That we might have life and have it abundantly

That’s the powerful vision of the Diyar Consortium, the overall group of a number of vital Lutheran ministries in the West Bank.

We visited one of those facilities in Bethlehem – International Center Bethlehem. What a great array of services and programs for youth and young adults. The center develops young people through self-expression tools such as sports, drama, film, music and art.

Music programs offered through Diyar Consortium. Photo: Bishop Susan C. Johnson

Music programs offered through Diyar Consortium. Photo: Bishop Susan C. Johnson

The center has made Bethlehem the cultural destination of Palestine. It accomplishes this through offering room for creativity, space for self-expression and a venue for cultural exchanges.

An interesting feature of the center is the library, which was originally established through the suitcase ministry. Books were not allowed into the West Bank but visitors and Palestinians brought books in their suitcases leading to the base of the library’s catalogue. Today people can order books through Amazon for the library.

Painting on a copper pan - Art created by students at the International Center Bethlehem. Photo: CLWR/T.Brook

Painting on a copper pan – Art created by students at the International Center Bethlehem. Photo: CLWR/T.Brook

Programs like these at ICB empowers youth, grows future leaders and transforms them from spectators into change agents motivating and developing their potential.

As ICB employee Angie put it: “People come to this part of the world to see the dead stones. Here we make living stones.”

Tom Brook, CLWR Community Relations Director

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s