“This is a great chance for us to show the love of Christ to victims of crisis in a very practical way and at an early stage,” he continued, “thus strengthening the church by showing that we care.”
With Israeli blockades tightly restricting freedom of movement, even for humanitarian aid, the WEA’s reputation and good relationships will be crucial in ensuring that the Baptist Hospital can resume its desperately needed operations.
The WEA is also partnering with the Evangelical Church of Egypt’s Synod of the Nile to assist refugees at the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt.
Reaching the Vulnerable in Israel
Meanwhile, residents of southern Israel are living in similar fear and uncertainty due to Hamas attacks on their cities. To reach this area, the WEA is collaborating with its Israel national alliance to assist displaced people. It is also raising funds for House of Hope, a German charity and WEA partner that is well connected to both churches and local governments in Israel, to set up temporary disaster relief centers.
Martin Dieckmann, House of Hope’s CEO, explained, “We want to eliminate the big gap between the global Christian network, with all its resources, and the messianic believers in Israel who are doing ministry at a grassroots level, often working multiple jobs to survive.”
House of Hope plans to establish community centers in two historic cities heavily exposed to rocket fire from Gaza: Ashkelon (just 8 miles from the border) and Ashdod, Israel’s fourth-largest city, another 10 miles north.
Dieckmann said that more than 40,000 people in Ashkelon (one-quarter of the total city population) have no shelter due to the hundreds of missile attacks and destroyed buildings, and he estimated that 16,000 people are relying on daily food donations to survive.
Dieckmann indicated that Ashdod has several messianic Jewish congregations with members from various ethnic backgrounds, and that one leader of a relatively large congregation is helping to establish the disaster relief center there.
The relief centers are designed to coordinate Christian organizations’ responses to the crisis, providing food, emergency supplies, children’s activities, trauma therapy, and spiritual support.
A Call to United Prayer
Christians know that action is worthless if not preceded and guided by prayer. As Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But in the Israel-Hamas war, even calls for prayer are fraught with controversy. Prayers for peace are seen by some as denying Israel’s right to self-defense; prayers against terrorism are seen as denying the claims of Palestinians.
The WEA has gone to great lengths to maintain unity and respect among Christians, listening carefully to its leaders in both Israel and Palestine. It has published a spiritually deep call to prayer that all believers, whatever their political perspectives, should be able to endorse. We encourage you to read it, pray it yourself, and share it with others.
How You Can Help
By relying on established contacts with respected Christians in Israel, Gaza, and Egypt, the WEA can deliver aid quickly to where it is most needed with low administrative overhead.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, in his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul praised God for bringing Jews and Gentiles in the body of Christ. Today, through its humanitarian outreach to Israelis and Palestinians, the WEA is demonstrating to the world that despite the ongoing political strife, Christians are united as one church, dedicated to making Jesus’ love known everywhere.