Most people do not know the extent of the crisis in the Holy Land. The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land (FFHL) was created to inform and educate the public about the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Decades of unaffordable housing, high unemployment and greatly reduced educational opportunities have caused widespread suffering and a mass exodus of the indigenous Christian population. One of the best ways to support current and future generations is through education. But, this investment needs to begin now.
Christians now account for less than 2% of the Holy Land population. Our Christian heritage links us through faith and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. As pilgrims on a journey to our “promised land,” we are called to sustain the Christian community with love, faith, pardon, peace and hope.
Here are some of our resources designed to keep you informed about the great needs in the Holy Land. FFHL has over twelve humanitarian programs that provide support to Christians who are reluctantly forced to leave their homes and live in other parts of the world. Our Christian brothers and sisters need our help.
CHRISTIAN STUDENT EDUCATION
Without access to a formal childhood education, Christians encounter difficulties in securing meaningful employment, which ultimately leads to a lifetime of financial struggles. Solving this gap in education begins with ensuring younger generations can access education. These Christian children represent the future hope of permanence in the Holy Land, beginning with early access to education, then a higher degree, and ultimately a lifetime of stable income.
One of the pillars of FFHL’s mission is to support access to higher education for young people. By awarding free four-year university scholarships to deserving young Christian scholars in the Holy Land, this investment ultimately leads to economic advancement
and stability. Many of these scholars now have the ability to remain in the Holy Land as their future is more promising.
Joelle Zanbil, a thankful university scholarship recipient, shares a letter of appreciation to her sponsors and FFHL. Joelle has been given the gift of hope through education.
Dear Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land,
I have received a letter informing me I have been awarded a full financial scholarship to help during my college years. I feel grateful for the opportunity to prove myself academically, intellectually, and scholastically to my loved ones in the near future. I wish to describe my family who has been graced by God for this chance.
The Zanbil Family consists of a total of five members. My father, mother, me, and my two brothers. My mother, Ghada Zanbil, is an English teacher at Silwan Elementary School. My father, Jack Zanbil, used to work in an Asian cuisine restaurant specializing in tourism. Lastly, my two brothers (one almost sixteen and the other twelve years old) attend the American school in Beit-Hanina, Jerusalem School.
Unfortunately, things went downhill once the COVID-19 pandemic hit Jerusalem. With the closing of my father’s restaurant, our financial situation hit rock bottom. My mother (who had already been diagnosed with pancreatitis) became severely ill and she had to borrow money through loans to buy her medicine. Although we have faced difficult times, their support for me and my brothers never decreased in the slightest.
Receiving this scholarship gives me a chance to pay them back for what they did all these years as they are the ones who believed in me and raised me up when I was down. I love them dearly. There are no words that can describe the relief, gratitude, and appreciation I feel being awarded a blessing for all the hard work I poured into these last years of high school, and I will continue to do so in my college years.
Thank you and may the grace of Jesus Christ be with you.
Ms. Joelle Zanbil
Without the assistance from generous scholarship donors, many deserving young scholars like Joelle would have no ability to earn a marketable university degree and obtain a secure job. Since 1997, FFHL has been able to provide free, four-year university scholarships to more than 600 economically-marginalized students with strong academic promise.