Dear Friends of Shepherd Society,
Greetings from the little town of Bethlehem where we are gathered with thousands of tourists celebrating the birth of our Savior. It is a time for celebration and gatherings, and I wish that you may spend your time meaningfully with the people close to your heart. I also want to express our gratitude for having friends like you who continue to support our ministry in this time. While we have faced many challenges due to the political situation over the past year, with your help, we have been able to bring joy and blessing to many families. Christmas is a reminder that, even when things look dark, God is at work in the midst of our situation, meeting us where we are. We look expectantly to 2020, and together, we can bring a message of love and kindness to the families we work with, standing with our Savior, who likewise helped the weak, and found it better to give than receive. All of us here at the Shepherd Society wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Head of the Shepherd Society
MICAH supports a Bethlehem family through the Shepherd Society - www.shepherd-society.org
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 funding for this trip, Thank you for your support!
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
*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.
Summer in Palestine
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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.