Happy New Year! Thank you for making 2019 a year of extraordinary giving
As we begin to gather facts and figures to tell the story of your impact as AFEDJ donors in 2019, one thing is clear: so much is possible because of your generosity. 

And wait, another thing is clear: your contributions in 2019 led to AFEDJ’s highest donation totals in our 31-year history!

Your support over the past 12 months has made a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable people who are cared for and educated at 15 humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Here are just a few examples of your impact:

  • At Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, the gifts of hundreds of donors allowed the collapsed outpatient clinic to be rebuilt and the vital services offered by the free, community clinic to be expanded an additional day each week

  • A new ambulance at St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus will serve hundreds of people with both emergency and medical transport needs for years to come

  • Christ Episcopal School in Nazareth was able to complete its media education lab and install smart board technology in all K-12 classrooms

  • The support of many individual and church donors and Sustainable Development Goals grant awards from eight dioceses allowed many mothers and children with disabilities to be cared for though the Mother Empowerment Program at Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre

  • Through the Episcopal Technological and Vocational Training Center in Ramallah, a class of 12 non-violent offenders completed a three-month culinary arts program in prison, giving them a chance for employment after release
Great generosity will meet great need in 2020
With increasing demand for the services and education Diocese of Jerusalem hospitals and schools provide to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, our mission to raise sustaining support is more important than ever. 

What to look for in 2020:

  • A first-ever Easter Appeal on behalf of Ahli Hospital and Princess Basma Centre

  • The roll-out of the Holy Land Study Program (working title), a video-based education program for the Episcopal Church and beyond

  • A new “Remember Gaza” campaign

  • Wide sharing of the “Walk with a Child at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf” campaign

  • Construction of new classrooms and community space at Arab Evangelical Episcopal School in Ramallah

  • A long-range plan for the Theodor Schneller School in Marka, Jordan

This year we invite you to continue to walk with us - American Friends - united in common effort of prayer, advocacy, and financial support for these transformative, life-giving ministries that give witness to Christ’s love in a region where hope for the future is often scarce. 

Need resources to share stories of our schools and hospitals with your congregation? Visit our resources page and find out how we can provide customized materials to help. 
Ministry in Jerusalem inspires outreach at home
Diocese of Newark church connects local students to children with disabilities in East Jerusalem
Barbara Boehm presents letters from Montclair students in 2018
When St. James Episcopal Church in Montclair, New Jersey, agreed to partner with AFEDJ on a Diocese of Newark Alleluia Fund grant application to support the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, we knew there was a connection between the local high school students with disabilities who run the church’s Sky’s the Limit Thrift Store, but we didn’t know the backstory. 

After members of St. James, including Barbara Boehm, an AFEDJ trustee, visited Princess Basma Center several years ago, they shared with their fellow parishioners how impressed they were with the ministry.
St. James’ Outreach Committee then began to include Princess Basma in their annual giving. An Episcopal News Service story published in December explains what happened next:
"It was like the Holy Spirit blew through the room."

The Rev. Melissa Hall
“Separately, a parishioner who works as a high school teacher mentioned to [the Rev. Melissa] Hall two years ago that it was difficult to find workplaces that would hire special-needs teenagers. Hall said it was like ‘the Holy Spirit blew through the room,’ and the congregation quickly developed a plan to renovate the church basement and turn it into a thrift shop that would hire students with disabilities.”

The dozen or so students who now work at the Sky’s the Limit store have been drawn to the cause of helping children in Jerusalem by donating some of the proceeds of the store to Princess Basma Center. 

Read the whole story here.

If your church is interested in partnering with us on an international mission grant application in your diocese, please be in touch with AFEDJ Communications Director Heidi Shott at hshott@afedj.org or 207.592.7353. We’ll do most of the work!
Pilgrim Stories
God’s love in vast supply at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
Fr. Wadie Far of HLID shows Doni Heyn-Lamb the looms used by vocational students at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
Randy Heyn-Lamb, a parishioner at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA, and long-time supporter of the Diocese of Jerusalem, writes of his recent visit to HLID with his wife Doni. 

“In the classrooms we were greeted by excited students, happy for the diversion of visitors. No where was that joy more evident than in the small classroom where we met two of the deaf-blind children. Their hands eagerly grasped ours, judging our size and age by our fingers and palms, noting we were married by our rings. Their hands crawled to our faces as they excitedly described my beard and balding scalp to their teachers. Our names were signed onto their palms and thus we were introduced.”

Read it all here.
Do you have a pilgrim story you would like to share? We would love to hear it!  
More conversations at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
Here is a brief conversation with HLID's awesome Head Metal Shop Teacher and alumnus, Hatem Alwishah.

Please keep the people of the
Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
in your prayers as they elect a
bishop-coadjutor on January 30, 2020.
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