The Story of John and Janet Angle and their part in the growth of the College.
Over 40 years ago Janet and John Angle met Bishara Awad, founder of Bethlehem Bible College. A strong bond of friendship was established with Bishara and Salwa, and the Hope Christian Trust was set up in the UK to support students and the College’s varied ministries. Visits to the land nearly every year to bring encouragement and support was a regular feature of their lives. John, with a strong theological and educational background, lectured and set up a Study Centre for the College in Gaza. Janet was always around to give help and support and befriend the staff and students.
Several meetings and visits by the College choir to the UK were arranged. Funding proposals were made and hundreds of thousand dollars were raised for the ministry of the College, particularly for the purchase of buildings to house the increasing number of students. John and Janet were also involved in the Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences over several years. Visits were often exciting and risky in many ways (particularly through the two intifadas) but they never stopped travelling to Bethlehem (at their own expense), a place with people they grew to love (although Gaza became a close second).
Through the years John followed a career in teaching, as a government school inspector, and was later ordained into full-time ministry in the Church of England. Janet did much of the paperwork, and serving as the office of the Trust occupied much of their time, energy, and prayers. They both recognized the importance of “succession planning,” so now they have formed a new charity – the Bethlehem Development Trust – with new trustees, passing on to others the ministry of the College in the UK. At 80 years of age (but still very fit and well) John and Janet can hand their ministry to new enthusiasts. May God bless this new ministry.
John and Janet have seen some exciting developments in the College over the years and they count it a privilege to be part of the growth of the College and to see servants of the Lord train and move out into ministry. They will never stop visiting and staying in a Guesthouse room with their name on the door (a $10,000 personal investment which helped pay for the top floor of the Guesthouse). Dr. Bishara and John created some interesting money-raising plans: buying a room for the Guesthouse or a classroom in the new Student Centre, and setting up the 240 Club with leaves on the walls of the Administration Building.
Reminiscing is good, looking back and learning is good, but God calls us to move forward – “forgetting those things that are past and pressing on to what lies before.” Janet and John will press on with encouraging the College’s ministry through the new Trust, as an old English hymn says, “giving thanks for all that is past and trusting Him for all that’s to come.”