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CULTIVATING HOPE IN A HARSH SOIL After you click to the next slide, the music will begin and the next slides will advance automatically. When the hymn stops, you can then advance manually at your own pace. The music will begin again near the end of the presentation. Thank you.
CULTIVATING HOPE IN A HARSH SOIL
Yarabba salaami amter alayna salaam, (God of peace, rain peace upon us,) Yarabba salaami im la’qulubana salaam Yarabba salaami im la’qulubana salaam. (God of peace, fill our hearts with peace.) Yarabba salaami amter alayna salaam, (God of peace, rain peace upon us,) Yarabba salaami im’nah biladana salaam Yarabba salaami im’nah biladana salaam. (God of peace, give our land peace.) --An Arabic hymn by Father Mansour Labaki
THE HOLY LAND
Where the sun is hot and the sky clear Where soil is hard and water dear Where three religions watch and wait
And walls and rocks grow violence and hate. Yet in the midst of fear and doubt
Seeds of hope take root and sprout And olive branches still reach out beckoning that peace is near. The Old City, Jerusalem
Olives and olive oil have been important staples of the Palestinian economy for centuries, and farmers care for their olive trees like their own families. View from the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem
Both the people and the olive trees of Palestine have suffered great pain and loss, but they also bear witness to the will to survive in hard living conditions.
CULTIVATING HOPE IN A HARSH SOIL THE SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN JORDAN AND THE HOLY LAND The Wall at Bethlehem
CULTIVATING HOPE IN A HARSH SOIL THE SEEDS THE SOIL THE PROMISE OF GROWTH
THE SEEDS The Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL
THE SEEDS THE SEEDS The Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour
THE SEEDS The Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land The Dar al-Kalima Evangelical Lutheran School in Bethlehem
THE SEEDS The Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land The Evangelical Lutheran School of Hope in Ramallah
THE SEEDS The Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land The Talitha Kumi Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Jala
THE SEEDS The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL The Environmental Education Center, (EEC) Beit Jala
THE SEEDS The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL The Martin Luther Community Development Center, Jerusalem
THE SEEDS The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL The Al-Mahaba Kindergarten, JerusalemThe Educational Programs of the ELCJHL The Al-Mahaba Kindergarten, Jerusalem The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL Al-Mahaba Kindergarten, Jerusalem A parent volunteer and class
THE SEEDS The Educational Programs of the ELCJHL The Evangelical Lutheran Home for Boys, Beit Jala
LOCATIONS LOCATIONS Hope School in Ramallah is thirteen miles northwest of Jerusalem. Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and Beit Jala are about six miles south of Jerusalem. Hope School of Ramallah is north of Jerusalem. The schools and programs in Bethlehem, Beit Jala,and Beit Sahour are south of Jerusalem. All are in the West Bank occupied territories
Serving the urban Bethlehem area with 50,000 residents and 14, 000 refugees in 3 camps… Dar al-Kalima in Bethlehem with 262 students Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour with 454 students Talitha Kumi in Beit Jala with 800 students The Boarding Home in Beit Jala with 50 orphans and children from broken families, aged 5-18 Environmental Education Center in Beit Jala serving annually
Serving the Ramallah area with 70,000 residents to the northwest… Hope School with 440 students
In East Jerusalem and the Old City with 200, ,000 residents and refugees… The Martin Luther Community Development Center in the Old City now serves daily people and will soon expand its services. The Al-Mahaba Kindergarten on the Mount of Olives serves 25 children.
All of the Schools and Educational Programs of the ELCJHL are located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
There is a fence growing around the children of occupied Palestine, and it is shutting them out.
THE HARSH FACTS ON THE GROUND Bethlehem 2003
“Facts on the ground” is a military phrase used by Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. The Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, has adapted the words to describe the impact of the occupation on students and families in the Holy Land. These facts are grim.
