NEWS FROM OUR MISSIONARIES
The Irby e-Blurb
Christ exalted on every stage.
Christian Mission to Gaza Pastor Hanna Massad
Dear friend, #Gaza is dead
That’s one of the social media messages coming from my home city. It is a troubling illustration of the hopelessness people feel. And no wonder. Fifty-five thousand government workers have not been paid since March. Forty-five thousand more receive less than half of their salaries every 40 days. One hundred thousand workers are unable to support their families, affecting as many as 700,000 people. More than half of the people in Gaza live below the poverty line. At the same time, electricity is available only a few hours a day, tap water is unsafe to drink, the Mediterranean shoreline is contaminated, and Gaza residents are completely dependent upon humanitarian aid.
In the past two days, Christian Mission to Gaza, through the only evangelical church in Gaza, distributed nearly $7,000 worth of coupons to 120 desperate families, providing them with staples like milk, rice, cooking oil, cheese and beans, along with materials to help them keep their homes clean. And we hope to help more. But the suffering families in Gaza are not the only ones God has entrusted to us.
ISIS victims continue to suffer, despite boast of its demise.
A US Department of Defense headline today read:Evidence of Normal Life Returns to Iraq, Syria, After ‘Caliphate’ Defeat. At the same time, the United Arab Emirates has pledged $50.4 million to rebuild a mosque in Mosul. In Amman, however, there is little relief for families who were left homeless and hopeless by the terrorists. The evening of October 31, 2010, Samuel, his wife Rita, and their infant son Samuel were worshiping at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Deliverance) Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad when six ISIS terrorists entered and began shooting. Samuel managed to get his family to a room with some other families where they hid for what seemed an eternity. During that time, militants threw bombs into the room, killing one person. Another lost both arms. Fifty-eight worshipers, priests, policemen and bystanders were killed, and 78 more were wounded or maimed. The terrorists detonated their explosive vests when Iraqi commandos stormed the church five hours later. Before they could leave, Rita had to convince the Iraqis that she was two months pregnant. They thought she was wearing an explosive vest. Fortunately, when she went to the hospital, she was told that her baby, Frank, was safe and healthy. Rita still suffers from PTSD. Four years later, her father was targeted by Islamic militants because he owned a liquor store. One day, while her father, brother and uncle were driving, militants pulled alongside and opened fire, killing her father and injuring her brother and uncle. Samuel was supposed to be with them, but God preserved him. Again, her family was persecuted by militants and beaten. When local police arrested them, they thought her family had turned them in. “If you don’t withdraw the case,” read a message written in blood on their wall, “we will kill you!” Samuel and his family have been in Jordan for the past eight months. His son Samuel, now nine, hasn’t been able to attend school in two years. Frank (7) has never been to school. Samuel is in much pain and needs back surgery, but he cannot afford it. The family tried to emigrate to Australia but were denied.
Another family—father, mother, uncle, daughter and two sons—were targeted by kidnappers. The kidnappers took the father and uncle, warning for them to leave. When the family ignored the warning, masked gunmen returned, breaking in their home at 2 am, robbing the family and demanding again that they get out of Iraq. The family moved but remained in the country. After the militants returned a third time and robbed them, they sold the few pieces of furniture they had left and fled to Jordan. Their daughter had been studying to become a doctor. But she doesn’t know now whether that dream will ever come true.
On behalf of your suffering brothers and sisters in Gaza and the Iraqi and Syrian refugee families in Amman, thank you for your prayers and sacrificial financial support. And if you can share a special gift today, it would be deeply appreciated.
May God bless you abundantly, along with all those you love.
10 Headlines That Kept Us Busy For The Last 3 Months
1. Indy Student Worship Band Takes Their “Show” On The Road!
2. Live Worship Album Released Dec 2018
3. Denver In January? Take The Whole Family? Sure! Why Not?!
4. No Huddle Offense Wins In Spain!
5. Middle Eastern Sound Tech Receives Christ Through Sound Check
6. Boss Finds Major Strengths and Weaknesses In Team
7. Young Staff Take Control At The PA Worship Arts Weekend!
8. Munich Trip Dies...And Resurrects!
9. Performing Artists Team Personnel May Increase By 25%
10. And The Biggest Headline Of All...Number 4, Due In Late August!!!
Pastor Hanna Update
I’ve been in Jordan now for 12 days. Let me tell you what’s been happening.
In my last letter I asked you to pray that all the materials we were bringing with us – eye glasses, phone chips with Bible software, vitamins, clothing etc – would get safely through customs in Jordan. I’m pleased to say these prayers were answered; everything got through!
Hundreds of people have had their eyes tested and been provided with the correct glasses. We’ve been able to visit and help many refugee families in their homes. We’ve helped hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees with food, clothing, medicine and hospital costs.
Now I need to ask for your prayers as I prepare to travel to Gaza on Thursday with my dear friend from Scotland, Pastor Richard. I have been granted permission from Israel to enter Gaza on the 14th. I still await permission to leave Gaza on Monday 18th. Please pray this is granted soon!
Please also pray that the Bible software chips for phones make it through the Hamas checkpoint without problems.
Thank you once again for standing with us as we endeavor to carry out the work God has given us. Please pray for us often as you have done before
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Christian Mission to Gaza
255 E Santa Clara St
Arcadia, CA 91006