Gaza Strip (MNN) — Sparks flew in the Holy Land yesterday after rocket fire from the Gaza Strip reached southern Israel, the first since the 11-day war in May between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Dr. Jennifer Murff heads up the newly-launched MENA Leadership Center, training Gospel workers throughout the Middle East/North Africa region. “The other day, I got on the phone with a leader [from the Gaza who runs] the only Christian school in the Gaza Strip,” she says.
“I asked him, ‘What are the challenges you’re facing? We hear about the Gaza almost on a daily basis on the news, and you’re on the front lines sharing the love of Jesus in a Majority-Muslim land.’ He says, ‘I need you to pray for my children… the 300 children that go to my school’,” Dr. Murff continues.
“‘We’re under immense stress. Bombs are always flying over us. Our kids are struggling so bad.’”
Gospel growth in Gaza
This believer expanded his skillset and built capacity through the MENA Leadership Center. That leads to “staying power” for his ministry in the Gaza Strip. “They are outwardly Christian, evangelistic; they are doing incredible work and they are very bold about their faith,” Dr. Murff says.
“They teach Bible; they teach about the Christian faith, [and] the heritage that has come out of the Holy Land.”
The Gaza Strip is a highly-contested territory with frequent bouts of conflict. “The borders are closed [and people] can’t get in and out of the country with ease; it’s restricted,” Dr. Murff explains.
Conditions like these leave Palestinian Christians, already an ethnic and religious minority community, feeling even more isolated. The leader we cannot name for security purposes “took a course with us on collaboration” and “it connected [him] with people all throughout the MENA,” Dr. Murff says.
“He thanked us for offering the class because he feels very alone.”
Taking a course through MLC enabled this believer to build a Christian ministry network, and more. He shares the following testimony with Dr. Murff:
“I was able to connect, build partnerships, and collaborate. I would not have been able to do so (previously) because of our closed borders. Another thing that I loved about your class is that my brother in the West Bank is taking the same course, and we get to learn together and grow together.”
Find your place in the story
Sponsorship from believers like you makes enrollment possible for Gospel leaders like this one. Learn more here. “Our role is to equip the fishers of men in the Holy Land and beyond. When you partner with the MENA Leadership Center, you’re directly impacting the ministries on the ground,” Dr. Murff says.
Ask the Lord to protect and sustain His followers in the Gaza Strip. “They are being very faithful stewards of what God has put in front of them,” Dr. Murff says.
“We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip that are being a light in a dark, dark place, and sharing the love of Jesus.”
Header image depicts rising smoke following an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip on May 4, 2019. (Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90/Flickr)