Among the 2 million Muslims are an estimated 1,000 Christians. The Gaza Strip is about the size of Las Vegas, with more than 3,000 people packed into every square mile. Forty-five percent of the population is made up of children under 14. Only three percent live past 65. Less than 10 percent of the water is fit to drink, with seawater, sewage, and chemicals contaminating Gaza’s overloaded aquifer. Electricity is available for only about four hours a day. Three out of ten people live below the $1.90-a-day poverty line. And eighty percent depend on charity for food.
Christian Mission to Gaza (CMG) serves as one of very few Christian organizations among nearly two million Muslims in one of the poorest and most densely populated areas of the world—an area that the United Nations warned recently would be uninhabitable one year from now.
As founder and director of CMG Pastor Hanna Massad has led the ministry to help raise awareness for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The holistic ministry of Christian Mission to Gaza addresses the physical and spiritual needs of hundreds of Christian and Muslim families in Gaza. Despite the suffering and loss, and sometimes because of it, the hearts of traumatized victims in the Middle East—both Christian and Muslim—have become more open to the hear the message of the Gospel.
The ministry helps to support the Lighthouse School, the only evangelical school in the Gaza Strip, catering for 240 students. Half of the school faculty members, who attend daily faculty devotions, are Muslim, and have constant opportunities to witness God’s love to their children and families. CMG also helps to care for the Gaza Baptist Church, the only evangelical church in the Gaza Strip. Gaza Baptist Church provides the only public library in Gaza, accessible to both Christians and Muslims. Dr Massad was the first local pastor at the church, and he continues to minister and support the church, providing messages via live stream and recorded sermons.
At the same time, the CMG team works with more than a thousand Iraqi and Syrian refugee families in Amman, Jordan. More than 100,000 Christians fled their homes in 2014 when the Islamic State invaded Mosul. The ones who remained were forced to convert, obey Sharia law, pay oppressive taxes, or face public execution. At that time, refugees fled Iraq with little more than the clothes on their backs, their resources stolen or abandoned in sudden flight. They have no means to secure shelter, food, medical care, or education for their children. Although today it looks different than their plight in 2014, they continue to come to Jordan to seek refuge. To protect Jordan’s fragile economy, refugees (Iraqi) are forbidden to work, leaving heads of households without the means to provide basic needs for their families, or even send their children to school. These families must be fed, clothed, housed and their children cared for, however, before the pain eases enough for them to hear about the love of Christ. CMG provides these families with quarterly food coupons redeemable at designated markets, the amount based on the size of each family. As we are able, we also assist with housing, heating fuel, medical care, and other essential needs as much as our resources allow.
In addition to meeting their physical needs, Pastor Hanna and his team minister to damaged souls and spirits, which is even more vital to their survival and recovery. The team works tirelessly to provide support for approximately 850 (Iraqi and Syrian) refugee families (4,000 individuals) and seven leaders in Jordan (also about 220 families in Gaza and the West Bank). Each leader shepherds at least one hundred refugee families, visiting weekly, counselling, praying, and encouraging the people they shepherd as well as (some of the leaders) leading small discipleship groups.
Dr Hanna Massad holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethlehem Bible College, a Master of Divinity degree, and PhD in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Suhad, and two daughters, Joyce and Jolene in Wilton, Connecticut and travels to Gaza and Jordan three times a year to support the church there. Each visit is packed with teaching, preaching, home visitations, counselling, and helping with the growing physical needs. Dr Massad travels around the world to share these stories to help raise awareness and much needed support.
Christian Mission to Gaza would be proud to serve alongside you and your ministry partners. Working with CMG, your ministry will extend its reach into one of the least evangelized areas in the world, bringing the love and hope of the Lord to our persecuted brothers and sisters.