Andrew and Karen Bush have lived and served in the Palestinian West Bank since 1998. They were on the West Bank throughout the four years of violence of the 2nd Intifada or Uprising from 2000 to 2004. In that environment of conflict Andrew with a team of Palestinian Christians founded Living Stones Student Center, a multipurpose center that serves the students of Bir Zeit University and the community of Bir Zeit.
The goal of Living Stones is to communicate the love of Christ to Palestinian youth – both from Muslim and Christian families – through serving their most immediate needs. Students find at Living Stones a quiet place to socialize, study, access the internet at no cost, and use books from our library. Special programs are held during the evenings such as a film making course, training in grant writing, and preparation to enter the work place. Many students have commented that they are amazed that anyone would care enough for them to provide such services.
Living Stones is also a place for spiritual inquiry. Andrew comments, “As a ministry of the Palestinian Bible Society, it is the goal of Living Stones to make the Word of God available and relevant to the university community. We have discovered a deep spiritual hunger expressed through the many requests for Bibles which Living Stones receives.”
Today Andrew’s role is to be a mentor to the Living Stones staff, and an advocate for its work in the United States. Andrew travels regularly to the West Bank where he and Karen maintain a residence. Andrew also is committed to encouraging the Christians of Gaza and to bringing relief goods to homes in Gaza in which there is already illness including water filters.
In Andrew’s book Learning from the Least he recounts the powerful testimonies of Palestinian Christians who chose to be agents of reconciliation with those who would normally be regarded as enemies.
During the 2nd Intifada Karen, a licensed midwife, helped establish a maternity clinic in Bir Zeit in cooperation with the local women’s society. As a licensed social worker, she now is focusing on leading seminars for women on personal wellness.