By Open Doors 13 February 2024 4 MIN

Spark of Hope for Gaza’s Children

On 31 January 2024, children who found shelter in the buildings of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in Gaza City were surprised with toys. The toys were bought with Open Doors’ support, alongside ongoing food and clean water distribution. Hundreds of Christian families in Gaza have sought shelter in these church buildings since the war started. 

To give the children a little spark of joy and hope, all children between one and 10 years old received a toy. In desperate situations, play is one of the first things to go; however, four months since the beginning of the war, these toys help the children to feel joy again.

Since the Israeli Defence Forces started their attack on Gaza in response to the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October, almost all Christians from Gaza sought refuge in the church buildings. An estimated 1,070 Christians were living in Gaza before the war started.

“This week, the people were able to leave the church buildings to be outside or to buy some things they needed. But two days ago, fighting close to the churches started again,” the manager of our local partner organisation shared.

“The churches are an oasis”

Although the Israeli Army ordered people from parts of Gaza City to leave to the south of the Gaza Strip, the Christians in the churches didn’t receive such an order.

“That is a very positive thing. The people are happy that they are still there. In a sense, the churches are an oasis for the Christians,” shared the manager of our local partner organisation on the ground.

“The mood of the people is very bad,” the manager continues, “Yes, the people have their prayer meetings and masses, but it is very hard.”

Small gifts like these make a significant impact on Christian families living in Gaza. They are reminded that they are not alone and that the global body of Christ is standing with them.

Pray for Christians in Gaza:

  • Pray for the hundreds of Christians in the church buildings, that they continue to put their trust in God and that they will be encouraged in the prayer meetings.
  • Pray that families will know how to support their children and not add to the trauma they already have.
  • Pray also for an end to this terrible war and for lasting peace.

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