December 12, 2021

Orthodox School in Bethany - a place where love lives

The Orthodox school of Bethany is exactly the same general educational institution where children study according to the generally accepted program. But there is something here that is not in one other ordinary school. Here they teach the Word of God and glorify His Name. The school has an orphanage for girls who are orphans or come from dysfunctional families. The school also has a kindergarten, where girls aged 4-7 go. In addition to walks and games, developing classes are held here.



Every morning for many years , students gather at the Orthodox School of Bethany . Some get here on foot, others are brought by car and buses. Girls study here every day except Friday and Sunday. On Friday they do not attend classes because it is a holy day for Muslims, and on Sundays they do not study because the school is located on the territory of a Russian Orthodox monastery belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Here, in 1932, the Bethany women's community of the Resurrection of Christ was given as a legacy of Scottish women Barbara Stella-Robinson and Alex Sprot, who converted to Orthodoxy , and subsequently a school with her.


The history of the school


Initially, the school was created for Scottish peasant women, but in the last 30 years the situation has changed a lot. There are practically no Christians left in the district, and mostly Muslim girls go to school. The village of Bethany is mentioned in the Gospel several times. Not far from the Russian site is the tomb of a friend of Christ, the four-day Lazarus. The Lord often visited Bethany, stayed at his house. The Lord also spoke to his sisters, Martha and Mary. Their conversations before the Resurrection of Lazarus are preserved in the Gospel. The Almighty appeared here when Lazarus died and here He resurrected him.


The modern life of the school and development is inseparably linked with the personality of Sister Martha and her director. For more than ten years she has been running the school and during this time she has become one of the best in Palestine. Parents who want to give their girls a good education tend to enroll their daughters in this school and are ready to pay for their education. It has become prestigious to study here, and despite the fact that the school is located on the territory of the Russian Orthodox Monastery, today more than 450 girls from Muslim families study there.


Every morning at school before classes, all the students of the senior, middle and junior classes line up on the ruler. After the singing of the Palestinian anthem, the girls disperse to their classes and a simple school day begins. Here, they take to school from the age of four, the so-called preparatory level, but serious classes are already being conducted with such kids. 


The area of ​​the school is small, there is not enough space for opening new classes. The people of Bethany really need a school. Most residents dream of their children studying here, since it is considered the most prestigious and one of the best schools in Palestine, but due to the small number of places in education, some children have to be denied. Parents get very upset when they accept rejection. Our school not only educates, but also educates its students well. Children at school receive a good education and an Orthodox monastic upbringing. We are all one. Our team is very friendly, it includes both Muslims and Christians.


The teachers, half Arab and Christian and half Muslim, work side by side. Sister Marfa maintains this balance of the teaching staff. They regularly cross paths in meetings with each other, which have been held at the school by Sister Martha for more than ten years.


Sister Martha is very attentive to her students. She is always ready to help teachers, and the work never ends at the end of class time. The teaching staff is constantly developing and learning new things. Sister Martha carefully ensures that the relationship between the sisters is always good.


At the moment it is one of the best schools in Palestine. To get into it, parents must stand in line. The economic situation in the Muslim world is changing. It is not always possible for one man to feed his family, so here more attention has been paid to women's education.


Features and rules of the school



The main thing is that love lives between students and teachers in the school. It is important that development here never stops and moves forward. It has a laboratory and computer classes. This allows girls to complete tasks in practice and learn a lot of sciences.


In addition to sister Martha, four more novices work in the monastery. Their main obedience is to take care of boarding school children. They need to be woken up, fed, prepared for school. Every week, when the priest comes, the children take part in the Divine Liturgy and help during the service. After the girls go to lessons, and sister Martha goes to school, where she is waiting for the next administrative chores.


Here are all the brothers and sisters whose main duty is to share the ideas of Christ with the girls. It is a great happiness to teach in this place, to take part in the spiritual growth of students. During the Feast of the Finding of the Cross, they make processions with icons of the Virgin Mary around the school. They have fear. The sisters Martha and Mary lived near this place. On the territory there is a plate as a mention of the meeting of the sisters with the Lord. This is a Holy place and a Holy School. God chose him to build this school and raise disciples. Our mission is to show the people our love, and by loving each other we are consistent disciples of Christ.


