By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BETHLEHEM. WEST BANK (ANS. JULY 3, 2014) — Dozens gathered on June 11 for a gala evening celebrating the legacy of Rev. Alex Awad, a longtime faculty member at Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) in the West Bank.
He is also the author of books and articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pioneer in the Palestinian evangelical church and founding father of The Shepherd Society.
According to an article on the Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) website, the 35 years of work by his wife Brenda Awad at the Development Office of Bethlehem Bible College were also honored in the event.
A live Palestinian band set the atmosphere as distinguished pastors, theologians, community leaders, and authorities gathered. The evening was conducted by the Dean of Students of the college, Shireen Hilal.
BBC President Jack Sara welcomed the guests and expressed his deep appreciation for the work and commitment of the Awads.
BBC said following the speech, the school’s media department presented a short film that celebrated the work of the Awads in the college. In the film, many of BBC’s staff and faculty expressed their love and appreciation to the family.
The Awads have been members of the Bible College since 1979 when, at the request of then-president Bishara Awad, they both left their jobs in America to serve at the newly formed college in Bethlehem.
“This phone call changed our lives forever,” said Brenda Awad, recalling the event.
BBC said once he moved back to Palestine with his family, Alex Awad became a member of the teaching faculty of the College, the Dean of Students, as well as becoming a member of the Board of Directors.
He also initiated the work of Shepherd Society, the charitable arm of Bethlehem Bible College.
The BBC article said Alex Awad was the first one to come up with the idea of organizing “Christ at the Checkpoint,” the college’s successful conference that challenges evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine.
Bishara Awad, Salim Munayer and others gave brief reflections on time spent with the couple, noting how Brenda and Alex had left a mark on the Christian church and their lives.
BBC Board President Jonathan Kuttab, delivered a keynote address that honored the Awads as sometimes unseen key contributors to the development of the Bible College.
The evening ended with a farewell speech by both Alex and Brenda Awad, in which they expressed their love for the College and their intention to be involved even after their retirement.
Pastor Nihad Salman prayed to close the evening, and BBC’s choir led by Akram Nassar sang “Our God is an Awesome God” before the evening concluded.
For more information visit www.bethbc.org
Photo captions: 1) Front of the college. 2) Jeremy Reynalds in Bethlehem.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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