The Harsh Facts on the Ground The Socio-economic Reality of the Students of the ELCJHL and their families
Changes since 2000 Of 11, 000 homeless in Palestine, 6000 are children. 916 Palestinian children and 123 Israeli children below the age of 18 have been killed. 1.2 million school-aged children live in Palestine. 900,000 children are below the poverty line. Half of all Palestinians are 15 years or younger. Data fromThis Week in Palestine, May, 2004, United Nations Children’s Fund and BtSelem
Although the Israeli government calls the Wall a security measure, its route absorbs 10% of Palestinian controlled land and 80% of the wall is on Palestinian land.
The Wall separates Palestinians in the West Bank from Jerusalem and other West Bank cities and villages.
Changes since 2002 Only 8 out of 80 businesses operating in 2002 on the road near the Wall in Bethlehem are still open. Tourist visits in Bethlehem averaged 92,000 per month in 2000 and only 7,000 per month in Data from the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
ISOLATION ISOLATION The route of the wall threatens the prospects for a future viable Palestinian state.
Unemployment They are cut off from Jerusalem and confined to their hometowns with little opportunity for employment. The Wall has separated them from their own neighborhoods, families, and farmlands where they cannot harvest their crops. UNEMPLOYMENT West Bank residents need special Israeli permits to have access to Jerusalem’s holy places, medical care, and commercial centers. Few can get them.
AGRICULTURE The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that since the last intifada in 2000, 2 million trees have been destoyed and nearly 20,000 acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been confiscated.
ECONOMY The wall, closures, and travel restrictions prevent many from reaching their work and from conducting business.
HOMELESSNESS As the Israeli government continues to construct the Separation Wall on Palestinian land, it demolishes existing houses along and near the planned route. Building permits take years to get and cost thousands of dollars. Ramallah, 2003
The same day Later the same day…
DISCRIMINATION Israeli settlers or squatters build villages on Palestinian land or move into empty houses in Palestinian areas without permits and are not held liable. There are now about 450,000 settlers in the West Bank which includes East Jerusalem. Some Palestinians report harassment and physical abuse from these new neighbors; some settlers openly carry weapons.
In the background is an Israeli settlement near Beit Sahour on the West Bank. There are hundreds of such settlements that dump their raw sewage on Palestinian land below.
These students and their teachers used to cross this check-point twice a day between their homes and school; some days they missed part or all of their classes.
Now they pass through a modern and permanent detention center.
The trauma and stress on these children have produced bitter fruit.
However, most … in the United States are not aware that… Break time at the Lutheran School of Beit Sahour
…students in the Lutheran Schools in Palestine come from families where there is close to 60% unemployment, where the average daily income is the equivalent of $2, and where the emigration of Palestinian Christians to escape the effects of the occupation may soon lead to the complete absence of Christians in the Holy Land. Rod Schofield, Chair, ELCA Division for Higher Education and Schools, in “Lutheran Schools in the Holy Land: Challenges and Hope,” Evangelical Lutheran Education Association Views and Vision Newsletter, Summer 2005
MORE GRIM FACTS ON THE GROUND I have never been as afraid for the future of Arab Christianity as I am now. Many Arab Christian and Muslim intellectuals and leaders are also worried that the continued witness of Arab Christianity in the Middle East will disappear. Easter Message for April, 2005 Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan ELCJHL
IN THE HARSH REALITY SIGNS OF HOPE
A MODERN PARABLE Because Adnan knew that the Wall would deny him access to his olive trees, he decided to give them a quick and merciful death by cutting them down. After five months, when he was finally allowed to visit his land…
A MODERN PARABLE, cont’d. …he saw new branches growing from the stumps. His Palestinian trees were able to grow without water or food because their roots are in the land. That is the hope cultivated here. Excerpted from ELCJHL Newsletter, October, 2004
A LUTHERAN TRADITION Someone once asked Martin Luther what he would do if he knew the world would end the next day. “I would go out and plant a tree.” (Excerpted from ELCJHL Newsletter, October, 2004)
The Schools and the Educational Programs of the ELCJHL stand firm in Luther’s testimony of hope and determination in the midst of crisis and loss.
