethBC Guesthouse, strive to make our guests’ stay as homey and comfortable as possible.
The BethBC Guesthouse, which is located on the campus of BethBC, is located in the heart of Bethlehem, nearby to historical sites as well as many other venues where activities and conferences take place. The Guesthouse consists of eleven rooms and a spacious and comfortable sitting room, which serves as a great place to relax or meet with your group and friends. Breakfast is included in our guests’ stay, where our staff will prepare anything from a traditional Palestinian breakfast to a more western-looking spread on any given morning. In addition to the accommodation, the Guesthouse also has maps, brochures and information about local events in our small library, which includes books and videos that our guests are free to look at during the duration of their stay.
As the BethBC Guesthouse has lodged thousands of people over our many years of hosting, our hope is that they take away from their experience far more than just a roof over their head. The hope of the BethBC Guesthouse is to bless those that enter our doors and provide a space that is a home away from home. Our prayer and our service is to create a space that is comfortable and familiar. People that share this vision have come from all over the world to help make this a reality! The BethBC Guesthouse is run by volunteer staff that offer their gifts of hospitality for a few months at a time. When asked what the current Guesthouse volunteers like most about serving, they said:
“We love the opportunity to meet all of the guests that are passing through. We enjoy hearing their stories and where they come from, as well as being able to work alongside and get to know the BethBC staff and faculty.”
It is our joy to provide a space for those that are passing through to find rest, comfort and community. To further expand our mission, we will be renovating our Guesthouse in the upcoming year. The current Guesthouse will continue to function and be unaffected by the renovations, but we anticipate being able to serve and accommodate far more people in an even more effective way in the future. While we are close to reaching our goal, we will begin the renovations once all of the funds are collected. If you have stayed with us in the past and would be interested in seeing this project expand, would you consider donating to help us bless those that will be coming in the future? For those that have not yet visited us, come! We would love to have you stay at the Guesthouse and help arrange your time in the Holy Land through our BethBC tour agency, Ta’Shuf. You’ll find all kinds of tours and opportunities that suit you and your group best.
One of the most common phrases one will hear upon their arrival in Palestine is “Ahlan wa sahlan” – You are welcome. And that is indeed the truth. You are welcome to Bethlehem, and we would love to host you at the BethBC Guesthouse and give you a home away from home.
Kamila is volunteering full-time with Bethlehem Bible College in the Communications Department. In addition to her love for writing and sharing stories, her endeavors in Bethlehem and greater Palestine involve facilitating cultural immersion programs for young adults from North America to see first-hand the realities that those living here encounter. At times deemed the “eternal optimist,” Kamila holds fast to the future hope of restoration and reconciliation of all things back to God. When she’s not writing, or organizing trips, you’ll catch her training and competing with the Ultimate Palestine frisbee team.