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About Us
enar

BETHEL-EMMANUEL: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE

Our Motto:

“Behold, I have set before you an open door which no one can shut”[Rev.3:8]

Our Vision:

The vision and primary goal of Bethel-Emmanuel is to reach  unchurched young people, bring them to a vital knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, train them in how to help others grow spiritually, and then send  each back to work for the Lord in   his/her  own community, whether Protestant, Orthodox, or Catholic.

Objectives:

– to deepen the faith of Christian young people who already know the Lord, and help them to mature spiritually.
– to develop their talents, especially in the fields of drama,  music, audio-visuals, and sports so that they can use them to draw others to Christ.
– to provide them with leadership and counseling skills.
– to provide Churches and Christian communities (regardless of denomination) with facilities not available on their own premises.                            

Dynamic Growth:

The pioneer ministry of  Bethel-Emmanuel has witnessed dynamic growth over the years. It  started at Emmanuel in central Cairo in 1950 with one class of young girls being trained for Christian leadership [unheard of in those days]. The training first took place  in three rented  rooms in a run-down building.  By the grace of God, it has grown into what Bethel-Emmanuel  has become at present: God’s  ministering-ambassador to all His Churches in Egypt.  That first class of girls was followed by mixed classes of boys and girls [again, unheard of in those days]. These early classes carried on the torch, faithfully handing it down from one generation to the other. More classes followed. Christian leaders multiplied, spiritual life spread, bearing  much fruit  in countless different ways.  As for the three rented rooms,  they are now [after renovation] a tiny corner of only one of  three constantly growing units in three different places: Emmanuel in central Cairo, Bethel in Calyuib, & Khasha’a on the Mediterranean.  In our experience, spiritual growth has always preceded physical growth.  Over the years, as the ministry of Bethel-Emmanuel grew, God has gradually given us more space to accommodate it.       

I- THE PAST: History

1.  In 1950, Emmanuel [in central Cairo] was founded by the late Lydia Matta on her return from England, after finishing her studies at Redcliffe Missionary Training College, with the following goals:
(a) Training young people from all the denominations for service in their own churches and communities.
(b) Providing all Churches [regardless of denomination] with ministries not available on their own premises, such as Sports Ministry, the Gym, Seminar Facilities ...etc...

2. In 1960, when Emmanuel was celebrating its 10th anniversary, Bethel in Calyuib, was entrusted to Lydia Matta by the Dutch Mission, for an extension of the ministry of Emmanuel.  The new organization became known as Bethel-Emmanuel.

3. In 1960, the Qalyuib compound, “inherited” from the Dutch Mission consisted of:
(a) the Bethel Church, recognized by a 1902 governmental law as “the Dutch Mission”
(b) a house (previously a school, discontinued in the 1950ies because of the deplorable condition of the building)
(c) three rooms in the garden, used as an out-patients clinic.

4. DYNAMIC GROWTH:  For some time, the THREE ROOMS continued to be used as an out-patients clinic.  Previously the Dutch had run it, but now it was run by newly graduated Emmanuel doctors who treated the villagers.

THE HOUSE, after some vital repairs, was used as a vocational center for training young villagers in crafts by which they earned their living, particularly sewing, plumbing, and carpentry.  However, the building was so old and derelict that it had to be pulled down & rebuilt.  The new building became  in 1981 a Conference Center. In the meantime, dispensaries & clinics in Qalyuib had so multiplied that the Bethel clinic was no longer needed.  Therefore it was discontinued, and its site was used for the training of young villagers in carpentry.  In 1992 those 3 rooms were demolished, giving place to a 4-floor building–  an urgently needed extension to the Conference Center which kept  growing, and with its growth it was constantly  upgraded  in both equipment and work-force.

THE CHURCH was in a terrible state of dilapidation. The roof had fallen in, the windows were broken, & it could not be used.  After substantial renovation, it became a Conference-Church, used for worship not only on Sundays, but also on week days by the various conferences.


II- THE PRESENT

1- Bethel-Emmanuel [which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in the year 2000, and its 60th Anniversary in 2010]  is officially recognized as an Egyptian public Christian institution, with the Dutch Mission as its forefather, by virtue of the 1902 Egyptian Law [article 8, p. 35 & article 28, p. 43 of the official booklet, Laws Regarding the Constitution of the Evangelical Denomination in Egypt].

2. Today, Bethel-Emmanuel consists of the following units:

(a) The Ancient Bethel Church [“Dutch Mission”] in Qalyuib, with its newly-added Conference  buildings and playgrounds, as well as newly-bought grounds.  The Conference Center is now well- equipped with modern facilities, and its team of workers are constantly trained to meet new challenges, efficiently using the latest technology.  Over this past year,  it  has hosted not only our own Bethel-Emmanuel board-and-lodging training sessions, but also numerous national & international conferences and retreats organized by various Churches and Christian organizations in Egypt and abroad.  These include [among others] training sessions of the Korean Association, conferences of the Episcopal Church, the Coptic-Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the various Protestant Churches, the Near East Council of Churches, the Sudanese Community, the Near-East Center for Training Christian Leaders, the Haggai Institute, the Bible Society, Sunday-School Leaders, Open-Book Association, Audio Visuals, Think & Act Association, National Community for Prayer & Fasting, Medical Association, over-seas student groups, and various children’s orphanages. During the Muslim month of Ramadan,  the Bethel-Emmanuel Board hosts its annual inter-faith iftar [sunset meal] at Bethel, shared by both Muslims & Christians.

(b) The Emmanuel Compound in central Cairo.  Besides numerous day-conferences, retreats, and symposia of many of the Churches and organizations above-mentioned, Emmanuel has its own specific ministries.  These include: training student-leaders for Christian ministry in schools and hospitals, a gym & sports ministry, an outreach ministry through music, drama & a mini library, as well as a ministry to the under-privileged.  Recently, Emmanuel also organized a number of seminars on “Christianity in Egypt” for groups of overseas visitors.  Regular popular features are family programs [with a meal included], and the “Know Your Neighbor” inter-cultural program.  A recent highlight was a puppet show on “Daniel & the Lions”, greatly enjoyed by children and adults. Prayer-Breakfast, taking place on the last Friday of every month is a regular feature enjoyed by all.


(c) Khasha’a Conference Center on the Mediterranean: This is intended  mainly for young unchurched people who cannot afford the more expensive camps.  A number of one-day retreats have already taken place there. Numerous miracles have been witnessed at Khasha’a while still under construction . When completed, it will have sleeping facilities, and will be able to host week-long camps. [For the miracles, see Khasha’a]

3.What makes the ministry of Bethel-Emmanuel unique is its training of student-leaders to serve not only students and graduates belonging to the various Protestant denominations, but also Coptic-Orthodox and Catholic ones.  We have legal access to all Church-related schools in Egypt, and to all Church-related hospitals [regardless of denomination] because we have on our board Orthodox and Catholic members, as well as Protestant ones, all of whom are dedicated, self-giving Christians.

4. All the affairs of  Bethel, Emmanuel & Khasha’a are directed by the Bethel-Emmanuel Board [assisted by sub-committees for the various ministries].  The Board  is an official body, elected once every 7 years, and legally recognized  by the Evangelical Council of Protestant Churches, of which we are a member.

III-  THE  FUTURE

We envision rebuilding Emmanuel in Central Cairo, and equipping it to host up-to-date audio visual and other ministries which have special appeal for young people. Active steps are being taken in this direction, after much prayer and study.

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