October 2019
“We need to walk with other people, especially with the needy, especially with people with disabilities, especially those who are marginalized by the society and by the community.”
- The Rev. Wadie Far, Chaplain
Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
Good news to help sustain a crucial ministry serving vulnerable refugee children in Jordan
Theodor Schneller School awarded $100,000 grant for strategic planning
When your mission is to provide a safe haven, quality education, and hope for a bright future to vulnerable and impoverished refugee children, a strategic plan to sustain that work is critically important.

In early October the Theodor Schneller School in Marka, Jordan, received a boost to help build upon its strengths. The Harold C. Smith Foundation awarded Schneller School a $100,000 planning grant to fund a comprehensive study.

Schneller School serves 270 children in grades K-10, including a boarding program for 90 students, on its extensive campus. The boarding students are orphans, children from broken homes, and refugee children. All of the day students reside in the Marka Palestinian refugee camp, adjacent to the school. 

AFEDJ Executive Director John Lent, said, “A planning grant will help to ensure a sustainable future for Schneller as it works to serve a particularly vulnerable group of children and young people.” 

Lent and Harold C. Smith Foundation CEO Nancy Opalack will travel to Jordan next week to meet with Schneller Director Fr. Khalid Freij, (pictured above), staff, board members, and other funders to launch the strategic plan. Lent added, “With a comprehensive plan for the future in place, Schneller will be well-positioned to attract additional funding to support new programs and innovative projects.”
First Person Perspective:
Your impact is felt at schools and hospitals across the Diocese of Jerusalem
In September AFEDJ Communications Director Heidi Shott traveled to the Holy Land to visit several Diocese of Jerusalem schools and hospitals. She has brought home stories of the amazing work you’re making possible across the region.

At the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, she met deaf and deaf-blind students whose lives are transformed by the expert care and education they receive. Watch the video below for an introduction to our Walk with a Child campaign , an invitation for individuals and churches to deeply engage with a student at HLID.
Walk with a child at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
At Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, Shott interviewed six mothers who are participants in the Mother Empowerment Program, a residential program for mothers and their children with disabilities. Wafa', pictured at far left, whose son Mohammad has autism, talked about the isolation she felt in her community because of her child’s disability. “This program is like a candle in the dark.”

Visit our recent news page at www.afedj.org for more stories, video, and photos.
Archbishop Suheil Dawani visits New York to share news of Christian witness in the Middle East
The Most Rev. Suheil S. Dawani, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East traveled to New York in early October. Dawani spoke at a reception held in his honor by AFEDJ at General Theological Seminary on October 3. The Archbishop preached at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on October 6. At that service, Dawani was installed in the honorary cathedra by Bishop of New York Andy Dietsche, (pictured at left.)

At the reception, he spoke movingly about the humanitarian work in the diocese’s schools and hospitals and the crucial role indigenous Christians in the region play as peacemakers and reconcilers. 

Dawani said, “My greatest joy comes from visiting the students at our schools around the diocese. We know that our Lord Jesus Christ is at work in these children’s lives, giving them hope for a new future. This is Christianity which makes mission and service a priority. This is what our Lord asks us to do.”
Resources to celebrate the ministry of St. Nicholas
December 6 is St. Nicholas' feast day
St. Nicholas, lover of the poor and patron saint of children, serves an icon for how Christians are meant to live.

As a third century priest and bishop in Asia Minor, Nicholas put his concern for children and others in need or danger above all else. His ministry continues to point us toward Jesus, the source of true caring and compassion. 

Like St. Nicholas, the humanitarian ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem put the pressing needs of children and their families at the heart of their mission. St. Nicholas would feel right at home visiting Princess Basma Centre or Christ School or the community clinic at Ahli Arab Hospital. Your support of these ministries might be a way to honor St. Nicholas as his feast day approaches on December 6. 

Other ways to recognize his gifts to the world are available at the St. Nicholas Center website. Many thanks to the St. Nicholas Center for offering a wealth of free resources and activity kits to help celebrate his ministry and legacy both at home and at church. Learn more at www.stnicholascenter.org .


illustration from envelope, Bar-le-Duc, France/St. Nicholas Center Collection
Transforming lives of the vulnerable and displaced
in the Middle East through support of schools, hospitals,
and centers for children with disabilities

AFEDJ offers a safe, secure channel to make gifts to support the work of the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 203-655-3575 | www.afedj.org