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. Among the 2 million Muslims are an estimated 1,000 Christians. Forty-five percent of the population is made up of children under 14. Less than 10 percent of the water is fit to dink with seawater, sewage, and chemicals, contaminating Gaza’s overloaded aquifer. Sometimes electricity is available for only a few hours a day Eight percent depend on charity for food.
After another war, displaced Gazan’s face a familiar plight. For eleven days this past May, a devastating war taged between the Israeli Defense Force and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, a small, isolated and impoverished coastal enclave, sirael and Hamas agreed to a cease fire across the Gaza Strip boarder, bringing a potentially tenuous halt to the fiercest fighting in years. The true costs of the war will not be known for some time. Palestinian health officals said 248 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, were killed in the fighting, and more than 1,900 wounded in aerial bombardments. Twelve people in Israel, including two children, also died in the fighting.
CMG, thanks to the generous help and support of our partners, was able to step in and provide emergency relief to many of the families living in Gaza. We worked closely with the Gaza Baptist church to provide food relief to approximately 100 families in the Christian community Death, inquiry, malnutrition, illness, and disability are some of the most threatening physical consequences of war, while post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety are some of the emotional effects. Shortly after the conflict we started a workshop to help people deal with the effects of war with Dr. Jim Witty, a psychologist specializing in this field, and we continue to conduct more sessions with those who have been effected.
Helping to support the Lighthouse School is one of our mostimportant mandates, they are only evangelical school in the Gaza Strip and the future generation. The school caters for 245 students. CMG also helps to care for the Gaza Baptist Church, the only evangelical church in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Baptist Church provides the only public library in Gaza, accessible to both Christians and Muslims. This year CMG has been able to provide lunch for the students at the Lighthouse School ensuring that many who wouldn’t otherwise get a healthy meal, get at least one solid meal each day.