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Update from Galilee

Author: Bible Society, 1 December 2023

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Dina Katanacho leads the Bible Society team based in Galilee. They’re feeling the pain around them but working hard to turn a tragedy into an opportunity to share God’s love.

The Arab-Israeli community faces significant tension due to their unique status. Straddling the divide between two conflicting parties, they identify with both Israelis and Palestinians. Dina explains how, with your support, she’s bringing the Bible to her community:

‘When the war started, people were in shock, remaining indoors. My focus was on supporting my team. I also reached out to my colleagues from the other two teams, Victor and Nashat. Carrying the burden of both peoples’ pain, as an organisation, we contemplated how to respond.

‘In the second week, we were prepared to initiate our ministry activities for the communities we are serving. Our aim is to build a community of forgivers and peacemakers. We pondered how God would respond if he were present, seeking to combat darkness through the principles of the Kingdom of God.

‘As Christians, we abstain from polarizing the situation. Our allegiance is to Christ, the prince of peace. We strive to be pro-Christ in every possible way.’

Dina’s team are sharing the spiritual tools with which Christians can bring healing, reconciliation, love and hope. They’ve devised three strategic directions for their ministry in the community in the coming period.

Peace through media

Your donations fund a powerful digital outreach. Dina’s team are sharing a video series on social media called ‘Bible Devotion for Youth’, which encourages engagement with God’s word during wartime. They’re also preparing hymns and worship songs for YouTube that will renew people’s spiritual focus.

They have an amazing Scripture resource for children called The King of Peace and His Young Followers, for which they’re currently building a website. When it’s ready, it’ll provide activities for children to explore biblical reconciliation, nurturing a generation of peacemakers.

Peace through Bible distribution

Dina and her team are distributing The King of Peace and His Young Followers in churches and schools. They’ve been preparing lessons from this creative publication so teachers can promote a culture of peace in religious education classes.

On top of this, the team is publishing a family magazine called Whispers From the Creator to the Family, which reveals that God is always near his people to support and encourage them in every situation, especially during wartime. For their women’s ministry, they’re producing a selection of scriptures called The Gift of Wisdom to help readers cope with anxiety during troubled times.

Peace through Bible engagement

This is where people come together to share what they’re going through. The team is continuing their trauma healing programme, organising two groups for students right now in northern and central Galilee. In schools, they have a very effective anti-bullying programme that uses the Bible to give pupils an alternative to violence and war.

Your support for Bible mission in the places Jesus lived has been amazingly generous. You’ve fed and clothed people directly affected by the atrocities we’ve seen in the news, and shared God’s word with them. Through ongoing outreach to a traumatised community, as in these transformative projects that Dina’s Arab-Israeli team will continue to run, you’re making a huge impact for the gospel. Will you pray with Dina that this work changes more lives and helps to turn around an otherwise desperate situation?

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