The Nazareth Trust 160th Anniversary Brochure

Page 1

Celebrating 160 years of The


the 160th anniversary of the Nazareth Trust. To celebrate such a huge milestone, we have selected a few individuals, both past and present, whose stories need to be shared. Thanks to these individuals' work and many others, we are now one of the largest Christian organisations in Israel. 3 Richard Mayhew, CEO 5 Our Scottish Roots 6 Dr Kaloost & Mary Anne Vartan 8 Dr Frederic Scrimgeour 10 Our Hospital today 12 Dr William David Bathgate 14 Nazareth Trust Pastoral Care 16 Miss Mary Parkinson 18 Dr Peter Ford Green 21 Dr Hans And Mrs Madeleine Bernath 23 Dr Runa Blyth Mackay 26 Dr Bob and Nancy Martin 30 Nazareth Academic School of Nursing 32 Dr Morgan Jamieson mbe, Chairman 35 Our achievements 36 1861 - 2021: 160 years of The Nazareth Trust 38 One small act of kindness 39 Our current projects 40 Our 160th anniversary appeal 43 Dr Fahed Hakim, Medical Director 46 Nazareth Village 48 Waseem Dibbini, Deputy CEO & CFO 50 SERVE Nazareth

This year, the Nazareth Trust celebrates its 160th anniversary. As we reach such an important milestone, I want to take a moment to reflect: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). I believe this goes beyond money: our example and our faith are also passed down to future generations. Our actions, even the smallest ones, have the potential for a long-term effect.

When I look back on our organisation’s long-standing history, see the faces of the people who have left a mark. Not only the faces of those who laid the foundation of our Christian ministry but also those who helped it grow by funding new developments. If look even closer, am taken back to last year, and all I see is the bravery and commitment of those who fought against Coronavirus in our hospital.

Both from the past and the present, all of them chose to dedicate their lives to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, just like 1 Peter 2:21 often reminds us. Thanks to them, we can celebrate our 160th anniversary and welcome around 400,000 visitors every year.

Looking towards the future, wonder what legacy we will leave for generations to come. Specifically, the Emergency Room development project will have a great impact on that legacy. Expanding our ER to 70 beds will allow us to provide vastly improved care for our thousands of patients.

cannot wait to see what the future holds. I invite you to join us so that we can build it up together.

2 3
Located in Nazareth, the Trust engages with around 400,000 people a year, including patients and their families, our nursing students, international volunteers, pilgrims, and tourists, as well as our valued staff.

Scottish Lady


Our Scottish Roots

Do you know how deep our Scottish roots go? Even though our work is in Israel, we have a strong Scottish heritage. Let’s go back in time. . .

In1841, the Edinburgh Association for Sending Medical Aid to Foreign Countries was born. Two years later, it was renamed the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (EMMS). The society was a pioneer in community health care through its Cowgate Dispensary in Edinburgh.

As Rev Dr John Wilkinson, former student and member of the Board of Directors of EMMS said, “Its beginning was in Edinburgh, but its influence reached the ends of the earth.” In 1851, EMMS started funding students who wanted to become medical missionaries. The medical missionary programme included a medical training course at institutions such as the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Edinburgh University, practical training experience in a Home Medical Mission and a course in Theology and Evangelistic methods.

At that time, medical missions were still a relatively new concept, so EMMS promoted its work through publications and talks. Apart from sponsoring several hundred future medical missionaries, EMMS also supported overseas missions through financial support and medical equipment.

Many doctors who worked at the Nazareth Hospital were Scottish and had either trained through EMMS or had been closely related to the society. Even our founder, Dr Vartan, an Armenian, was an EMMS-sponsored medical student who completed his practical training at the Cowgate Dispensary.

EDINBURGH Dr Vartan Mary Ann Stuart EMMS Royal College of Surgeons Dr Tester DUNDEE Dr Scrimgeour Robert Gibson (Hospital Architect) ISLE OF SKYE Dr Ian MacFarlane HIGHLANDS Dr Bathgate KINTYRE Dr Runa Mackay


Dr Kaloost and Mary Anne Vartan

Sometime after that, EMMS sent a representative to check up on the progress of their former student.

The organisation was so impressed by Dr Vartan’s work that they decided to sponsor his clinic, steering EMMS in a new direction.


Kaloost Vartan was an Armenian translator and doctor born in Constantinople. As a young man, he worked as an interpreter for the British Army during the Crimean war. After experiencing the atrocious state of battlefield medical facilities, he decided to pursue a career in medicine.

After the war, Dr Vartan travelled to the UK, receiving medical training through EMMS. He eventually moved to Nazareth, where he worked as a medical missionary, setting up a four-bed clinic in 1861: the first one in Ottoman Galilee. That small clinic soon became the Nazareth Hospital, which is now the main trauma centre offering acute care in Nazareth.

When Dr Vartan returned to Edinburgh in 1866, he met his future wife, Mary Anne Stewart. She had grown up in a ministry family, and her diaries reveal that she had long envisioned herself becoming the wife of a missionary.

In 1867, Dr Vartan and Mary Anne were married by her father in their family home in Edinburgh. That very same day, the couple travelled to Nazareth to continue the work that Dr Vartan had started, with Mary Anne working alongside her husband as a nurse.

The Vartan’s clinic developed over time into the Nazareth Hospital. In 2001, EMMS split into two independent charities, one of which was EMMS Nazareth, which runs the hospital today. EMMS Nazareth is currently known as the Nazareth Trust and is one of the largest Scottish charities. Our UK headquarters is based in Edinburgh, the city where it all began more than 160 years ago.

6 7
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Diploma, awarded to Vartan and two other students in 1861

Dr Fredric Scrimgeour

Dr Frederic Scrimgeour always brought two things to the operating table: his distinctive moustache and a pair of gloves. Working initially as Dr Vartan’s assistant, Dr Scrimgeour became the Medical Superintendent of the Nazareth Hospital (1908-1921) following Dr Vartan’s sudden death.

In taking up the role, Dr Scrimgeour worked towards advancing the hospital, always keeping Vartan’s vision in mind. During his time there, Dr Scrimgeour designed the new hospital buildings and didn’t think twice before taking up the challenge of leading the construction, working without an architect on site. The new facilities became a reality thanks to Dr Scrimgeour’s detailed sketches, photographs and measurements sent to Robert Gibson, an architect based in Dundee, Scotland.

Dr Ian MacFarlane, Dr Scrimgeour’s assistant, spoke proudly of their achievements: “It quickens our hopes that before long we shall have on the hillside above Nazareth a suitable building for our work instead of the cramped and insanitary native house we have to occupy at present.”

Originally from Dundee, Dr Scrimgeour brought fresh ideas and strategic planning into the hospital. Surgeons without gloves? Sounds like the title of a horror film Dr Scrimgeour would never watch. Forward-thinking and a pioneer in his time, he was one of the first surgeons to operate with gloves and to encourage hygiene standards amongst the wider population.

He also set about improving the hospital administration by prioritising record-keeping after noting a lack of statistical information on births and deaths.

To raise awareness of the Nazareth Hospital’s mission, Dr Scrimgeour returned to Scotland. One of his fundraising events, a bazaar sponsored by Princess Alexandra, raised £5,000 (equivalent to nearly £600,000 today), which helped develop the new hospital further.

