This is a transcript of our Christmas newsletter. The full, PDF version can be viewed here.
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). Seasons greetings and Merry Christmas from Hope School! At Hope School, Christmas Spirit has descended upon us as we prepare for our end-of-semester Christmas ceremony and seek out gifts for our students. As we look back on the first half of the school year, we are grateful for our accomplishments and the blessings we have received.
Our new football pitch officially opened in late September. Since then, the pitch has been very popular and in use practically every day, both by our students and by other teams and groups from the Beit Jala vicinity. We are happy that the field is serving as a much-needed athletic outlet and look forward to it being so for many years. In October, we commemorated the opening of our kindergarten. As our principal Jihan explained in her speech, these children mark a new generation for our school, and we are excited at the opportunity to develop students from their kindergarten year until they graduate.
Our school has developed its online presence as well, with the creation of a new website. We can now be found at www.hopesschoolbeitjala.com. The site is sharp and contains organized and up-to-date information on the school, our staff, our projects, and our mission and vision. We are grateful to the work of our volunteers, Casey Feterhoff and Jameel Brenneman, who helped put the website together.
In the midst of all these blessings, we still look to improve, and as our responsibilities grow, so do our financial needs. Though our kindergarten has been a great success to this point, arranging transportation for the students and their parents is difficult; thus we are hoping to raise funds for a school bus, which will make transportation smoother and safer. We also are seeking sponsorship for the students who are unable to pay their school fees because of their families’ difficult economic situations. We continue to welcome them, fees or not, but outside sponsorships would ease the financial burden we take on.
Located in the Bethlehem neighborhood, we have a heightened awareness of Christmas, and in this season we remember our savior and the meaning of his birth. Jesus brought hope to the poor, the marginalized, and those living in injustice. We hope to do the same in our ministry, pursuing truth and offering grace, and teaching our students to do the same. We thank you for supporting us along the way. Your prayers, donations, and letters bring us hope and strengthen our ministry. May you have a blessed and merry Christmas!