An update from the Holy Land: Thankful families in East Jerusalem Without your help, it could have been very different. Last year, the social services arm of our partner, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, gave us information of families they had identified living in and around Jerusalem who were in dire circumstances. Stuck in a cycle of poverty and drowning in the high cost of living, many families in the region were struggling to get food on the table, let alone meet their medical needs and pay the rent. We were compelled to act.Due to your generosity we have been able to help 40 desperate families from across all denominations, whose reality is far from the postcard-perfect Jerusalem that the world knows so well. They suffer daily from oppression, conflict and poverty. FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE UPDATES LIKE THISFacebook | Twitter | Instagram We hope that with your care and generosity we can continue to help families in East Jerusalem live through this crisis in 2021. WHO WE HAVE HELPED In Shu’fat, a mostly Arab neighbourhood 3 miles north-east of the Old City in Jerusalem, Suhair (see video above) has made her home with her Egyptian husband and their six children. Her husband’s Egyptian nationality has led to some identification problems, meaning he can’t get extra work that would have boosted his monthly teacher salary. With three of their children at university, and another three at college, the one salary can’t stretch to meet all the family’s costs. Friends of the Holy Land, whose mission is to secure a resilient and enduring Christian community in the Holy Land, is delighted to be able to help Churches in the region aid needy families like Suhair’s. “Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the Church that helped us during the period of the coronavirus, we would have been in a much worse situation than before. I thank the Church for helping us and our children to go through this time that is still difficult.” “We’re hoping it will be over soon,” she says. You and many others, Suhair.---Niveen is a 40-year-old widow from the Old City of Jerusalem. She lives with her mother and two daughters in a rented house. Her husband passed away two years ago after being diagnosed with cancer, dying within six months of the diagnosis.In the wake of the family’s tragedy, the LPJ supported the family in various ways. Firstly, the social department in the LPJ helped her to find a job in order to provide her with her basic needs. Then the LPJ supplied some counselling sessions to help Niveen with her depression when her husband died.When the coronavirus spread throughout the globe, though, Niveen lost her job. This led to an accumulation of debts, and in the end she was threatened with eviction by her landlord. But praise God: through the emergency fund, Friends of the Holy Land and the LPJ were able to cover her rent throughout this time.--- Manal, from Jerusalem, would rather be living in her home city. But high rental prices have forced Manal’s family six miles south of Jerusalem, to Beit Jala. Living in her brother’s house is far from easy, especially when you consider what Manal and the family were already dealing with. “My husband is blind and does not work... Our situation is very difficult... I’m diabetic and I rely on the church to provide me with medicine. I also have problems with my kidneys and suffer from high blood pressure.” But Manal has experienced the love of her local Christian family. “The Church helps me in everything: from financial support to food coupons or anything else that I need”.You can see the full video of Manal describing her experience by clicking here.