His passion for anthropology prompted him to travel around the town and countryside, asking people about their habits and trades. His descriptions and photographs have significant historical value and help paint a picture of life in Nazareth in the early 20th Century. His work forms the basis of his book, Nazareth of to-day, compiled in 1913.

We owe so much to Dr Scrimgeour. He was a leader and a visionary who planned for the future and set the hospital on the right path for generations to come. He knew what was needed for it to grow and fulfil the needs of the community in Nazareth. That’s why he invested in infrastructure and hygiene, helping the hospital improve year after year. Thanks to Dr Scrimgeour’s dedication and work, we now have a District General Hospital that provides healthcare to more than 180,000 patients each year.

8 9

The Nazareth Hospital


Rana Saliba

“I like working at the hospital as it is a place that gives to others, and this is part of who I am. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, as it says in the Bible. The patients who come here need this gift of love and support, and I love to contribute and serve our community. The hospital is my second family, with whom I have shared good and bad times.”


Hanan Marjieh

“I started my nursing career at the Nazareth Hospital 38 years ago, but I’m still learning every day. am grateful for working for a respected institution that promotes community wellbeing. I’m happy to arrive at work every day and hope to work there for as long as possible.”



Hani Batheesh

“If say thank you, that won’t be enough. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the medical staff, including doctors, nurses and administration from the Al-Nasr Department at the English Hospital in Nazareth, fighting the battle against Coronavirus. My beloved ones, you are working tirelessly and are still risking your lives to save the sick. After my Coronavirus infection, I was in a critical condition. Hospitalised at the Al-Nasr Department, all I received was kindness, good care and full attention. Thanks for giving your patients hope and providing excellent treatment in this unique hospital. May God protect you and your families from evil, harm and darkness.”


Marwa Aiady

“The beginning of my shift is usually quite busy, but things eventually calm down. I always feel peaceful and happy when I’m working at the hospital. The friendly atmosphere with the nurses, their nice words, and positive energy drives me through the end of my shift. The Nazareth Hospital is my home, a safe place that I share with my community, where we all love and encourage each other.”


Dr Wael Abu Ahmad

“The Nazareth Hospital stands out because of its commitment and sincerity towards the patients. What can be a better reward than saving lives? This hospital has allowed me to help my community and also provided me with academic support.”

10 11
EMMS is the main acute care and teaching hospital in the Nazareth area, offering a wide range of medical, surgical, maternity and psychiatric care.

Dr William David Bathgate

Known by many as Hakim (‛The Wise’ in Arabic), Dr William Bathgate advocated for physical and spiritual healing. As Dr Scrimgeour’s successor, he managed the Nazareth Hospital for 35 years (1921-1956).

DrBathgate was born in 1884 in New Zealand and grew up on a farm established by his parents, who were originally from Scotland. He already showed great faith and a call to help others from a young age and opened a church in New Zealand so Scottish immigrants could worship.

However, it was not until he heard that four missionaries died in the Belgian Congo due to lack of medical assistance that he knew he wanted to be a missionary doctor.

Dr Bathgate was much more than just the manager of the Nazareth Hospital. He took the time to get to know his patients and engage with the community, near and far.

Everyone was welcome at his house: pilgrims, tourists, missionaries or those recovering from sickness.

Following in Dr Scrimgeour’s footsteps, he would often jump on his horse and travel to villages and camps, delighting many with his bagpipes and funny remarks. Since his parents were Scottish, it’s not surprising he fell in love with the bagpipes!

Most importantly, Dr Bathgate laid the foundations of the current Pastoral Care Team at the hospital. To cope with many hardships, including epidemic outbreaks, World War II and his daughter’s death when she was only 21, Dr Bathgate sought comfort in prayer.

His faith played a crucial role in his work at the hospital, as he believed that spiritual healing was just as important as physical healing. You could often find him visiting patients in the wards, praying with them before surgeries. Staff would gather every morning to pray in the wards, kitchen, and staff quarters. Christians from all traditions would come together to share Bible study and prayer: this kaleidoscope of religions and cultures still enriches the hospital today.

Following in Dr Bathgate’s footsteps, our Pastoral Care Team continues to offer the same spiritual,

emotional support and prayer today for staff, patients, and volunteers. Our chapel continues to welcome our staff, visitors and family members for prayer and worship.

The Pastoral Care Team played a significant role during the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting patients in the wards, comforting them at a challenging time. They also looked after our staff at the frontline. One recovered COVID-19 patient was quoted saying: “I still remember what you told me that night, holding my hand: ‛Don’t be afraid or frustrated’. You strengthened me and comforted my fear, even though I didn’t know you. I’m so grateful for all that you did for me. Thank you for being there for me. You’re my ‛Angel of mercy’.”

Pastor Suheil Bathish is a member of the Pastoral Care Team and the hospital’s chaplain. He explains that there is no such word as ‛chaplain’ in the Arabic culture. So what does it mean to him? Caring for sick people and those who are hurt, praying for the body and the soul in a place of healing - the Nazareth Hospital. Many people are aware of the physical healing, but we also aim for spiritual healing as it is a Christian ministry hospital, which makes it unique. What also makes the Nazareth Hospital unique is SERVE Nazareth, the largest international Christian volunteer programme in Israel outside Jerusalem. Through this programme, volunteers can serve in the hospital’s chaplaincy and work in the hospital wards.

Reflecting on the SERVE volunteering programme and the Pastoral Care Team, Pastor Suheil says: “Being a volunteer means that you give your time, knowledge and effort for the benefit of the community. Whoever has heard the call will be welcome here with this desire to learn, bless and be blessed at this special place in the world, the hometown of Jesus Christ.”

Going by Dr Bathgate’s prescription that no patient or staff member should ever be left without spiritual and emotional care, we are committed to growing our Pastoral Care ministry.

12 13


The Pastoral Care Team ensures there is a Christian presence in all the areas of our organisation, particularly where there is the greatest need for emotional and spiritual support. Our team aims to bear faithful witness to the Christian message of healing and forgiveness, hope, and peace to all our patients, staff, students, volunteers, who visit us, and the community of Nazareth.


Frank Kantor

“Six years ago, my wife Valerie and I left the UK with some incredulity to come and see what good can come out of Nazareth as Phillip encouraged Nathaniel to do when he first encountered Jesus!

Serving as the spiritual director in the place where Jesus himself grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and people has been a great honour and privilege and has taught me much about myself and the wonderful people of Jesus’ hometown.”


Elian Khoury

“Our pastoral care and weekly chapel services have boosted staff spirits in a time which has been very much needed during the pandemic. It has helped maintain good relations between co-workers and enabled us to support each other, but most importantly, it fulfils our much-needed growth in our spiritual beliefs.”


Lourens & Rebecca Geuze

“Serving with The Nazareth Trust provides a unique opportunity to live in the hometown of Jesus, to learn how to minister cross denominationally and across religions, and to grow in wisdom, stature and favour with God and man. For us it has been a lifechanging and faith-enriching experience to serve, live, learn and grow in Nazareth.”


