Every Lazarus Saturday, in the ancient city of Bethany, located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, Christians from around the world gather to commemorate the raising of Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, by Christ before His entrance to the Holy City of Jerusalem, as remembered each Palm Sunday.
The Orthodox School of Bethany for Girls was founded in 1937 to assist the poorest and most needy of the Christian faithful of the Holy Land. For eighty years, the School has given not only education and basic needs to the girls of the School, but has provided them with a sound Christian upbringing, values and loving care by the sisters of the Bethany Community of Resurrection of Christ, a dependency of St. Mary Magdalene Convent of Gethsemane garden of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Hundreds of these girls have gone from the most difficult of circumstances and backgrounds to leading happy, productive lives, taking full use of the education and life skills learned during their years in the care of the sisters of Bethany.
While the School is now a private educational institution open to both Christians and Muslims, and at present serves approximately 500 students from the impoverished Palestinian communities of East Jerusalem and the adjoining communities of the West Bank, approximately 20 Christian girls from across the Holy Land live, pray and receive their education as full-time boarders. The School and boarding section is led by Sister Martha Wall, who has faithfully served in Bethany for nearly 15 years.
For the third year in a row, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem has sponsored a Lenten fundraising drive for the boarding section of the School. This year, funds are being collected for the renovation of living quarters of the boarders, to better meet the needs of the growing boarding section as the building surpasses more than a full century of use.
This Lazarus Saturday, support this vital mission in the Holy Land through a direct donation or organizing a church collection for the benefit of the boarders of Bethany.
Individuals and communities that donate over $200 will receive a Paschal olive wood egg, painted by the boarders and volunteers of Bethany. Orthodox faithful who donate any amount are invited to give in commemoration of the living and those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. All donors will receive a thank-you letter noting their donation. North American funds will be collected through the American Commandery of the Order of Saint Lazarus
This fundraiser will begin on April 1st and continue through the Feast of the Ascension, June 4th, 2017.
To make a pledge, please contact the fundraising coordinator in the Holy Land,, Mr. Dan Koski, at email@example.com.
Through the prayers of Saint Lazarus, Saint Mary Magdalene, and the Holy Myrrhbearing Women, may God bless you and keep you for your consideration of the Christian faithful of the Holy Land this Lenten season!