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Food for fearful families in Gaza

Families in Gaza recovering from the recent conflict are receiving food thanks to a BMS World Mission relief grant

Destruction everywhere, thousands displaced and homeless with no means to earn money. The plight of the people of Gaza, following the recent 50 day conflict with Israel, is desperate.

“Very emotional” was how Pastor Hanna Massad described his visit to the territory last week. Pastor Hanna grew up in Gaza and now lives in Jordan, but regularly goes back to see friends and to do charity work there.

“It is unbelievable what we saw,” says Pastor Hanna. “We saw one street completely destroyed. We saw people sitting in front of their homes, even though there was only a little bit of wall remaining, because they wanted to stay close to their property.

“When you walk the streets, you see a lot of tension, people are sad because of the damage and what they went through over 50 days,” he says.
“Maybe you are able to rebuild the buildings, but to restore the souls and emotional hurts – this will stay with people for the rest of their lives and maybe for generations to come.”

Help is now starting to filter through to the neediest of families. A relief grant given by BMS World Mission to the European Baptist Federation (EBF) is enabling Pastor Hanna and Gaza Baptist Church, where he used to pastor, to provide food vouchers for families to spend on groceries like rice, beans and cooking oil at a nearby supermarket.

So far over 200 needy families, both Christian and Muslim, have received the $60 (£37.78) vouchers, with plans to reach more families in the coming weeks.

Jabra’s* family is one of those that Gaza Baptist Church is supporting. Jabra is struggling to provide for his eight children. A floor layer in the construction industry, he has been unemployed since the conflict with Israel began on 8 July, due to restrictions on the import of cement in Gaza. One of his daughters is very bright and was looking forward to going to university this autumn after being awarded with a scholarship. But because Jabra cannot afford to register her at university or pay for her travel costs to get there, she is unable to go. She broke down and wept when he told her.

The United Nations have just brokered a deal to allow reconstruction to happen in Gaza, which means that Jabra will hopefully be able to work soon. But in the meantime, BMS is supporting Jabra and his family at this very tough time through the food aid from Gaza Baptist Church.

Helle Liht, Assistant General Secretary at EBF, believes that it is important to help Gazans as they start to move on from this summer’s conflict. “The times have been so rough in Gaza,” says Helle. “It has been extremely difficult to build up the economy there. People have been living in poverty for a very long time. This aid is allowing our brothers and sisters at Gaza Baptist Church to share God’s love to those people who are living in their neighbourhood.”

We are only able to give relief to people in disaster zones thanks to your generous gifts. Donate now so we can help people in their hour of desperate need.

*Name changed.
 

This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission

 

 

BMS World Mission, 26/09/2014
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