Throughout 2017, we have taken significant steps to develop and strengthen the Christian identity of the Trust across all areas of our work. We give thanks for two study days on the theme of healing and forgiveness which had a very positive impact on the lives of staff, volunteers and friends of the Nazareth Hospital.
Another successful summer camp for 50 children of Nazareth Trust staff and their extended families was led by Fadi Hanna, director of Child Evangelism Fellowship, with the support of local and international volunteers.
The end of November saw a successful Week of Health and Healing take place and we were privileged to be able to host a team from the Crowhurst Christian Healing Centre in the UK. We were joined by numerous local ministers and former doctors who had previously served with EMMS Nazareth. This event combined the clinical and spiritual dimensions of healthcare, laying a solid foundation for our plans to develop a fuller model for integrated spiritual care, which we are building on in 2018.
Many people’s lives were impacted through the prayers offered during the week of health and healing. This was true at an individual level as well as across various teams, with positive stories from a consultant in the Maternity Department testifying at the thanksgiving service at the end of this week that she had noticed a positive change in the atmosphere of the entire department.
One of the highlights of 2017 was our prayer breakfast and evening reception with local church leaders and the Nazareth Trust Board of Trustees. This brought together priests and ministers from nearly all the Christian traditions in Nazareth and the surrounding areas to share fellowship and pray for the needs of the Trust and the wider community of Nazareth and the Galilee region. We also hosted the leaders of the Evangelical Synod of Israel at the Nazareth Village for their monthly prayer breakfast which offered a great venue for fellowship over breakfast and a time of prayer for the needs of the different ministries represented at the event.
Staff took part in a retreat in Bethlehem and a tour of Biblical sites around the Sea of Galilee, led by Fr Kamal Farah. Both events were well attended with participants asking for more of these type of events.
A big milestone was the creation of the Christian Affairs Committee and task teams to broaden the work of the Pastoral Care Committee, the Chaplaincy and activities to strengthen our Christian identity.
The Christmas programme of celebrations was followed by a study day on forgiveness therapy for medical and educational practitioners, facilitated by Dr Robert Enright in mid-January 2018.