Pastor Suheil Bathish

“It has been a great honour and blessing for me to serve as the chaplain of the Nazareth Hospital EMMS for the past 15 years, where the provision of Christianbased spiritual care and support to our staff, patients and their families has been part of our heritage for the past 160 years.”

14 15
The Pastoral Care Team Christine Farah and Pastor Suheil Bathish, wearing PPE

Miss Mary Parkinson

A school nurse and certified midwife from Yorkshire (England), Miss Parkinson worked as a matron at the Nazareth Hospital for 24 years. She was a mother figure to the girls who were training at the School of Nursing.

Miss Mary Parkinson trained in Sheffield (UK) and was the matron of the Church of Scotland Jewish Mission Hospital in Smyrna during the Greco-Turkish War. After recovering from typhus and typhoid fever, she joined the Nazareth Hospital as a matron in 1924, working closely with Dr Bathgate. Miss Parkinson was also a member of the examination board for nurses.

One day, a girl showed up at her office, asking to join the nursing training programme. Her name was Gassia Shanlian, born in Armenia in the early 1900s. In order to train at the School of Nursing, students had to be at least 16 years old.

Having spent most of her childhood in an orphanage, Gassia did not have access to a birth certificate and lost contact with her family after they were forced to move to a Syrian refugee camp.

Miss Parkinson allowed her to enrol in the nursing programme. After graduating in 1928, Gassia trained as a midwife in Jerusalem, worked in Nablus and Haifa, and later moved to Edinburgh. But no distance could be an obstacle to the friendship they had created, so they kept in touch by letter.

Matron Parkinson and the School of Nursing gave many orphaned and displaced girls like Gassia a pathway to independence and self-respect through a career in nursing.

In 1945, Miss Parkinson retired and soon after went back to her hometown in Yorkshire. We learned from an article published at The Palestine Post of a retirement tea party held at the Nazareth Hospital in honour of Miss Parkinson. Amongst the guests, we could find many of her friends from Syria and the Mayor of Nazareth.

During the party, Miss Parkinson used the opportunity to appeal to the mothers in Palestine to support their daughters who wished to train as nurses. “She stressed the lack of volunteers for the nursing profession in this country and thanked all those who had assisted her in her years in Palestine.”

We can find the same passion Miss Parkinson had for educating nurses at the hospital in all her successors: Dr Nancy Martin, Dr Amal Khazin and our current Director of the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing, Dr Salam Hadid.

16 17

Dr Peter Ford Green

Many more medical missionaries served at Nazareth Hospital after Dr Kaloost Vartan’s pioneering mission. One of them was Dr Peter Green, who worked at the hospital from 1949 until 1950, along with his fiancé, Hope, and his sister, Gwen, both nurses.

Green’s interest in missionary work can be traced back to his schoolboy days when he served as Mission Secretary at his school from his first year. However, it was not until he heard a radio broadcast in 1941 that Dr Green truly felt a definite call to medical missions.

It was the talk ‛Healing for Body and Soul – Medical Mission Work’ by W. J. Stuart, then President of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (EMMS). In his speech, Mr Stuart explained how EMMS was starting to train doctors for medical missions abroad.

The last words of that speech deeply resonated with Dr Green: “One thing am assured, that if you choose to work in the medical mission field, when you come to the end of your life’s work and are turning over the pages of the past, you will know that it has been indeed worthwhile, that the years have been well spent, and that had you to begin again, you would make no other choice.”

His headmaster’s commendation letter reads: “Peter is a boy of sterling character with a high sense of duty, and sets an admirable example of loyalty and devotion. He intends to follow a medical career ultimately with the objective of becoming a medical missionary, and he has always been in thorough earnest in the pursuit of this high calling.”

Dr Green began his medical training at the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, where he developed a love for Scotland. He could often be seen in his kilt, traditional Scottish dress, when out walking.

Dr Green’s very first mission was at the Nazareth Hospital, where he served for a year before being joined by Hope and Gwen. Sadly, Dr Green contracted an illness shortly after, and he and Hope were evacuated to the UK. Gwen, however, continued to work as a nurse at the hospital until 1958.

But that was only the start of his medical missionary work. After fully recovering, Dr Green and his now wife Hope continued their missions worldwide, including in Gaza and Kenya. Dr Green never stopped evangelising, even after retiring. With the help of Stella, an Anglican reader, he wrote Sunday devotions and ran a weekly church service at the care home where he lived until his final days.

At the end of his life, aged 96, Dr Green was able to say: “I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day.”

After Dr Green's passing in 2021, John, Dr Green's son informed us that his dad had chosen to donate his treasured stamp collection to the Nazareth Hospital. Amongst those stamps, there was the iconic Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp. Even if Dr Green only worked at the hospital for a short period of time, 70 years later, he still kept us in his thoughts. Dr Green left a long-life legacy through his faith and missionary work. But by leaving us a gift in his will, he also wanted to make sure that the work of the Nazareth Trust carries on for many more years.

18 19 Dr
Photographs from 1949 – 1950 [ Dr Peter Green & Hope Green ‘fiancé’ ] L-R Josephine Symera PF Green Hannah L-R Symera Josephine PF Green Masara Hannah


Dr Hans and Mrs Madeleine Bernath

Thanks to their active involvement in the community both in Switzerland and Nazareth, the Bernaths were instrumental in securing funding for the Nazareth Hospital, upgrading buildings and recruiting staff. While Madeleine taught at the hospital, Hans worked as Chief Surgeon and was promoted to Medical Superintendent in 1969.

DrHans Bernath’s first contact with the Nazareth Hospital was in 1948 when he worked at the International Red Cross. In 1951 he went back to his native Switzerland to get some surgical training and returned to the Nazareth Hospital as Chief Surgeon in 1956, now joined by his wife Madeleine and their three children. A few years later, the couple adopted two Arab children who were born at the Nazareth Hospital.

Madeleine worked alongside her husband, doing what she liked the most: teaching. She taught Bible and English courses to the young nurses and helped the European staff with Arabic.

In addition to his work at the hospital, Dr Bernath worked as the Swiss representative of the Red Cross and had to go into the war zone. As soon as he was appointed Medical Superintendent, his highest priority became upgrading the hospital buildings – and he was the perfect candidate for the job in terms of interest and expertise. Hans showed enthusiasm for technical work from an early age, when he taught himself to repair bikes and worked as a wheelwright as a teenager.

In order to pay for his medical studies, he had to work several jobs, including his father’s wine press. The machine to separate the berries from the stems that Hans built improved the wine quality significantly, helping him fund his dream career.

20 21 Dec 1949 / Jan 1950
Peter Green pictured with colleagues at the Nazareth Hospital 1949-1950 Dr Bernath in his office, 1971

His first projects at the Nazareth Hospital included completing the maternity department, building an intensive care unit and expanding the hospital kitchen, assisted by the Swiss builders the Bernaths recruited.

Hans’ strategic planning was crucial for getting the Israeli government to recognise the three private hospitals in Nazareth (Nazareth Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and the French Hospital of St Vincent de Paul) as the Galilean District Hospital in 1981. Next, Dr Bernath set about upgrading the hospital facilities and staff to meet the Health authorities requirements and the community’s needs.

