Awana bus driver killed in Palestinian fighting in Gaza

By February 5, 2007

Gaza (MNN) — A cease fire was called over the weekend in
Gaza between Fatah and Hamas militant factions. 
But, not before 15 people were killed in Palestinian violence. One of
those killed was the bus driver for Gaza's Awana Club program.

Open Doors USA
supports the Gaza Baptist Church. Open Doors'
Al Janssen, "He's a Muslim man, but he drives the bus for the Awana Club
programs at the Gaza Baptist Church. And, he was just walking along the street
a few yards behind his father when some fighting broke out and he was killed
instantly by a stray bullet. It's really hit the church hard."

Janssen says in another incident affected some of his good
friends. "He and his wife were at home with their three year old daughter
and a stray bullet flew into their apartment window and just barely missed
them. So, people are shook up there. It's a trying time for the church,"
he says.

This is why he's asking Christians to pray for the church in
Gaza. "We're one group that God could use to hopefully bring some peace to
the region, but to be honest there's also a lot of people that just want to get
out of there."

That concerns Janssen. He says, "The sad thing is if
too many of the church people leave then what hope is there for Gaza? So, we
need to pray that God would put it on the hearts of some of the people to
remain firm and be protected and to stay there and be a light in the midst of
terrible darkness."

Open Doors is helping the Gaza Baptist Church provide relief
for those struggling financially. Janssen says, "For almost a year now,
since Hamas came to power, the employees have not been paid. It's hard for the
church to reach out and provide help for a hurting community when their own
member's needs are not being met."   

They're also providing leadership training and other support
to the community, which is helping the church be more relevant. People,
including former terrorists, are coming to Christ. 

If you'd like to help Open Doors help the church is Gaza,
click here.

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