COVID 19 has dealt a serious setback to our companions in the ELCJHL across Palestine and, undoubtedly, has affected the lives of many of you, our supporters. The wider Bethlehem area, where the ELCJHL operates two schools and a guest house, has been put under lockdown, while businesses and schools have shuttered across Palestine. We pray that the Holy Spirit of our Triune God give you and our Palestinian partners the steadfastness of the olive tree in the midst of this trial.
We will return to raising scholarship funds once the situation has stabilized and the schools return to normal operation, but in the meantime we are asking for financial support to help sustain the people and programs of the ELCJHL’s educational ministries through this crisis. Knowing that the virus has affected many of you personally, we are sensitive to ask for contributions now, but nonetheless feel a need to do so given the precarious situation of many Palestinian families.
For a fuller picture of the ELCJHL's financial situation, please read this letter from Bishop Azar. As the letter notes, "Any financial aid collected will be used in two directions:
To provide humanitarian aid to 100 families in the West Bank, particularly the Bethlehem district. The assistance will be an in-kind assistance by providing food kits. $200 per household x 100 family x 3 months = $60,000
To provide 50% of the employees’ salary for a period of 2 months at least, or around $200,000."
Female Athletes of the ELCJHL Win Awards
With the recent celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, we want to spotlight some of the inspiring female athletes of the ELCJHL. One student recently won an international competition, while other students took home awards during the 5th annual Spring Sports Day.
Above: Sherin (front row, second from left) receives her medal at the competition
Bottom right: Sherin is honored during the morning assembly.
Sherin is an 8th grader at Dar al-Kalima Lutheran School (DAK). She spent the first 10 years of her life in Bethlehem before she moved to the US, where she began taking karate classes. After 4 years in the US, she returned to Bethlehem and began attending DAK, where she got involved in the karate club, a co-curricular activity offered to all students free of charge. After months of practice, Sherin recently participated in the Sisters of Dalal Championship in Morocco. She won all of her matches at the competition and took home the 1st place medal. Karate has taught Sherin a lot about her own strength and boosted her confidence and bravery.
Meanwhile, on Friday, February 21st, Dar al-Kalima Lutheran School hosted the 5th annual Spring Sports Day. Students from all four Lutheran schools including Dar al-Kalima (DAK), the Evangelical Lutheran School of Beit Sahour, Hope Lutheran School of Ramallah, and Talitha Kumi participated in the event. Competitions were held in girls and boys football, chess, and table tennis. The Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour won the girls football championship and Dar al-Kalima took home the gold in girls table tennis. These girls are powerful examples of empowerment, determination, strength, and leadership. The older female students pave the way and mentor younger girls to follow their passions for sports. These role models are the foundation for future generations of student athletes.
Above left: ELS Beit Sahour's Championship Girls Football Team
Above right: DAK's Championship Girls Table Tennis Team