Monday, October 08, 2007

Sweaters and Third Places with Bullet Holes

The part about the sweater with twenty bullet holes always got me.
I may be a pastor, but I haven't earned my stripes.
Read/pray the sad news about a marvelous Third Place ministry...a Christian "Borders" kind of bookstore in Gaza..Be sure to read the posts in chronological to bottom. It will be an emotional roller coaster, but one that must be ridden. When you hit this week's news, stop and pray accordingly.
Your jaw and knees will have already dropped.

...a reminder to pray for our friends at Bethlehem Bible College.

Some people don't seem to (want to know) there is such a thing as a Palestinian Christian. Alex is a wonderful one; pastor of E. Jerusalem Baptist Church, and dean at Bethlehem Bible College.

Here's a photo of Alex and meself in Jerusalem.
Alex is often featured in the news when the bullets fall.
And is often words...unvelievably, by fellow believers:
"Alex Awad is employed as a Methodist missionary, but his mission is not
to preach the Gospel of Jesus to non-Christians. Awad devotes his time to
'taking … tour group(s) through a Palestinian refugee camp'. link

I guess that has nothing to with the gospel!?
Nor does the fact that the camp is directly across the street from the Bible College.
Nor do his degree in missiology from Asbury Seminary (where I first sat next to him) , or his classes in preaching, personal evangelism and mission.
Part of his "problem" (besides being a Palestinian Christian, and thus in some books an oxymoron or moron) is, like Johnny Cash, "he preaches WITH, not TO the damned...and he actually prefers their company" !
Besides...he looks great in a sweater.
Give him a break.
And a prayer.

And check out the college, and visit with us sometime. BBC trains Palestinians to be pastors, missionaries, tour guides and missional "ThirdPlacers," and has the only public library in Bethlehem. It is so cool to see kids streaming in...Muslims and check out Veggie Tales DVDs and quality Christian books.
But that has nothing to do with the gospel, does it?
From Alex's window, one can see "the wall." To get home to see his family, or to teach evangelism at the Bible College, here's what he must face...and it's not a stop at the 7-11:

That has nothing to do with the gospel, either.

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!