Palestine (MNN) – As the holidays arrive, everyone’s providing volunteer opportunities, and the global church is no exception. Bethlehem Bible College needs volunteers in many areas (around the year) and offers workers the chance to fellowship with Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ in return.
For three years, Kamila has volunteered with Bethlehem Bible College (BethBC). She moved to Bethlehem from Indiana in 2016 as a coordinator with a different organization bringing young adults to Palestine. As she made friends and connections, someone asked her to help out as an English officer in the Communications and Development Department at BethBC.
There she quickly connected with her team and caught the vision of the college. Suddenly the Church was bigger and more complex than what she knew before. Politically, Palestine is a complicated place, and Palestinian Christians often get stuck in the middle.
“To see a faith that’s had to be worked through suffering and hard times that’s been really beautiful and influential on my own faith, but then I see how that affects groups that come and meet with the college, the different leaders we’ve had over the last 40 years of its existence [it] has also been just a really beautiful thing to witness.”
Seeing a Bigger Picture
Kamila says it has been an honor to work alongside people who are the descendants of the early Church and who still struggle with communicating the truth of Christ to the hostile world around them. Her time at BethBC has allowed her to see the Gospel message in action.
“So that’s kind of big picture, you’re kind of seeing this very small group of people that have been here for a very long time, that maybe aren’t even known, but really have a powerful voice and have done their theology through hardship and suffering. And [they] know what does it really mean to live the teachings of Jesus in the land that he taught them because these are very real things to them.”
In addition to challenges to her faith, volunteering at BethBC has meant working with people who push and encourage her to do better in and outside of work. Her small team in Communications and Development has challenged her to broaden her skillsets. She started with helping with English writing and editing, but now has even been in some videos.
Come Volunteer at BethBC!
For Kamila, long-term volunteering has been an amazing opportunity, but it’s not the default for everyone. Most volunteer opportunities range from one to three months and encompass a range of tasks. BethBC needs volunteers for English language help, hospitality services and even IT support.
Often, Kamila notes, security is a sticking point for people. However, she feels safe in Bethlehem. There, people watch out for each other and invite one another into their homes and lives. “I feel relief when I actually cross into Bethlehem, like okay I’m back with my people. I’m back in my community.”
Kamila encourages others to learn more about Palestinian believers and join BethBC in training students to serve Christ. “Donating, coming and volunteering, coming on tours or just as simply as like following us on social media or signing up for our newsletters I think is huge.” Kamila says, “It’s learning more about kind of the nuanced element of being a Palestinian Christian in the Holy Land.”
Header photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College