After several discussions with hospital staff, Dr Bernath prepared a master plan for the next ten years. His pioneer view consisted of constructing a building that could be easily adaptable without significant structural changes. Bernath secured the funds, provided the design and construction maps, and supervised the work, working closely with the architects.

The first phase was to split the outpatient and emergency department in a 2-storey building completed in 13 months and financed by Bernath’s Swiss friends and the German charity Bread for the World.

The second phase was much more ambitious: it included creating a 5-storey building to house appropriate facilities for a nursing school, medical library, physiotherapy department, a dialysis unit and improved wards and rooms for patients. To make this project a reality, the Bernaths recruited volunteers from Swiss churches to help. However, Hans’ plan went beyond the development of buildings and included recruiting staff and upgrading medical equipment. Firstly, he saw the need to develop the registered nursing program, which helped the hospital progress even further. And secondly, he hired local staff to join the senior leadership team at the hospital and develop speciality services. Dr Nakhle Bishara, the first Arab doctor at the hospital, joined in 1981 and became Medical Director in 1986.

The couple never stopped working, not even after retiring. Hans volunteered to supervise the hospital building projects and pursued his passion for woodworking. Some of the carpentry he crafted is still at the hospital, including the carpenter’s bench in the chapel. Madeleine looked after visitors and planned the volunteers’ coffee break. In recognition of their significant contribution to the hospital –42 years of service which set up the hospital for the future – the auditorium was named after them.


Dr Runa Blyth Mackay

Born in Yorkshire (England) in a family with a Scottish heritage, Dr Runa Mackay spent most of her life providing medical assistance to war victims and refugees in Israel, Lebanon and the West Bank. A six-month temporary position at the Nazareth Hospital changed her life forever.

Runa followed in her father’s steps and studied medicine in Edinburgh. In 1955, she received an unexpected letter from Dr John Tester, asking her to cover for him at the Nazareth Hospital while he went on six-months leave. Runa mused: “I was a paediatrician, and although I was a Christian, I had never thought of myself as a missionary.” But what was meant to be a temporary position ended up being the start of her lifetime career.

For a year, Runa worked alongside Dr Bathgate’s niece, Dr Doris Wilson. After Doris left, it was Runa’s turn to look after the women and children at the hospital as the only female doctor on site. Many women requested to be seen by Runa but often didn’t consider her a ‘proper doctor’, and they would sometimes prompt her: “Should you not call the real doctor now?”

Back then, the Nazareth Hospital had 100 beds and only three doctors. Runa knew they had to be ready to deal with anything. Although her original speciality was paediatrics, she learnt how to manage midwifery cases, give anaesthetics, perform simple surgeries and share the Gospel stories with the patients. Her weekly Arabic lessons progressively made things much easier.

Runa was passionate about helping and empowering women. Since the maternity ward was very busy and many mothers were struggling, Runa decided to start a family planning clinic within the hospital. She wanted to give advice and offer them an alternative with the help of local Arab social workers. Thanks to this clinic and the decrease in home births, the infant mortality rate dropped.

Dr Robert Martin, one of Runa’s former colleagues, says it was a real privilege knowing her: “My wife Nancy considered her a mentor. She was wise, dedicated, and no-nonsense, but could also have fun. She would supervise the outpatient clinic, the delivery service and at least half a dozen midwives. In the 1960 and 70s, the hospital delivered around 3,000 babies a year.”

“Perhaps we can save a few children in the hospital, but if we could prevent illness, we could save hundreds,” Runa said. During her time at the Nazareth Hospital, Runa took an interest in preventative medicine, which shifted the direction of her career.

22 23
Carpenter's bench crafted by Dr Hans Bernath.

After 20 years at the hospital, Runa realised she needed to bring her Christian medical witness out of the hospital walls and into the community. Firstly, she joined the Ministry of Health as a district medical officer. Secondly, in 1981, together with other health professionals, she set up the Galilee Society for Health Research and Service (GSHRS). This Arab non-profit organisation aimed to improve the health of rural communities in Galilee and still exists today. By helping set up this organisation, Runa showed once more her commitment not just to heal people but, most importantly, to prevent them from getting ill.

At the Nazareth Trust, our work isn’t about buildings. It’s about people. These values were very much aligned with Runa, as she reflected: “I always had to keep reminding myself that people mattered more than the ‘project’. I would get mad when I saw a child sick with something preventable, but I had to let the mother understand that I was not so mad with her as with the disease and only because longed for her child to be well.“

Dr Fahed Hakim, our current Medical Director, had the chance to meet Runa during an event at the Scottish Parliament. “She was so unique: she gave me a big hug, and I could feel all the energy and faith inside her. She was a fighter. She told me that every Saturday, she used to go and demonstrate for the Palestinian people in her wheelchair.” Indeed, Runa attended the Women in Black vigils on Princes Street (Edinburgh) for 16 years to protest for peace and justice.

Runa never stopped fighting for what she believed in. Even after retiring, Runa wanted to make sure people in the Middle East had access to healthcare. That’s why she joined the medical team of the British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) as a volunteer and worked in several refugee camps in Lebanon. When she returned from her time in Lebanon, Runa became a MAP trustee and founded the Scottish branch of MAP, leaving a long-lasting legacy for the Palestinian people. Up until her mid-90s, she ran annual fundraising events, usually raising £5,000 in one morning! During these events, people gathered at Christ Church Hall in Edinburgh to enjoy Palestinian food, embroidery, and crafts. The money raised helped provide essential healthcare to Palestinians and build knowledge and skills to cope with local health problems.

Her 60 years of work to improve healthcare in the Middle East didn’t go unnoticed, and she received a MAP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Sadly, Runa died in the summer of 2020, but many will never forget her life-long medical mission in the Middle East. Her life journey will always remain an inspiration to all of us. Runa faced many challenges throughout her life, but she always persevered: “I could never have done what I have been able to do if I had not had a firm faith in God, and it is my faith that keeps me going even though things do look bleak.”

Could you be our next Runa? Help us carry on her passion and continue to provide the best healthcare to the people of Nazareth.

24 25
“Perhaps we can save a few children in the hospital, but if we could prevent illness, we could save hundreds.”
LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr Maddock, Dr Mackay, Dr Tester and Dr Bernath

Drs Robert and Nancy Martin

Words will always fall short while trying to explain Dr Robert and Nancy Martin’s contribution to the Nazareth Hospital. Just like the Vartans, they worked closely together, embarking on a life-changing mission. Even after returning to the United States in 1995, Nancy kept in touch with the Nazareth Trust as a member of the Board for many years. Today, her legacy lives on with the Nancy Martin Memorial Scholarship, supporting students at the School of Nursing. The school wouldn’t be the same without her. Robert Martin reflects on their time in Nazareth:

What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine, and specifically, missionary medicine?

It grew out of my life experience. When I was a teenager, my mother had quite a serious chronic illness. saw her suffering and had compassion for her. I grew up on a farm and didn’t think I could be a doctor. When went off to college, my friends were preparing to go to medical school, and I thought: “Well, you never know unless you try.” In college, I felt a willingness to be involved in missions. After becoming a doctor, I was drafted for military service, but my faith background is pacifist, non-resistant and Anabaptist, so I had the choice to explore nonmilitary service. The doors was seeking in the United States didn’t work out, but the one in Nazareth kept opening up.

