“Achaia has been pleased to share their resources with the saints in Jerusalem. They owe it to them – they have come to share in their spiritual blessings, so they ought to be of service to them.” (Romans 15:25-26)
As when Saint Paul wrote his letter to the Church in Rome, Christians in Palestine are facing very difficult times. With their Muslim brothers and sisters, they are beset by great economic and political hardships, causing many to leave their homeland in search of security and freedom elsewhere. The situation is especially dire with the current post-Oslo crisis, with immense losses - in life, in economy, and in hope.
As Western Christians, we are the modern-day Achaians, having received much from our spiritual ancestors in the Holy Land. It is our obligation, duty, and joy to address the desperate needs of the Church in the birthplace of Christianity. Through our work in Palestine, we seek to support this ministry of the Western Church.
Geography: Living in Zababdeh, one of the few remaining predominantly Christian villages left in Palestine or Israel, we seek in particular to serve the Christians of the northern West Bank. Ably served by the priests of their various denominations, these Christians, far from the attractions of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, receive little attention or support from the Western world. Christian families living in the northern West Bank, in Zababdeh and nearby towns such as Burqin, Tubas, Nablus, Jalame, and Jenin, are an ever-shrinking Christian witness amidst a Muslim majority. It is primarily among these people that we seek to serve.
Ecumenism: We do not seek to build our own church. Rather, we seek to support the various ministries of the churches that currently serve these people (including Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Anglican). We hope for the world to know that, particularly in this land, the Church is united in its desire to serve and worship God.
We are American Presbyterians (PCUSA), and Marthame is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament. By invitation of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, we came to Zababdeh in August, 2000, and have spent our time here working and living with the people and listening to their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Through our ministry, we hope to build up the Church in the land of Its birth and thereby build up the Church worldwide.
To learn more specifics about our work see Our Work.