Children living in the boarding school take part not only in divine services that are conducted on the territory of the community, but also in the areas belonging to the Russian spiritual mission abroad, because the communities of the Resurrection of Christ, where the boarding school is located, are part of the monastery of Mary Magdalene.



It is a great happiness that Sister Martha was able to replace the mother of the girls, because without them there is neither mother nor father, often they are complete orphans. Children end up in a boarding school after experiencing the most difficult everyday situations. Many of them are psychologically severely traumatized, which is why they cannot trust anyone for a long time and remain unsociable. They need to be reassured, caressed, surrounded by care, taught to communicate normally with other children. Each child needs his own special approach, but time passes and the girls calm down and open up, respond to care with great gratitude.



School construction


By itself, the school and the boarding school is a big burden that Sister Martha bears. In addition, she needs to conduct very complex economic and administrative activities. Still, the site is located in the heart of a Muslim environment, and the neighbors are often quite unfriendly.


However, despite all the difficulties, Sister Martha does not lose heart. In the area adjacent to the lower garden, she plans to complete the construction of a parking lot for the cars of teachers, parents and school guests, build a room for additional classes, a school sports hall, since physical education is currently taking place on the asphalt of the school site, and two floors with additional rooms.


The school has a playground with slides and swings. There are also several churches, the school itself and residential buildings.


Of particular importance for this object is the playground. When it was being built, an old stone road leading from Jerusalem was found by chance. Near the road, a large stone was discovered here, which now has the spiritual significance of the Russian school.


The nuns are convinced that it was along this path that Jesus Christ walked to Jerusalem, and this stone is the very stone on which the sisters of Lazarus were, who came to meet the Savior. Having discovered this, the playground had to be cut and a chapel rebuilt over the stone. Part of the road has also been preserved. There is also a cave with a small church on the territory.


The Power and Importance of Giving


The Miracle of Grace always happens when we give. In other words, when it pleases the Lord God to entrust funds to us, he controls that we are always in abundance. We give to the Lord, who is responsible for our needs.


In other words, the Almighty not only takes responsibility for meeting our needs, but also increases our earthly blessings when we give. Therefore, we can safely say that making donations does not mean getting poorer, but, on the contrary, getting richer. The ability to give and give donations is not a one-sided game, but rather a mutual process that can become a huge stream of God's blessings.


Remember that donations must be sincere and come from a pure heart. We love because the Lord loved us first, and we give because He gave us first.


Unfortunately, our mentality is arranged in such a way that it is not customary for us to make donations. Most people believe that this is the task of the rich and if they are not able to give much, then nothing should be given at all. This is a very deep delusion. Every penny that you give with good intentions serves as a good foundation for a common goal.


The mission of the Orthodox school of Bethany is to restore the broken hard children's destinies. The beauty of this place is a testament to the beauty and goodness of the Kingdom of God, which leads people to another life filled with joy, happiness and grace.


The Orthodox school produces the most valuable thing that can be in our life. It forms new strong-willed personalities who preach the Word of God.


Dear brothers and sisters! The Orthodox school in Bethany needs your donations. To complete all the construction and landscaping work, finances are needed.


Do not remain indifferent, because any, even a small amount, will help you reach your goal faster.


We are a charitable organization that protects the interests of Orthodox churches, schools and churches that are under construction or in need of restoration or reconstruction. Our mission is to provide assistance and financial support. We live it and encourage everyone to make donations for good causes. Only by working together can we achieve what we want.


The custom of offering a sacrifice to the temple comes from a centuries-old church tradition. Previously, tithes were given to temples. Now everyone gives the amount that he can give.


The Almighty does not need our material gifts. Through them, we express our reverence and gratitude to Him, and He rewards us a hundredfold for this. If you enter the temple with an empty heart, put candles for show, not having love for the Lord, then all your donations and prayers will be in vain.


In addition to financial donations, you can help with prayer and word. It is customary for us to do good deeds quietly, without telling anyone about it. But such tactics are disastrous, because the more people learn about the need for help, the faster the issue will be resolved. Therefore, set an example for your people, inspire and charge them with a desire to help. Well, if with your help at least one person starts doing charity work, then you have lived your life for sure not in vain.


Live with God, praise Him, give thanks, and never forget those in need. For this you will be rewarded a hundredfold!

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