Worthy Christian News » Christian » Seventy People Accept Christ Through the Ministry of a Teacher at the Bethlehem Bible College
By Dan Wooding
April 16, 2001
BETHLEHEM (ANS) - Despite the turmoil in Palestinian territories, seventy people have accepted Christ through the ministry of a teacher at the Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), based in the birthplace of Jesus.
Dr. Bishara Awad, founder and president of the college, made this announcement in a special message to supporters around the world.
"The Lord is truly blessing and empowering the Bible College to be a source of strength and encouragement for the declining and suffering Christian community in this land," he said. "We presently touch the lives of over 100 students. Our teachers are constantly in demand for teaching and preaching, not only at BBC, but also in Nazareth, Gaza, Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Ramleh. One of our teachers reports that in ministries that he is associated with, 70 persons have accepted Christ over the last two months."
Dr. Awad went on to say, "Spring is here with beautiful sunshine and lovely displays of color. Beauty is seen in the wild flowers of the Judean hills, in a variety of blossoming trees and in the budding of the fig trees. New life springs forth from every hill and valley, from every brook and stream, from every bird and creeping thing. Spring is a joyful reminder of the promise and hope that lie hidden beneath the darkness waiting for just the right moment to spring forth.
"PEACE IS AN ELUSIVE DREAM"
"For the last six months, the Christians and indigenous people of this land have been under unimaginable hardships, the direct result of a tightening political and economical oppression. They often feel that peace is an elusive dream. However, Christians look to Easter with faith and hope in Christ and wait with expectancy for the dawn of peace and love to break down the walls of injustice, just as Spring always emerges victorious over the darkness and cold of Winter."
Dr. Awad then spoke about the college's Shepherd Society. "We want to thank those of you who reached out to distraught, needy and poor Palestinians in the aftermath of months of closures and helicopter and tank attacks on their homes and institutions. Through the donations sent to the College and to the Shepherd Society, over 1000 families were blessed with money to buy needed groceries. The majority of these people are still unable to leave their towns and villages due to blanket closures and a state of tightened siege. Many are still unable to live in their damaged or destroyed homes.
"A friend of the College visited one of the vacated Christian homes that came under fire. Under the rubble, he was stricken by a plaque with a cross and the words, 'Rejoice in the Lord always!' How many of us would be able to rejoice when facing a catastrophe of this scope? The family who own this home are Christians -- the husband, who is blind, conducts regular Bible studies in his home. His wife is a graduate of BBC. Please pray for this family and many others who are suffering silently from the inhumanity of the current situation.
"Also, please pray for the College as we continue to be a channel of love and blessing through the generous giving of individuals and charitable organizations."
Dr. Awad also gave some good news about BBC being able to purchase a small piece of land behind the College. "The good news is that the property now belongs to the College, and many of you have honorary deeds that attest to this miracle," he said. "Praise be to God! Our future plans will be to construct on the property a building complex that will consist of a student center, a cafeteria, a music wing, a mass media area and a Christian center, as well as a parking garage."
He said that a second item of good news is that the Middle East Association of Theological Education has given the official approval to Bethlehem Bible College for a B.A. program. "We are very excited as the College is growing to serve all the Arabic speaking churches in the land," said Dr. Awad.
"A third item of news that we find exciting and positive is that in the month of May, the cities of Bethlehem (Palestine) and Orlando (Florida) will be signing a twinning agreement in order to form a supportive relationship between the peoples and the churches of these two sister cities. The College has been instrumental in coordinating this event."
He then said, "Our immediate vision for the future, as set up by the Board, is to invest in human resources. We want to send at least three Palestinian graduates outside the country for continuing education in the areas of administration and accounting in order that they can come back to serve the College administrative needs. We are now looking for scholarships and appropriate universities.
"We wish you and all your extended family the joy of the first Easter and the many blessings that abound because Christ lives!"