Kram, however, had become involved in Pastor Steven Khoury’s church in Jerusalem and began serving in any way he could help. After Kram had been teaching for four years and was on the verge of deciding whether to return to Egypt, Pastor Steven approached him about starting a teaching program in Jenin.
Located in the northern West Bank, Jenin is a site of a Palestinian refugee camp, and poverty runs rampant in the area. It’s also a lightning rod for Israeli–Palestinian clashes. “I call it the land of fire because there’s daily attacks, daily riots, daily shootings,” Kram said, noting that all the violence was close to the center they rented for their teaching program. Kram said he was excited to take on the challenge and soon saw his efforts bear fruit. “I started to enjoy it because I started to see change in the hearts of the young people,” he said.
Kram used education as a bridge to hurting kids in a bad neighborhood. As a teacher, he built relationships with them and gave them tools they needed to succeed—which also built trust with their families. “When you help a kid with their grades, you become in favor with their family,” Kram explained. “You become like a rescuer to them, and that did a lot because we were able to really influence and touch their lives.”
Kram purposefully placed Bibles around the teaching center for his students to see, which opened doors for conversation. “I got to see a lot of young people’s lives changed simply because we were willing to plant ourselves and invest the time and resources and money into the community, to be there without asking anything in return, just to be there, to be the light in the dark time.”
After overcoming reservations and surrendering to what she soon realized was God’s calling for their life, Runa decided to join Kram in his ministry. They jumped through several hoops to finally make it to the Holy Land together, but they faithfully trusted in God’s plan.
When arriving in the land, Runa quickly saw how beloved her husband was in the community. She said people would approach her at the store and ask, “Are you the wife of the Egyptian teacher in Jenin?” “I started to see how much favor and love God had through my husband and the community there.” Soon enough, Runa was working side-by-side with Kram to shine God’s light into the darkness. “I started to see how hungry people were,” Runa mused. Runa said she soon saw that God had planned all along for them to be here in this time and for this purpose.
Both Kram and Runa have a very clear calling for the youth in this land. Kram’s desire is to “build young leaders for the future, to be future leaders in the Church, to carry the cross, to carry the Christian message in the Holy Land, in the Land where our faith all began.”
In service, Kram and Runa live very humbly in Bethlehem. They are full time minsters fully supported through our sister ministry in the Holy Land. Their little Mazda, which they use to travel around and minister to people throughout the area, is in bad need of repairs and is barely able to putter up the hills of Bethlehem.
They ask for your prayer and support so they can stay in the Land and continue in their ministry. Please consider sowing into HLM financially, either with a one-time gift or becoming a monthly financial supporter. “He got us out of Egypt, and now we’re going to pray that God would send people to keep us in the Promised Land,” Kram said. They are serving faithfully in the Promised Land, even amidst another plague.
“He got us out of Egypt, and now we’re going to pray that God would send people to keep us in the Promised Land,”- Kram
“We are trusting God in all things,” Kram said, “and the practical reality of things is that we just want to continue doing more for the Lord, serving the people, building hope in the hearts and lives of the people here.” Perhaps you can partner with God to allow Kram and Runa, who came from Egypt to humbly serve, to remain in the Promised Land.
*names have been changed.
God Called her out of Egypt, into a life of ministry!
TIS THE SEASON
Kram and Runa* left a comfortable life in Egypt to follow God’s call to serve the lost and hurting people of the Holy Land. Based in Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem, they are called specifically to minister to the young people in the Holy Land. Both Kram and Runa have a heart for children and have built beautiful relationships in the darkest corners of this region. Even during these uncertain times, they are faithfully continuing to shine God’s light into the darkness.
A teacher for 33 years, Kram was sent by the Coptic Church in Egypt to teach math at their school in the Old City of Jerusalem. Living in the monastery, he could not bring Runa with him and was only able to visit her during his summer and winter breaks.
Runa had moved a long distance to live in Cairo when she and Kram were married, and she had a difficult time adjusting to life in a new city. When Kram took the job in Jerusalem, life became that much harder. God was faithful, however, and led her to serve in a nearby church, caring for orphans. Her work grew into a ministry in which she assumed Kram would join when he returned from Jerusalem.