World

Peace turns a questioner to a follower

When Ellaria* turned up at a Bible study group on a random evening, she wasn’t sure what she was doing there. She had never read the Bible. She wasn’t even that interested in God. But something had spurred her to go. She had been invited to attend by a worker with the Arab Israeli Bible Society, and the study was held in Nazareth, a city full to the brim with biblical history. But that meant nothing to Ellaria, either. In fact, she came to the study full of questions, ready to attack whatever she heard.

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But instead, as the Bible was read aloud, she felt an inexplicable peace rush over her. The feeling was so intoxicating that she kept coming back to the study, week after week.

Dina Katanacho, director of the Arab Israeli Bible Society, said Ellaria eventually decided to pray and accept Jesus Christ as her saviour.

“She held the Bible in her hands and praised God for changing her life,” says Dina, who watched Ellaria’s transformation from questioner to follower.

“She held the Bible in her hands and praised God for changing her life.” – Dina Katanacho

Ellaria was given a Bible by Bible Society to read for herself. The first thing she read was Jesus’ sermon on the mount.

“I don’t know how to express my deep gratitude and love to you,” Ellaria later wrote to Dina and the Bible Society team. “You helped me to get to know Christ, which has increased my faith … it is what has completely transformed me.”

Ellaria read the Bible over those weeks and her life was changed forever. She joins millions of people around the world who have had the same experience.

“There are still 1.2 billion people who can’t afford a Bible.” – Chris Melville

Bible Society Australia is supporting 38 international projects in 2019 which focus on the transforming power of God’s word, including ensuring the Arab Israeli Bible Society in Nazareth can survive and thrive in a difficult region. For Ellaria, that support meant she was able to receive an Arabic Bible to read and attend a Bible study.

Other projects throughout the world include Bible ministry in South Africa’s darkest prisons, Bible-based trauma healing for war refugees in the Middle East and Bible-centred support to teenage mothers and sexual abuse victims in Cameroon.

“There are still 1.2 billion people who can’t afford a Bible,” says Bible Society Australia’s Head of Mission, Chris Melville.

“We can do something about that.”

You can donate today to be part of life-changing initiatives that fill empty hearts, such as Ellaria’s, with the transforming word of God. Just $44 provides a Bible to four people who are seeking something more for their lives. For more, visit biblesociety.org.au/change

* Name changed to protect identity.

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