Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation-HCEF.
When you hear the word "Palestinian" what comes to mind? Rock throwing, suicide bombing
crazies murdering settlers, screaming behind a wall?
Did you know that Palestinians are also Christians? In fact they are the Christians whose ancestors likely followed Jesus from the time he first walked the earth.
These Christians are bridge builders of Peace.
Many live in Bethlehem, the place of Jesus' birth. Many live in the West Bank.
They are culturally Arab, and Christian by faith and profession worshipping the Jewish Messiah, the Prince of Peace.
There is an organization, headquartered in Washington, DC, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation that works in these communities developing projects to sustain that community, considered the "living stones" of the ancient church. They run programs such as a jobs creation one where they rehab houses for people whose houses need help, they support schooling programs, they support the industry of Palestinians involved in the olive wood craft trade for which they are famous. You can find in the old city these beautiful olive wood craft carvings of biblical characters and scenes in the Old City of Jerusalem and the HCEF now brings them to America for special days at American churches.
HCEF is having its annual fundraiser gala dinner and conference this week. They are a very worthwhile organization founded initially by a Palestinian Christian Catholic (married to a latin american woman) whose brother was killed in the conflict. Instead of becoming bitter and vengeful he decided to devote his life toward bettering the condition of his fellow Palestinian Christians. His is a remarkable life story in itself.
You can come to the gala, or other parts of the conference and please do buy some olive wood hand made crafts.