Dr Tester, who was in charge of the Nazareth Hospital, visited the Mennonite Board of Missions. Yes, he came to the US to learn more about the Mennonites, our church background. Nine months later, we left the US to go to Israel. We didn’t know much about the Nazareth Hospital. My wife and I had no overseas experience. We did not know Arabic or the culture, and our son was only a year old. It was a step in faith.

How did your faith impact your work at the hospital and vice versa?

We went as learners. We came to value and appreciate the ancient churches of the Middle East. It was a privilege to be in a healing ministry in the hometown of Jesus, to look at how He went about healing and receiving people. My faith and my wife’s faith developed in new and meaningful ways relating to the Christians in Nazareth.

What makes the Nazareth Hospital unique compared to other hospitals in Israel?

To be honest with you, Jesus makes the difference: the compassion, the love and the care that He demonstrated - that’s not to be said it’s not found in other faiths. Our aim at the hospital is to give testimony to the life of Jesus. Its standard of care has improved greatly: it’s excellent. The fact that it’s been there for 160 years and has been there as a presence during so many wars: it’s been the people who have led us through these difficult periods that helped the hospital grow and develop. Our goal is to be a reconciling presence: we’re open to all people.

26 27
First Registered Nurse graduation, 1989

What memories stand out from your time at the hospital?

The tremendous hospitality shown by the people who lived there. The turmoil and political unrest. I had never experienced anything like being in a conflict zone. I enjoyed very much the privilege of developing and upgrading the hospital services. During my years of medical practice there, I saw the need for mental health services. One of the great joys was hiring a psychiatrist during my management and seeing the mental health service develop to what you see today: the only psychiatric department in Israel which is culturally relevant to the Arab population.

What was Nancy’s role at the hospital?

They would often ask her to substitute and help in the School of Nursing, which had about a dozen students at that time. When we returned to Israel for the second time, she was invited to do support teaching in the school.

And there was a third time. You were appointed General Director, and Nancy became Director of Nursing Education.

I was surprised Nancy was willing to say yes to going back again. I shouldn’t be surprised as she felt, and I came to feel too, that this was a calling of the Lord and not just an idea we had. We were both in good jobs here in the States. We weren’t so eager to sell our home and leave our children, but we’re glad we did. Now in retrospect, we can see the fruit of those early beginnings. Nancy worked for seven years, from 1987 until 1994, to get the State of Israel to accredit the Registered Nursing Program. Since then, it has been the work of Dr Amal Khazin to develop the school as it is today. Now there’s a new director, Dr Salam Hadid. The School of Nursing has flourished and blossomed beyond what we could have imagined.

This year we’re celebrating our 160th anniversary. What thoughts come to mind?

God’s faithfulness and also the sacrifices that people have made over the 160 years. As you read the history, you discover that Dr Vartan lost five children in infancy and Dr Bathgate served there for 40-45 years with his wife being hospitalised with a chronic illness in the UK. His daughter was killed during World War II. When Tester was there, there was hardly enough food to nourish their children. One of my joys was to introduce the hospital to Mr John

Vartan, the great-grandson of our founder. John Vartan never knew that his great grandfather started the hospital. We think of the work of Nazareth as being the work of expatriate persons. But we should give huge recognition to the role of the local staff. Dr Nakhle Bishara did a lot to get the local staff on board: we have a hospital now thanks to them.

In 1996, you received an Order of the British Empire (OBE). What was that for? It’s an award that’s been given to several previous administrators: Dr Bathgate, Dr Tester and Dr Bernath. It’s a bit unusual for a non-British citizen to receive that award. During the Gulf War in 1991, as in previous wars, the American Embassy asked us to leave the country for our families’ safety, and we didn’t. Since was the General Director, it was a tremendous time of stress, preparing the hospital for chemical attacks. But I think it was a gift of peace and assurance from God that we were to stay, trust and not be afraid. Although my name is on it, it’s an award that rightfully goes to my wife as well because she stood by me.

Can you tell us a bit about the Nancy Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund?

My wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and she died five months later. Our son suggested that maybe a way to honour mum’s memory was to set up a scholarship. So he approached Nazareth Project US (partner organisation of the Nazareth Trust), which led to setting up the scholarship fund about a year ago. Some will get help based on their special ability, others based on financial need. I’m told that even small amounts of money are such an encouragement for those who receive it that, in some cases, it keeps them from dropping out of school.

How do you see the hospital today?

think the basics of skills, faith and the current leadership there, in my estimation, give it a bright future. I’m so pleased that the spiritual aspect of the work is being emphasised, recognised and strengthened under the current administration and the Pastoral Care Team.

28 29
Dr Amal Khazin, Nancy and Bob Martin Dr Bernath doing surgery and Dr Martin administering anaesthesia during the 1967 War.




(1995 - 2020)

Dr Amal Khazin

“Throughout my journey at the School of Nursing, experienced my faith grow. Working with my Christian colleagues and praying alongside them helped me reconnect with God. I feel extremely blessed to have worked in a such an amazing institute and for the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people.”


Shouk Atamleh

“I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. Even as a child, I would help my classmates with their schoolwork. At the School of Nursing, we are a community that gives a lot of our time to help our students and staff thrive. feel extremely proud when see how much my students have achieved! When I meet them, I realise my efforts have brought fruits.”


Dr Salam Hadid

“The School of Nursing plays an important part in the health system not only for the number of graduates but most importantly for the high standards of education they receive. Students from the school leave here with a special education in offering love, empathy, compassion and respect to patients. I feel extremely blessed to be serving here and pray that help the school continue to grow and develop for the future.”


Khalil Hafi

“I always dreamed of working and helping people who were sick, so studied at the School of Nursing. After a couple of years working in theatre in Tel Aviv, decided to return to the Nazareth Hospital to serve our people, families and friends. It’s like family: everyone knows each other. The staff like to help and they love to work there. enjoy working in the Nazareth Hospital. It feels like home.”

30 31
The School of Nursing empowers students through an expanded provision of courses related to health care. More than 400 students each year undertake General Nursing qualifications, ranging from a Diploma to a B.A. degree in Nursing. We like to think that our students gain the best experience while training with us, which is reflected in our 2020 graduation results where 100% of students passed their final exams.

Dr Morgan Jamieson mbe

Dr Morgan Jamieson’s journey began in 1970 as a medical student at the Nazareth Hospital, an experience that always remained with him. Forty-four years later, he became the Trust’s Chair of the Board.

Dr Jamieson, can you tell us about your first visit to the Nazareth Hospital?

It was an eight-week university placement in the summer of 1970. My undergraduate medical course allowed us to spend two months gaining experience in a setting outside Edinburgh. I was fascinated by the Nazareth Hospital’s work, so I didn’t think twice before applying.

How would you describe your experience in one word and why?

Adventure. It might be shocking for present generations, but at that time, was a 22-year-old who had never been abroad! Having the opportunity to travel more than 2,000 miles and doing so by plane was all new to me and exciting. Experiencing a different culture and language was also rewarding. Study-wise, got the chance to be involved in patient care in ways that were not possible back home, including delivering lots of babies!

What made your first visit so memorable?

