Rev. Alex Awad will be at Bellevue Presbyterian Church on Monday 8/11, sharing a Christian perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict and discuss the challenges and opportunities for peacemaking in the Middle East. The forum begins at 7:00 pm in Room S-140.
Alex is the pastor of East Jerusalem Baptist Church and a professor and dean of students at Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine. He is the author of Palestinian Memories: The Story of a Palestinian Mother and Her People (Bethlehem Bible College, 2008) and Through the Eyes of the Victims (Bethlehem Bible College, 2001), a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of Palestinians. He has also written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for numerous newspapers and periodicals.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Alex’s formative years were marked by the death of his father, who was killed in 1948 in the crossfire between the Israeli and Jordanian armies. After the remaining family became refugees, his mother was faced with the task of raising seven children between the ages of six months and 11 years. She worked as a nurse to single-handedly support the family.
“I was greatly influenced by my mother’s Christian example, as well as that of international missionaries serving in Jerusalem,” he recalls. “As a young boy, I was proud of being a Christian in a school where 95 percent of the boys came from Muslim families. The teachings of our Lord Jesus influenced my life early on, and I became consumed with the desire to see my fellow Palestinians share the faith and hope that brought so much comfort to my family and me in our sufferings."
Alex was able to attend a Bible college in Switzerland. Unable to return to his homeland because of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, he traveled to the United States and earned degrees in biblical education and in missions and evangelism. He also met and married his wife Brenda during this time. In 1979, the Awads responded to the call to serve at the newly formed Bethlehem Bible College, where they spent six years as independent missionaries. In 1987, they were forced to leave the country because the Israeli government refused to renew their visas. In 1994, they were finally allowed to return to Palestine, where they continue to serve.
Alex and Brenda serve under the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.