Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Letting Bethlehem Babies Know it's Christmas

Letting Bethlehem Babies Know it's Christmas

Birth Hospital Just Yards From Jesus' Birthplace Asks U.S. Christians to Host Baby Showers this Advent to Help Bethlehem Families in Great Need
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Advent - the joyful time of the year when Christians around the world prepare their hearts and minds for the Savior's birth. Imagine that just a mere 500 yards where Jesus Christ came into the world, hundreds of babies are waiting again to be born, and surprisingly the primitive conditions in which Our Lord was born still exist and women often find themselves delivering their babies in the most unsanitary and unsafe of conditions.

But there is hope. Holy Family Hospital is an obstetrical/gynecological facility - the only one in the region that can handle the complicated medical conditions of women living in extreme poverty. Here modern state-of-the-art birthing facilities and neonatal intensive care units for preemies serve the needs of all Bethlehem women regardless of creed, ethnicity or ability to pay.

This Advent, the Hospital is asking for the generosity of U.S. Christians through a simple, yet common and joyful American tradition - hosting a Baby Shower for the Bethlehem mothers. The U.S. based Foundation which supports the work of the hospital makes it easy. Everything one needs to throw the shower is downloadable from their website at And the opportunity and benefit to do this during the joyful time of waiting for Christ's own birth is immeasurable.

The need is great. Living in poverty and under pervasive political stress creates a high-risk-situation for pregnant women. Twenty-five percent of the women served by the hospital live in refugee camps. The hospital is the designated care provider for four refugee camps operated by the UN and every month over 200 women overcome curfews, road closures and roadblocks to deliver here.

Colleen Marotta, Executive Director of the U.S. based Foundation, just returned from a 4-day visit to the facility, "The women who give birth may have different traditions but they are united in that primal need of all laboring women for safety and care as they bring their children into the world. Like Mary and Joseph, these families are on a journey to find a place of refuge, a place of hope and promise, a place where their babies can be delivered safely. In the entire Bethlehem region, only one place is their destination - Holy Family Hospital."

Holy Family Hospital Foundation is working with schools, groups, host families and churches around the country to provide necessities to the modern day Mary and Joseph in the region. Sample invitations, stories about individual mothers and babies, a registry, and tips for a menu and decorations are provided at in order to facilitate baby showers. By participating in this incredible project, individuals and groups can assure that every newborn will be swaddled, fed and cared for in Bethlehem this Christmas.

About Holy Family Hospital: Considered the pre- eminent provider of medical services in the Bethlehem region, Holy Family Hospital has served as a beacon of hope for Palestinian women in desperate need of healthcare for more than a millennium. Holy Family Hospital is an obstetrical/gynecological facility--the only one in the region that can handle the complicated medical conditions of women living in extreme poverty and under the shadow of political strife.

Holy Family Hospital was designated by Pope John Paul II as one of the top 100 projects for the new millennium. Dedicated to delivering life and caring for the poor, the hospital brings compassion and benevolence into this area and serves as a safe haven for more than 22,000 women and children per year. Moreover, the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit is the only one in the region and the obstetrics department provides the only long-term hospitalization for mothers with high-risk pregnancies.

Executive Director of Holy Family Hospital Foundation, Colleen Marotta, is available for interviews. Please contact Ashley Walker (contact information above). For information on hosting a baby shower please visit

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