To be in Israel, the Holy Land, immersed in all the biblical places I had grown up hearing about. But perhaps the most abiding memory was the local staff’s friendliness and hospitality, including being invited to a surprising number of Arab weddings.

After graduating, you decided to repeat the experience.

Yes, for four months in 1973. The impression left by my previous visit was a key factor. had a gap between training posts. Instead of seeking temporary positions in the UK, asked the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society staff if could return to the Nazareth Hospital. I was delighted when they agreed and felt I could be helpful.

Was that second visit much different from the first?

The big difference was that I was now part of the core team. I worked in a much more integrated way with a very committed group of nurses, doctors and other mission staff from the UK and worldwide. Being there for a longer period allowed me to connect deeply with the place and the people: that’s something that has remained with me ever since.

What did you learn from your second visit?

became much more aware that while some people contributed to the hospital for short periods like me, others dedicated their whole lives to the hospital, which I found challenging and humbling.

Amongst those people, is there anyone who particularly inspired you?

Probably Dr Runa Mackay. She was never in overall charge, but her faithful service over many years played a major role in sustaining the ministry of the hospital. had the pleasure to meet her, and she has always remained an inspirational person. There are many others cut from the same cloth who have been there over the years.

How did you become a member of the Nazareth Trust Board?

Following my earlier times in Nazareth, I remained interested in EMMS’ work, which became the Nazareth Trust. wasn’t actively involved in the organisation, but did attend some Edinburgh events occasionally. In 2013, quite out of the blue, they asked me if I would like to join the Trust Board.

What helped you make a decision?

I was given a couple of weeks to think about it. However, by the end of the phone call, I already knew what my answer would be. The sustained affection and respect have for the place, the people and the work pointed me in the right direction. A year later, I was asked to take on the Board Chair’s role. I’ve had the privilege of serving in that capacity for the past seven years.

32 33
Dr Morgan Jamieson pictured with a colleague in 1970

What have you enjoyed the most about being on the Board and being the Chairman of the Nazareth Trust?

I’ve particularly enjoyed the sense of partnership with fellow Board members and the privilege of being part of a long-lasting Christian ministry. It’s hard to escape the sense of history and connection that comes from being part of a work that combines healing of body and mind, teaching through parables and encouragement of discipleship in the hometown of Jesus.

When you think of the 160th anniversary of the Nazareth Trust, what comes to mind?

It’s a reminder of being a small part of a much longer story that will hopefully continue long into the future. I’m very aware of the many people whose commitment to God and the community of Nazareth has made those 160 years possible. More recently, a whole new generation of people has taken over, equally committed to maintaining this ministry.

How do you see the future of the Nazareth Trust?

When we started, we were there to serve the underserved. I hope the organisation will always have an eye for those missing out, socially and medically. would like to believe we can get back to an engagement with the West Bank. SERVE and the Nazareth Village are still evolving, and I know we have yet to see the full potential of these ministries. There are all sorts of ways that the School of Nursing can expand the opportunities it offers. The future is full of possibilities, and I think it’s fascinating.

What message would you send to the many supporters?

would wish to say ‘thank you’ to many who have faithfully stayed with us over many years, particularly through the significant changes of recent years. I think God is opening up new opportunities, and we want our supporters to come along on the journey. We need to build on what has been achieved and be open to whatever God has in store for this ministry.

NICU 114 Psychiatric 152 Dialysis 166 Paediatrics 465 Obstetrics and Gynaecology 696 Catheterisation Interventions 939 ICU 961 Orthopaedics 1512 General Surgery 3027 Internal Medicine 3447 Emergency Room 57,924 SERVE Volunteers IN 2017 - 2020 Hospital admissions in 2020 556 70,000 School of Nursing students enrol annually 100% PASS RATE IN 2020 ˜400 1 million + visitors to Nazareth Village SINCE IT OPENED ITS DOORS
Dr Morgan Jamieson at the hospital


Hospital Founded

Dr Kaloost Vartan heads to Nazareth to set up a medical clinic.


Mary Anne departs

Edinburgh for Nazareth with her husband Dr Kaloost Vartan. A larger complex is found, and an 18-bed hospital and dispensary are opened.




An eight-bed hospital and dispensary are opened.



The first hospital building is completed.

The School of Nursing is founded, the vision for which was pioneered by Dr William Bathgate.

The Israeli government agrees to pay for the clinical services provided by the hospital.


The hospital becomes a regional hospital

Universal National Health Insurance is introduced in Israel. New legislation is introduced requiring medical practitioners to be able to read and write in Hebrew, having an impact on many of the expats working at the hospital.

Nazareth Village officially opens. Over a million tourists and pilgrims have visited in the two decades since.

The Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (EMMS) becomes two separate charities:

EMMS Nazareth and EMMS International

The Nazareth Village fully moves under the jurisdiction of The Nazareth Trust.

The School of Nursing launches a new BA Nursing programme

• Nazareth Hospital serves as the primary care facility for COVID-19 patients in Nazareth during the global pandemic.

• International Pastoral Care Programme launched.

• Dr Amal Khazin retires after 25 years as Director of the School of Nursing.

The Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society funds the purchase of 25 acres of land on a hill west of the city for the building of a new hospital.


New buildings are established to accommodate new services and increasing patient numbers


The hospital welcomes the arrival of electricity, and the installation of its first X-ray machine.

The hospital consists of a male and a female ward. Under the new administrator, the hospital is developed to provide specialised departments including a labour ward and outpatients and existing departments are refurbished.

New maternity facilities are created at the hospital in addition to dialysis and physiotherapy services.

Work on the Nazareth Village development project begins.


SERVE Nazareth Volunteer Programme is established

The School of Nursing is officially academized.

EMMS Nazareth begins operating under the name ‘The Nazareth Trust’.


SERVE Nazareth launches shortterm missions programme.

First Nazareth Challenge bike ride takes place to raise funds for the hospital.

• First Jesus Trail walk takes place to bring supporters to Nazareth and raise funds for the hospital.

• The School of Nursing celebrates 90 years of providing nursing education.

The hospital’s Neonatal Unit is recognised as being one of the best in Israel. The Nazareth Hospital and Nazareth Trust celebrate 160 years of service.

2017 2020
1924 1969 2000 2014
2020 1935 1956 2015 2019 2021

Leave your legacy

One small act of kindness that changed everything

Sometimes, when we offer an act of kindness, we might think we aren’t doing much. However, at the Nazareth Trust, we are very aware that a small act of kindness can make a big difference.

Most of our supporters won’t make the headlines, but that has nothing to do with how much their support means to us. As we celebrate our 160th anniversary, we want to thank each and every one of them for standing by us.

We’d also like to pay tribute to Dr Vartan, founder of the Nazareth Hospital. But first, we’d like to honour the Scottish lady who believed in him. She endorsed him by paying for his meals and accommodation in a large boarding-house during his medical training in Edinburgh, Scotland. An anonymous act of kindness.

Ode to the Scottish Lady

We don’t know much about you – actually, we only know that you were a Scottish lady who Dr Vartan probably met in Constantinople. What we do know is all that you helped achieve. We can’t help but wonder; without you, would the Nazareth Trust exist? Would Dr Vartan have managed to go through his medical training in Edinburgh? Would he have opened a clinic in Nazareth?

