Dear ,
It is hard to believe that our spring semester is already winding to a close.  We had one of our final chapel meetings this morning and I gathered the students closely around me and spoke to them of God's nearness and desire for us and practical ways to cultivate a closer relationship with Him.  Soon, our students will be out for the summer break and my prayer is that each of them will be kept by the power of God. The political situation remains tense in this land; there is such a need for every generation here to arise in the power and grace that is borne from a closer walk with our Lord.  Please keep our students in your prayers.
Our staff has been busy travelling the world.  This month, I was privileged to minister in several locations in the US, while my dear wife Madleine led training in Spain for Arab women in Christian leadership.  Additionally, Munther Isaac has recently returned from Hong Kong, and Michael Arteen and Grace Zoughbi are currently in the USA, after an earlier trip to Sweden.  All over the world, God is moving.  We will share more this topic about this next month. 
We were surprised to discover that according to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Palestine is the top missions-sending nation per capita in the world!  We know that some of these missionaries are BBC students, and we are highlighting a few of their stories in this issue. 
In April, we were able to host several world-class ministries here: Ravi Zacharias and Colin Chapman, who gave our leadership an intensive course in understanding Islam.  We also continue to host volunteers and visitors from around the world, and share one of their stories in this issue. 
Finally, some of you may be aware that we have launched our 240 Club as 240+.  To learn more about this, please enjoy the short video that is included in this newsletter.  For your friendship and support, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  God bless you!
For the light and glory of Christ in Middle East,

Rev. Dr. Jack Sara - President
BBC Graduates serving abroad, from left to right:  Niveen Amer, Alia Hanouneh Toumeh,  Alaa Qasasfeh  
"I'm a BBC graduate, and I'm a light in my country and everywhere I go!"

Bethlehem Bible College's main goal will always be to create influential leaders to serve the Lord in their country and everywhere He sends them. Of course, if you ask the leadership of the college, they would prefer for all of our graduates to stay in Palestine and serve among their people in the land. But, "for as the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Micheal Eker (L) makes a new friend in Azza refugee camp, Bethlehem. 

Michael Eker spent most of the month of March, 2016, with BBC in Bethlehem.  His gentleness, sense of humor and humble faith was an encouragement to all whom he encountered.  After a bit of cajoling, he graciously wrote his testimony for us.  We publish it here, in hope that it will also be an encouragement to our readers.  Thank you, Michael, for reminding us all that it is never too late to take a new step of surrender with God!  

I must admit that when I was invited to attend the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference I was intrigued by the theme, "The Gospel in the Face of Religious Extremism".

I thought that exploring the subject matter in such a unique environment would provide a great opportunity to widen my perspective about preaching the gospel; especially in areas of the world that are less receptive and more reactive to its exclusive truth claims and message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

In April, BBC hosted several world-class scholars on our campus in Bethlehem.  Ravi Zacharias joined us on April 6 for a special evening of Christian apologetics which was attended by several hundred people.  A few weeks later, about 15-20 BBC staff, faculty and volunteers took an intensive course on Islam with Rev. Colin Chapman.  In the midst of our complex cultural, social, political and theological context, the goal of the class was to help us develop informed and genuinely Christian attitudes towards Muslims and Islam.
The Shepherd Society recently received two appreciation plaques for the work they are doing for the Palestinian community.

In a small event before Easter, the Shepherd Society was recognized with a plaque and a special ceremony for its contribution to minister to the poor and needy in Bethlehem District.  Several weeks later, the Society received another plaque from the Ministry of Social Welfare.