Giving Tuesday: Sustain2020
As the year comes to a close, Bethlehem Bible College (BethBC) looks back not only at this past year and our accomplishments, but over the last 40 years of our existence. In 2019, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Bethlehem Bible College, and what an amazing blessing it was to gather with friends from near and far who have helped make our ministry possible. Though Bethlehem remains a small city, we see the far reaching impact of our ministry that was started by faithful followers of Jesus. And it is with this understanding that our God can do immeasurably more than we can imagine that we also remember and give thanks for our community of support and partners all over the world! That is why we are eager to share with you what 2020 has in store for Bethlehem Bible College.
Sustaining the Journey of Faithfulness
We brought attention to the journey of faithfulness that has been ongoing now for over 40 years at Bethlehem Bible College. Now, it’s time to share with you where we hope to continue to journey to in the upcoming year and beyond! As our mission remains unchanged, we are seeking to source our ability to further minister to our community through creative, sustainable means. That is why we are introducing our newest campaign, Sustain2020, not only for this year’s Giving Tuesday, which falls on December 3, 2019, but also for the upcoming year. We have three main areas that we will focus on in 2020 with hopes of further developing and utilizing their different functions to fund our student scholarships, community programs and outreach efforts.
BethBC Guest House
On the campus of Bethlehem Bible College, we have a cozy Guest House that we utilize to host foreigners or people from out of town to have a comfortable place to stay while they are away from home. Replete with breakfast prepared by our volunteer staff in the mornings, we are also centrally located in Bethlehem, which makes getting around quite easy if our guests want to go into the city to see the holy sites or engage with the community. It is our joy to provide a space for those that are passing through. To further expand our mission, we will be renovating our Guest House in 2020 with the anticipation of serving and accommodating larger groups and more people in an even more effective way moving forward. Even without having begun the renovations, we see the impact of the revenue the Guest House brings in to further the reach of BethBC in our ministries. After renovations are complete, we will be able to accommodate three times the guests we currently do, which will be a 65% increase in revenue that can fund our scholarships, community programs and outreach efforts!
Star Bazaar Gift Shop and Bookstore
Simulating a Palestinian bazaar experience, Bethlehem Bible College’s Star Bazaar Gift Shop and Bookstore is on the campus of BethBC and offers one-of-a-kind products that are locally sourced and fair-trade. The revenue collected from the Star Bazaar are used to assist in funding our student scholarships, as many students cannot afford to pay for tuition and classes. The money made through the Star Bazaar is also used for the general upkeep of the College. We have been blessed with amazing products that we are able to display and sell because of the efforts of the staff at the Star Bazaar who work with local, marginalized artisans with product development and marketing. The reach of the College goes beyond just those that are buying and enjoying the products, but in turn we are able to assist students in their studies, support organizations in our community that help people with physical and learning disabilities as well as encourage local artisans to continue to develop and sell their items in our store to support their families. This is an amazing three-fold ministry that continues to bless those within our reach.
In hopes of curbing our expenses for electric, BethBC installed solar panels on campus in 2018. While we haven’t reached the full optimization of this initiative, up to this point we’ve already begun saving 33% on our electric bills, which is allowing for the money that was usually spent on electricity to be funneled into our impact programs. Not only is this project assisting in furthering our mission with outreach and teaching, but also in caring for the community and world around us through stewardship of God’s creation. With the ability to further develop this technology, we’ll be able to save even more with a sustainable project to help source our ministries.
While we are excited to share our developments and plans, there remains a crucial piece of the puzzle left to make it all work, and that’s you! Sustain2020 sets the scene for a Bethlehem Bible College that anticipates having different initiatives and sustainable projects in place to continue carrying on our ministry into the next 40 years. In order for this to become a reality, however, we need faithful friends and partners like you. This Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019, would you consider donating toward our Sustain2020 campaign so that we can boost these projects’ ability to reach a higher potential for long-lasting impact on our students and community? The money that is raised will go toward projects that make Bethlehem Bible College more self-sustainable: clean solar energy that reduces our footprint and saves thousands of dollars on electric bills, generating income through our Star Bazaar Gift Shop and tripling the size of our Guest House for visitors. All of these projects free up more of our funds for our top priority – the students and others we minister to.
Join us this Giving Tuesday, and help make Bethlehem Bible College more self-sustainable in our mission to serve the Lord in Bethlehem!
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.