CULTIVATING HOPE A Tradition in the Schools of the ELCJHL First in the area to educate girls and boys and Muslims and Christians together 45 %girls 55% boys 6% Lutheran 44% Greek Orthodox 10% other Christians 40% Muslim
THE COMMITMENT TO HOPE CONTINUES Through promoting the Values of –Non-violence –Tolerance –Co-existence –Peace –Excellence –Creativity –an Affirming Community –Holistic Approaches
THE COMMITMENT TO HOPE CONTINUES In late 2004 and early 2005 the Schools of the ELCJHL initiated a needs assessment of their work. It was the first project of its kind in the area. In 2005 a group of local and international consultants conducted a site visit and assessment of the Schools, which became the basis for a continuing strategic plan to meet the needs of students.
The Goals of the ELCJHL Schools The basis of the strategic plan 1. To develop wholesome, creative, and innovative students in an ever-changing world
2. To integrate peace values, reinforce democracy, and encourage respect for others
3. To promote communication and cooperation with the schools and local and international groups
4. To mold and reinforce Palestinian… 4. To mold and reinforce Palestinian…
…and Christian identity …and Christian identity
5. To provide quality education through innovative methods
6. To create a healthy and stimulating school environment
7. To provide for students’ individual differences and special needs
8. To reinforce and support the role of women in Palestinian society
9. To practice financial responsibility More than 50% of actual student school costs ($1250 on average) in the ELCJHL Schools are subsidized by the ELCJHL under normal conditions. Since 2001 the ELCJHL has had to subsidize nearly 70% of the costs. Many parents have not found work in four years; unemployment is soon expected to reach 70%.
How to Help Pray and work for peace with justice. Read about the ELCJHL and its Schools and Educational Programs (www.holyland- lutherans.org). Learn about the Palestinian people and tell their story. Call and write political representatives and government officials. Join a travel or study group to learn more.
How to Help Contribute to the student scholarship or sponsorship fund –In the United States or Canada contact Rev. David Lerseth Division for Global Mission Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL
How to Help Residents of other countries can give to the student scholarship or sponsorship fund by contacting Dr. Charlie D. Haddad ELCJHL Schools and Educational Programs P.O. Box – Old City Jerusalem Phone: Fax:
How to Help Contribute to any of the following needs: A librarian’s salary and library resources Science lab facilities Computer laboratory Language laboratory Sports equipment and facilities Funds and volunteers for environmental projects
How to Help Contribute to any of the following needs: Additional classroom space Outdoor all-purpose playground for pre- school program Daycare programs for mothers in the Old City Sports program for the Old City young people Continuing education and training for women in the Old City
CULTIVATING A HARVEST OF HOPE Yarabba salaami amter alayna salaam, (God of peace, rain peace upon us,) Yarabba salaami im la’qulubana salaam Yarabba salaami im la’qulubana salaam. (God of peace, fill our hearts with peace.) Yarabba salaami amter alayna salaam, (God of peace, rain peace upon us,) Yarabba salaami im’nah biladana salaam Yarabba salaami im’nah biladana salaam. (God of peace, give our land peace.) --An Arabic hymn by Father Mansour Labaki
HUMOR IS A FORM OF HOPE.
THE FUTURE HARVEST CALLS.
We have tasted a harsh bitterness: the bitterness of occupation, of seeing our people being killed, homes destroyed, lands confiscated, and this apartheid wall being built on our own soil. But let us not give up hope. Justice will prevail, and freedom will come. All we have to do is to stand together, to keep the candle of hope burning, and to work and struggle for our freedom. Salaam Bannoura in her graduation speech at Beit Sahour Evangelical Lutheran School, June, 2005
All we have to do is stand together, to keep the candle and the olive tree of hope burning… growing… Love goes on in spite of everything… drawing by J. Qeissiyeh, student at Dar Al-Kalima School in Bethlehem
chosen as the 2004 Christmas card of the Lutheran World Federation
Please don’t forget we’re here. A student’s remark related by a recent visitor
Dr. Charlie D. Haddad Director of Schools and Educational Programs of the ELCJHL Photos by Andy Willis, Pastor Julie Rowe, Pastor Mark Nelson, and Sister Sylvia Countess Prepared by Sr. Sylvia Countess Assistant to the Director of Schools of the ELCJHL Written by the people of Palestine and dedicated to their courage