• ISRAEL \ Jul 19, 2014
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    A Baptist woman from Gaza declares that God is her refuge (Psalm 91) By Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho
A Baptist woman from Gaza declares that God is her refuge (Psalm 91)
By Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho

A Baptist woman declares that God is her refuge (Psalm 91)
Faten is not only a student in the MA program at Bethlehem Bible College – Gaza extension, she is also the coordinator for the Gaza students. She is a citizen of Gaza and a committed Baptist. This week Faten encountered few extra difficulties. First, she encountered the death of two young children: Wissam and Jihad. Both of them are young students at Lighthouse School where Faten’s sister, faiza, works. Lighthouse School is a Christian organization that has been offering help to needy families in Gaza. They have 200 kids in Kindergarten through 6th grade. I called Faten and she informed me that the two kids were tired of being at home. They went to the roof (a flat roof) in order to play after a long curfew and no electricity at home. Sadly, this was the end of their lives. They were killed by Israeli air strikes. Faten and her sister, as well as others, were grieving the loss of these precious and innocent lives. As followers of Jesus they valued every life and invested in spreading life, not death.

Second, Faten’s building shook from a nearby explosion and many windows were broken. She told me that the inhabitants of the building were not in it. However, she and her sister stayed in the building because they know that their neighbor is physically challenged and might need help. In the morning while Faten was taking her devotions, reading the same Bible that we read, her building shook from a big explosion. God protected both sisters as well as their neighbor. I asked Faten if she has an area where she can find a safe refuge. She chuckled and said that the only refuge she has is God and He is enough for her. I asked her: does she go to church and pray with other believers? She responded that all the meetings have stopped. There is a curfew outside and it is dangerous to leave home. However, once in a while they risk their lives to get to an adjacent grocery store.

I am amazed by Faten’s sense of divine sovereignty. She wholeheartedly believes that her life is in God’s hands. God is her refuge in Gaza. God called her to serve Him in this difficult place and she will honor her Lord. Interestingly, some Israeli Jews refer to Psalm 91 during this war. In their interpretation, the psalm mentions flying missiles (v. 5). They add that the Hebrew name of the Israeli incursion consists of two words (צוק איתן). The first letter of every word becomes a number in Hebrew (צא), that is 91. Simply put, the Palestinian Faten is seeking the protection of the God of Psalm 91. She is doing it in the name of Jesus. Please pray for Faten, her family, and for Lighthouse School. Please remember the kids of Gaza.

Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho