Ministry lending support to Gaza relief efforts

By February 2, 2009

Gaza (MNN/ODM) — A day after the United Nations asked for
$613 million to aid the Gaza Strip, the Obama administration in the U.S. added more than
$20 million to it.

Nashat Filmon, general secretary of the Palestinian Bible
Society (PBS), says many residents of the Gaza Strip suffer from psychological
problems because of the aggression of the governing forces, lack of jobs,
isolation from the outside world and a feeling of insecurity.

The Bible Society has taken the step to provide relief by
working through various organizations in Gaza. This is being done in hopes of
restoring communication and invigorating relations with the people and families
the PBS  knows or has had contact with in the past.

Bible Societies in Israel and Palestinian Areas have launched
a joint initiative called "Standing in the Gap," offering practical as well as
spiritual relief for the suffering Gazan people.   

Open Doors is specifically co-supporting a part of the
program which is called "Love your Neighbor/Comfort my People." This
immediate relief is targeting the neediest families in Gaza. It is not for
Christian families only but also can be used in reaching out to Muslim
neighbors in Gaza.

According to Open Doors, the Bible Society is trying to
reach the neediest by setting a criteria of priority: widows and orphans,
families with children suffering from physical disabilities, families living in
houses/shacks without any furniture or running water, families who used to have
day jobs in Israel and lost their little income, and older people without income
or family care.

The Bible Society reported:

With the help of Open Doors, we have been able to assist
many needy families and bring back joy and smiles on the faces of poor and
marginalized families. There was a family that told us, "We knew how much you
loved us, and we trust you because now, even as you operate from outside Gaza
and despite what happened to you, you still remember us and continue to help

In this one project, the ministry teams are helping 36 families with
food baskets as well as providing medical supplies and medicines.

John Fox, an Open Doors fieldworker, says: "We are very
grateful for this great program and are happy to be able to co-support this



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