Today Tim and I visited Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) Schools in Beit Sahour (The Evangelical Lutheran School, Salim Jaber, Deputy Principal) and Bethlehem (Dar Al-Kalima School, Anton Nassar, Director) and the Environmental Education Center in Beit Sahour (Simon Awad, Executive Director).
We also visited with Dr. Charlie D. Haddad, the ELCJHL’s Director of Education. I am interviewing Dr. Haddad in this photo:
There will be videos coming from these visits, but the overall message is the excellent education that the Lutheran Church in the West Bank is providing for Christian and Muslim children, education which teaches, even emphasizes, peace-building and interfaith understanding while still being unashamedly Christian as well as holding up the church’s commitment to the environment and environmental education in the midst of occupation and continued political unrest.
While we were at the Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour I thought often of our preschool at Mt. Olive, especially when I was with the 3 and 4 year olds in Beit Sahour, how their lives are in so many ways the same but in important ways very different from the lives of our Mt. Olive Preschool children. Here’s a photo of the 4 year old class at Beit Sahour:
The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour has 439 students, 80% are Christian and 20% are Muslim.
Later, the students at the Dar Al-Kalima School in Bethlehem danced for us:
The Dar Al-Kalima School in Bethlehem has 309 students, 34% are Christian and 66% are Muslim.
Here is a photo of me with Anton “Tony” Nassar, Director of the Dar Al-Kalima School:
Students were visiting the Environmental Education Center in Beit Jala while we were there:
This was a very full day!
But, we are still at it…