According to Charles W. Orrestad , the president of CISF, "This honor, bestowed to a formerly supported scholar, has been awarded to Dr. Munayer because of the significance of his leadership, the depth of his scholarship and the faithfulness with which he has lived out his own call to service". Dr. Munayer was raised in a Palestinian Christian family in the Orthodox tradition and can trace his roots to the Holy Land for generations. He was born in Lod and grew up in a mixed community of Arabs and Jewish Israelis. After coming to faith, he spent time with both Messianic Jewish congregations and Palestinian Christians. He earned his undergraduate degree from Tel Aviv University and an MA in missions from Fuller Seminary. CISF helped to support him during his doctoral studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies where he graduated in 2000.
Salim Muanyer was convinced that the love of God calls Christians to love one another and extend God's love to those around them. That can be particularly difficult in a place like the Middle East where the ethnic and political tensions run very deep. However, compelled by the love of Christ, he believed that one of the first steps on the road to peace is for those in the church to learn to love one another. He has founded Musalaha (which is the Arabic word for peace) which seeks to build reconciliation between Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews in Israel, as well as other segments of society. To learn more about Musalaha, visit www.musalaha.org
CISF celebrates 25 years of service to the global church this year, by focusing on developing Servant Leaders for the majority-world Church by identifying and investing in the advanced theological education of gifted Christian leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. As part of that commemoration, they are inaugurating this very special recognition, to be awarded annually. The award for 2009 was presented to Dr. Munayer in a ceremony held in Bethlehem in the presence of the board of CISF, BBC faculty and board members, as well as some local church leaders. Words from the president of CISF were very warm: "The quality of your life, your influence in your home context, and your accomplishments continue to serve a distinguished purpose for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and thus embody the very essence of CISF’s mission".
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Rev. Yohanna Katanacho, Ph.D.
Academic Dean of BBC and GBC