“Ambassadors for the College”
Dori and Ran our previous Guesthouse hosts volunteers!
Bethlehem Bible College has been a place for us to learn to understand the mission of Christ from a Palestinian perspective. It is many things: a place for equipping students to be effective Christian witnesses to other Palestinians and to the world, a continuing light in Palestine, a place of hope in the midst of conflict, and a place where peacemakers grow.
We were first introduced to Palestinian people living in the Burj al Bourajnia refugee camp in Beirut, where we lived and worked for three years. The poverty and injustice faced by these people chafed at our consciences for ten years. Then in 2019, God opened the way for us to go to Palestine through friends of Bethlehem Bible College.
BethBC gave us the opportunity to listen to and learn from Palestinians in Bethlehem, as we served as Guesthouse hosts. Preparing breakfast for guests from all over the world allowed us to have conversations about justice, peace, and Christian faith. We spent time getting to know faculty, staff and students at the College. We sat in on lectures given by Bishara Awad for tourists, who experienced Occupied Palestine for only one day before continuing on their Holy Land tours. We listened as he told about his own journey—his place in the Palestinian narrative. He talked about the meaning of land in the Bible and why it is important to Palestinians today. He spoke about what the Bible says about the Old and New Covenants and how they are misinterpreted by many Christians. He spoke about justice as a way to peace. He answered visitors’ questions with grace, humility, and the authority of Scripture.
We also experienced the Shepherd Society’s willingness to help a man from one of the camps whose child had severe health problems. People we met in the community around the college expressed their high esteem for BethBC regardless of their religious background. As we helped out in the Star Bazaar gift shop, we could see how they encourage local artisans and sell only products created by Palestinians. The earnings, in turn, benefit students who need financial help in order to be able to attend the college.
Bethlehem Bible College has now given us the new opportunity of learning Arabic online from our home. We are part of a small class that meets on Zoom twice weekly. Lily, our teacher, gives us personal attention and support, keeping us engaged and believing that we really can learn this beautiful language.
In letters and face-to-face gatherings with family, friends and other interested people, we have shared the Palestinian narrative as we heard in the stories and saw played out during our time there. We have shared about the generosity of the Palestinian people who invited us into their homes. For many of these people, among them our Christian friends, our stories have been eye-opening.
We hope to be able to return to Bethlehem soon to attend a Christ at the Checkpoint Conference. We continue to feel part of an extended family as ambassadors for the College, as we believe in the mission of the College to “train people to serve Christ in the world, advocate a Palestinian Evangelical perspective, and model Christ through community development.”