Our current projects

At the Nazareth Trust, we are always thinking of ways to improve our services to meet the needs of the community in Nazareth and make sure we can continue to provide healthcare, education, biblical tourism and Christian volunteering services for many generations to come.

Are you wondering how you can get involved and make a difference to the community in Nazareth?

Look no further: we are currently working on four projects, and with your help, we can make them happen!

160th Anniversary Appeal

Our Emergency Rooms at the hospital are busy and receive over 70,000 annually, but our facilities are just too small. That’s why we have plans to build a new ER, increasing from 21 to 70 stations.

Expansion of the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing

As the Israeli Ministry of Health reports indicated a high demand for nurses in 2019, we have increased the number of students that enrol at our nursing school. To accommodate more students, we need to build an additional floor on the school’s current building with more lecture and simulation rooms.

Nazareth Village Discovery Centre

Since it opened its doors in 2000, the Nazareth Village has attracted more than one million visitors from all over the world. To enhance the experience of our many visitors, we need to expand our Discovery Centre.

Pastoral Care Team

The Nazareth Challenge 2022, a sponsored hike and cycling route through the Holy Land will raise funds for the Nazareth Hospital’s Pastoral Care Team. With over 700 staff and more than 100,000 patients every year, we need to expand our Pastoral Care Team to keep providing emotional and spiritual support to our staff, patients and their families.

For more information about any of these projects, please visit our website.

“In a nutshell, our desire to support the Nazareth Trust is the recognition of it as a beacon of light and hope in a troubled part of the world. . a world that in these days is in desperate need of that same light and hope.”
– Regular Nazareth Challenge walkers, Colin and Ruth Sinclair on why they support us

160th Appeal - £100 for 60 months £100 on the last working day of each month

Our 160th Anniversary Appeal

We can’t wait to celebrate our 160th anniversary with you. That’s why we’re launching a unique appeal so that together, we can make our new expanded Emergency Room a reality.

Our hospital is the main trauma and acute centre in the region. As the number of patients who require emergency treatment increases year on year, we need to expand and modernise our facilities. The community in Nazareth has relied on the Nazareth Hospital for the past 160 years, and we want to continue our long-standing legacy for generations to come.

As a leading healthcare institution, we want to keep providing the best care possible for our patients. Our development plans include building a new ER department, more than tripling our current capacity from 21 stations to 70, with additional improvements to emergency vehicle access.

The first phase of this exciting new project will be to relocate our existing chapel to make room for the new ER facility. Since the beginning, chaplaincy has been the heart of our organisation, so we want to make sure our new chapel captures the essence of the Nazareth Trust.

How do you picture the hospital chapel? We will be considering architectural chapel designs which capture two key themes: our history as a Christian medical mission, and our location in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus.

It’s a celebration and we're inviting all of you to get involved, either through donations or design ideas. If 160 people give £100 a month for 60 months, we can make it happen! Could you be one of them?

For more information on our 160th Appeal and the plans for the ER Project, please visit our website.

First Name Last Name Company (Optional) Your Sort Code Your Account Number Town / City Postcode Email Contact Phone Number Billing Address Set up a Direct Debit with The Nazareth Trust
Architectural rendering of the new ER facility (aerial view) Architectural rendering of the new ER facility (front elevation)

(Optional) Gift Aid Declaration

For UK taxpayers we are able to reclaim 25p for every £1 given, at no extra cost to you.

First Name

Last Name

Billing Address

Town / City


“Our visit to the hospital in 2019 will never fade from our memories and has reinforced our appreciation of the work done by Dr Vartan. I could not be more delighted to see that like-minded people over the 160 years have continued the work in the same manner and for the same reasons as it was done originally.”

– Robert Vartan, great-grandson of Dr P. K. Vartan, reflects on the Nazareth Trust’s long-standing history


Please claim Gift Aid on my donations to the Nazareth Trust. This includes all donations for this year and the previous four years, plus any future donations, unless notify you otherwise. I confirm that I am a UK tax payer and have paid or will pay sufficient Income or Capital Gains tax in each tax year to cover all the tax that will be reclaimed by all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs to which have made Gift Aid donations in any tax year covered by this declaration. understand that other taxes, such as council tax and VAT, do not qualify.




Thank you

We will send you a confirmation email regarding the set-up of your Direct Debit. For more information on how to set up the Direct Debit please contact us by telephone on: +44 (0)131 225 9957, by email: or visit our website:

Tear off your completed form and post to: The Nazareth Trust, 6 Hill Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3JZ

Dr Fahed Hakim

Prof. Fahed Hakim joined the Nazareth Trust in 2017 when he was appointed Medical Director of the Nazareth Hospital. He is a specialist in paediatrics, paediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine. His pioneering research on sleep medicine and the biology of cancer and asthma has been published in many world-leading journals, and he has received several awards for his research and clinical activity. In this interview, Dr Hakim outlines the hospital's exciting future.

Robert and Jan Vartan with the Trust's CEO Richard Mayhew

When you think of the 160th anniversary of the Nazareth Trust, what thoughts or emotions come to mind?

am really excited to be here at the 160th anniversary of the Nazareth Hospital. When you look back at the development of the hospital since its foundation, you see all the people who contributed over the years to its development - people who were called here, worked hard, who did their bit. It’s amazing to see how God is still working in Nazareth, through the hospital and the broader ministry of the Nazareth Trust, serving humanity. I’m truly blessed to be part of this journey.

Is there anyone in particular from the Nazareth Trust past legacy who has inspired you and why?

There are so many people from the past, both locals and internationals, whom we still remember today in the hospital for their life and work here in Nazareth. Especially, our founder Vartan. Five of his ten children died in infancy and lie today in the Anglican graveyard beside our hospital. also have Vartan’s bible here in my office, where he recorded their births and deaths. This bible is a source of inspiration to all who work at the hospital today. Despite such a personal tragedy, he continued with his calling. He was involved in purchasing the land where the hospital now stands but sadly died before the construction works could begin. Our founder Vartan and his wife, Mary, will always remain an inspiration for their vision, dedication, and the legacy they have left the people of today’s Nazareth.

What motivated you to join the Nazareth Hospital back in 2017?

I would not say it was motivation, rather a strong sense of calling to come and serve the people of Nazareth. I was enjoying a successful career in medicine and research at that time, but was drawn to the hospital by its sense of mission, by the people and its history. I was determined in my heart to do all I could to ensure that the people of Nazareth have access to the best possible medical care in their hometown – that the hospital is a hospital of choice: for patients, doctors, nurses and all those who work with us.

What development plans are in place to take the hospital forward? What difference are they going to make for the community in Nazareth?

We’re constantly improving and expanding the services of the hospital and the medical care in the community. This past year, we have renewed the maternity ward and labour rooms, created COVID-19 isolation wards, built a new ICU ward, and modernised much of our infrastructure. But a real need for this hospital is to build a new Emergency Department, as we receive more than 70,000 patients every year. It will be the biggest ER department in the area with up to 70 stations, ensuring that we can serve all patients who are in need in Nazareth. But looking further into the future, the most important part of our ongoing expansion is to develop the ‘Nazareth Institute for Health, Research & Discoveries (N.I.H.R.D.)’, a modern facility that will hopefully have a global impact.

