MICAH

News

Pastor Rachel Holy Land Journey

Minnesota Clergy has been offered a special invitation (and price) for a Holy Land Exploratory Journey, January 3 -12, 2020 with The Society for Biblical Studies. I’m sure you will agree that Pastor Rachel deserves a break after this challenging year and she is interested in participating in this special offer for Minnesota clergy. MICAH has been able to locate some funding for this trip, but $746.00 more is needed to cover the costs. Donation checks may be made out to NUMC with Pastor Travel on the memo line.

Zatoun Palestinian Fair Trade Virgin Olive Oil

We sell Zatoun Palestinian Fair Trade Virgin Olive Oil to support the Holy Land. Buy it online from Zatoun or inquire in our church office. Currently we have 750 ml bottles @ $20.00 per bottle. Also available are 150 g. packages of Za'atar @ $5.00. Za'atar is made with wild thyme and sumac mixed with roasted sesame seeds and salt. Recipe sheets are available with the Za'atar, but it is also great with olive oil for dipping. These items are available in the church office. Support the farmers of Palestine in the struggle for their livelihood and land. (Zatoun = Olive)

The United Methodist Church of Northfield has sponsored a struggling Palestinian Christian family for five years. Sponsorships are an outreach program of Bethlehem Bible College and a project of the Global Methodist Church. Our particular family is the Zreineh family, Marleen and her children. They live in a village outside Bethlehem. Marleen is a widow, she is also a baker. It is difficult for her to make ends meet in her small bakery under the Israeli occupation. To raise money for a seventh years’ sponsorship a fundraiser took take place on Saturday, September 28th at the Brick Oven Bakery from 6AM to 6PM. Thank you for stopping at the Brick Oven Bakery for our Fundraiser! We ended up with a larger income than last year with $270.00 (10%) from the Brick Oven Bakery and $126.63 in donations. We have enough to cover our fall (1/2 annual total) sponsorship for our Bethlehem family which is $325.00. The manager at the Brick Oven Bakery reported, "We had a great time, and there were many new visitors to the bakery!"

A letter from the mother of the Bethlehem family

I’m very happy to know that there are such people like you thinking about the Palestinians and feels with them. We are still under the same situation but always thank God for his protection and blessings. It’s summer now, Fadi always attends to the Boy Scout activities, and is enjoying them, while Nicola had his Tawjihi* graduation on the 17th of May. And tomorrow is his last official exam. He tried his best, I wish he will get a good mark.

God bless you
Thank you
Marlen

*Tawjihi Exams: The exams are taken during the last year of high school and determines not only whether a student will be permitted to enroll in university, but will also limit their selection of majors and classes. Thank God that Nicola was successful in the Tawjihi. He wants to study business in Bethlehem University.

Articles

Summer in Palestine
https://bethbc.edu/blog/2019/07/26/summer-in-palestine/

Resources

Sign up for a weekly prayer from Sabeel and be part of the Wave of Prayers
https://sabeel.org/category/wave-of-prayers

What is MICAH?
 
It all began when Alex and Brenda Awad visited our church as United Methodist Church missionaries in Palestine.   At that time Alex was the Director of the Shepherd Society, which is the outreach arm of Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine.  Both of these organizations are Advance Specials of the UMC General Board of Church and Society.  Alex and Brenda showed us a brochure about the work of the Shepherd Society in which  Family Sponsorships were listed as one of their programs. This program connects an international individual, family, or group with a family in the Bethlehem area that is struggling to survive.  Due to political and economic stagnation, the Bethlehem area  has a high level of unemployment.  Through these sponsorships we convey the message to the residents  of Bethlehem that they are not forgotten and that someone cares.
 
A few members at Northfield United Methodist Church (NUMC) had either visited Palestine or had an interest in the situation of the Palestinian people. After conferring with the pastor, this group decided in 2013 to form a committee at NUMC to sponsor a family with the Shepherd Society. The group was called "Our Bethlehem Family".  The sponsored family, the Marlen Zreineh family, consisted of a widowed mother with two daughters and two sons at home. The Shepherd Society helped Marlen set up a bakery business, but she still needed financial support in order to pay her bills. 
 
Sponsorships are $650.00 per year.   An annual Work of Mercy month (usually November) at NUMC was an opportunity to raise the sponsorship funds as well as to educate  the congregation on the situation for our family in Bethlehem. The group also decided to have Palestinian olive oil available for sale at NUMC using the Zatoun brand.  A small profit for MICAH is made on these sales.
 
Speakers, films, book discussions, and displays have been used to further knowledge of life in Palestine for our family. Because of this broader focus,  the name of the group was changed to MICAH - Methodists Investing in Care and Action for the Holy Land,  using Micah 6:8 as the motto.
 
The congregation responded positively to MICAH's effort to raise financial support for Pastor Jerad's trip to Palestine-Israel in 2017 "Walking the Nativity Trail" (walking in the footsteps of Mary and Joseph). While in Bethlehem,  Pastor Jerad visited the Zreineh family. 
 

In 2018 a successful project was held to help raise funds to cover our family sponsorship. The Brick Oven Bakery agreed to give 10% of their sales on one Saturday in November.  Marlen being a baker made the project work well. MICAH used much publicity to encourage members of the congregation to shop at the Brick Oven Bakery on that Sarurday.

MICAH appreciates the awesome response of the congregation to the above fundraisers.

MICAH is not included in the NUMC budget.

Past Events and Things We Do