Good news from Gaza

After decades without a priestly vocation in Gaza, Abdallah Jeldah answered the Lord's call

Gaza Crisis - We have been able to act swiftly because of your generosity

We have recently seen shocking and deeply distressing scenes of violence in Gaza.

The physical damage is obvious. With the help of experts sent under the direction of the Latin Patriarchate, a needs assessment of the homes of the small Latin parish community was undertaken immediately the ceasefire was in force.

They discovered that fifty Christian families required help to repair damage to their homes, including windows, doors, cracks in the walls and solar panels without which, many families are left without a key source of power.

We were able to act quickly to send US$40,000 (£29,200) immediately to cover the cost of the repair of 32 of these homes from our emergency reserves, put aside from the past generosity of our supporters.

Our immediate focus, working with partners such as the Pontifical Mission and the Latin Patriarchate, was to allow these families to go home.

“More disturbing than the physical damage are the reports of the emotional damage experienced by the whole population of Gaza, who feel helpless and abandoned and are traumatized.” Sami El-Yousef, CEO Latin Patriarchate

Parents are desperate to know how they can help their children who are suffering from trauma, fear, and panic.

We have responded by also helping Fr Gabriel fund immediate projects aimed at those who have been traumatised by the conflict through a grant of US$10,000 (£7,300). We have acted so quickly as experts advise that if appropriate psycho-social help is provided in the early stages following an emergency, there is strong evidence this can help these children recover more quickly and reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) developing in the longer term.

Revd John McCulloch, Church of Scotland Minister in the Holy Land, travelled around Gaza in June and visited a psycho-social centre, which provides therapy and support for children traumatised by war.

This is one of the pictures drawn by a child at the centre. 

Revd John McCulloch described how it was deeply tragic to see the trauma in the eyes of children, and listen to some of the stories of those who have lost everything.

There is still much help needed to support rebuilding and families who are now suffering from the trauma of what has happened. Schools will doubtless need to offer psychosocial programs when they reopen for the new academic year. 

We simply could not make such a large commitment, US$50,000 (£36,500) and move so swiftly without your generosity.

We hope we can rely on your continued help to replenish this emergency fund and to meet the ongoing needs for the extremely isolated and vulnerable Christian community in Gaza. Your gifts enable us to continue meeting their needs to make further repairs, to help those in trauma to rebuild their lives, to provide medical support where needed, and to encourage young Christians especially to pursue education and jobs.

Click here to donate to help in Gaza

For so many these are dark and difficult times, but the support you provide continues to shine as a beacon of hope for them.

Pray for the fragile ceasefire to hold and for real solutions to the complex problems of the region.

Pray for protection for our brothers and sisters in Gaza, and for an atmosphere of compassion to surround those in governance on both sides.

For inspiration and to join our Prayer Bank visit our Prayer page