What will N.I.H.R.D’s aim and vision be?

We are more than just a hospital. We are a ministry that attends to the spiritual and emotional needs of our staff and patients. But to underpin this ministry, we want this hospital to be a hospital of choice. Firstly, N.I.H.R.D. aims to provide the best possible healthcare to the people of Nazareth and continue to be the main acute care and trauma hospital of the region. In order to achieve that, we need to attract the best doctors and have modern facilities and equipment. Secondly, we aim to appoint additional doctors and nurses at the top of their profession to train the medical professionals of the future. Thirdly, we aim to be renowned for medical breakthroughs in medical research, and that again would attract the best in the field. We will achieve Vartan’s vision by excelling in these three areas, underpinned by our Christian faith and values.

What fascinates you the most about the future of the hospital?

There are many exciting things, but the most important of them is the people who work here. While recruiting, we notice that many medical professionals from across the country want to join the hospital because of our mission and vision. It’s also inspiring to see the development of an academy to teach future doctors and nurses as we keep expanding our residency programmes. But what excites me the most is the future of the hospital as an international facility – we are forging closer partnerships with the Israeli Ministry of Health and Finance, with hospitals throughout Israel, and medical institutions around the world.

How would you describe the future of the Nazareth Hospital in three words?

It’s hard to find three words to describe the future. Maybe one could be ‘Legacy’: we need to be proud of it, nurture it, and pass on our own legacy to the next generation. Secondly, ‘Spirit’: we are a Christian ministry that works with and supports people of all faiths in a spirit of unity. And thirdly, ‘Professionalism’ in all that we do today, enabling us to develop a truly international academic institute, the N.I.H.R.D., in the future.

44 45

The Nazareth Village is an open-air museum set on the grounds of the Nazareth Hospital. Visitors experience biblical teachings and reenactments of village life in the time of Jesus. The village features houses, terraced fields, wine and olive presses, all built to replicate those that would have been in a Galilean village in the 1st century. Since its official opening in 2000, the Nazareth Village has welcomed more than one million visitors.

words, but will come alive for all who take part in the – From his letter dated 1 April 2000.

46 47
Nazareth Village, I am thankful for all these years that have made me who I am today. God has worked on me and shaped me to carry out this role.”

Waseem Dibbini

Waseem joined the Nazareth Trust family in 2011 as our Chief Financial Officer. In 2014, he was awarded the Oren Steinberg grant for Young & Excellent CFOs. In 2017, he became Deputy CEO. In this interview, we discuss how the Nazareth Hospital coped with COVID-19 and how Waseem imagines the future of the hospital.

What motivated you to join the Nazareth Trust?

The Nazareth Trust is an inspiring Christian organisation, and its legacy is well recognised within the Nazareth community in a predominantly Muslim area. All the services that the Trust provides are a great platform to improve the lives of the people who live in Jesus’ hometown and its surroundings. feel privileged to be able to see my faith in action at work. Mathew 5:16 is my daily inspiration: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

How did the Nazareth Hospital respond to the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Nazareth Hospital was one of the first organisations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the great challenges we were facing as a community. COVID-19 had severely affected Nazareth. As a management team, we decided to join in the battle against COVID-19 – a decision that was to put much pressure on our resources.

Why was the Pastoral Care Team's role so important during the pandemic?

Staff needed to spend long hours in the COVID-19 wards, facing the risk of getting ill themselves whilst feeling the suffering of our patients. Realising the unprecedented physical and psychological stress affecting both our staff and patients, we prioritised the expansion of our Pastoral Care Team. I’m pretty sure we’re the only hospital whose spiritual team has entered the COVID-19 wards to pray with and for the patients.

Did the hospital also engage in educating the community?

Yes, we wanted to ensure that the Arab community could access all relevant data about COVID-19. Apart from translating information from the Government, we organised online webinars, set up hotlines and visited several care homes and hospices to educate on COVID-19 safety procedures. We also kept our staff safe by doing regular COVID-19 training and providing them with Personal Protective Equipment.

How does your faith impact your everyday life at work?

thank God for guiding me and providing me with patience, inner peace and energy to deal with the constant challenges of COVID-19. One of the quotes from the Bible that remains with us in these circumstances is: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Thanks to God, we’ve passed these turbulent times with minimum losses. Whilst the pandemic is declining in this region, we continue to be cautious.

A time machine takes you to 2026. How much has changed at the hospital?

see a larger hospital continuing to serve as the main trauma and acute hospital in the area, leading in medical research and education. also see a hospital offering a wider range of spiritual services to our staff, patients and visitors, as one of the leading Christian organisations in the Holy Land. Finally, a hospital with supporters from around the world who understand the importance and impact of our mission.

For our 160th anniversary, we’re appealing to our supporters to help us expand our ER Department. How does this project resonate with the Nazareth Trust’s mission?

The Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health have already given the green light to our Master Plan, which aims to fulfil the community needs in the coming decades. According to this plan, the Nazareth Hospital will be the main ER of the area, increasing from 21 to 70 stations over three phases up to the year 2045. The first major phase needs to be completed by 2026. By expanding our ER, we will reduce the number of patients’ transferring to other parts of the country. This way, we will be able to offer high-quality and culturally sensitive service to patients and their families close to where they live.

48 49

Volunteers are vital to the Nazareth Trust ministry. SERVE Nazareth enables people from around the world to volunteer where Jesus lived and to learn about cross-cultural ministry while working with the people of Nazareth and growing in their relationship with God.

SERVE volunteers get to explore the Holy Land, befriend local people and become integrated into the local culture. Whether someone comes as an individual or part of a SERVE Nazareth team, we support them to settle in, discover new opportunities, and make a real difference as they put faith into action.


Christine Farah

“Working with volunteers is such a privilege. As someone who had crossed cultures from the West to the Middle East, knew I could support and help our volunteers do the same. What never fully realised was what a blessing the volunteers would be not only to this place, but also to me. I have been privileged to work with people from all around the globe, sharing and growing in our faith together.”


Dimple Deaver

“The first phrase that comes to my mind when think of my time at SERVE Nazareth is ʻa city on a hillʼ - shining the light of Christ through its work to the town of Nazareth and embracing anyone who walks into their community with the love of God. May you always shine!”


Pauline Chambers

“Serving with SERVE Nazareth is special because you become part of a diverse family with one heart. The SERVE programme attracts people with generous, Godly, servant hearts and puts them in a family that crosses cultural, linguistic, and national divisions to create not uniformity, but unity. I have this programme to thank for many friends that I call family all across the world.”


Meg Wagnon

“SERVE Nazareth allowed me to hear the word of the Lord in a new way and experience biblical community. Combining purpose and passion, I found strength beginning at His feet as Nazareth became home. made a life-long group of friends who challenge and strengthen me, always pointing me back to Jesus.”

50 51

Thank you for being part of our journey and celebrating our 160 years of Christian service.

You can keep up to date with all our projects by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

   

Tel: +44 (0)131 225 9957


The Nazareth Trust 6 Hill Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3JZ
The Nazareth Trust is a registered Scottish charity no. and a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland no. SC225661
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.