Monday, December 23, 2019

Happy Christmas

Dear Friends,
We are wishing you a Christmas bright with the shining miracles of hope,
Peach and Joy.
The group of us following the programs we have in Gaza send you this Christmas greeting as due to your generosity we have been able to serve many families who have been in difficulties. This 2019 has not been easy on the people. Unemployment which has gone as high as 80 % of the population has greatly limited the parents’ ability to provide the essentials such as food, safe housing, and medical treatment for their children and sometimes the grandparents who live among them. 
Due to your donations we have been able to continue to feed over 400 children in the four pre-schools as well as provide for the classrooms needed materials to assist the education going on there. Playground toys have been repaired and over 450 winter coats have been given to these pre-school children. 
Five homes which have been in very unsafe and substandard conditions have been renovated providing families from 8 to 12 members with: doors, windows, bathrooms, kitchens and many times roofs and flooring. These families no longer are exposed to the cold, wind and the rain this winter. In the coming months donations will be arriving to continue the renovations of 4 or 5 homes.
Urgent medications for the handicapped, babies, children of all ages, parents and the senior citizens living all together have been provided for over 200 individuals.
Muslim families tell us their critical situation and know that they are helped by Christians from abroad who are aware of their political situation. This effects their economy and their wellbeing. The Christian families who are served know that they are not forgotten. 
I have seen a glimmer of hope in recent months as now 5,000 men are allowed to go to Israel to find work, and more who are ill are now allowed to cross the border for surgery or medical treatment. Pray with us that this hopeful reality will open to new economic possibilities for collaboration between the two political peoples.
May you and your families be blessed this Christmas and all through 2020! 
                                                                        Sr. Julianna, Sr. Maria
                                                                        Sr. Sandra, Sr. Susan
                                                                        Br. Lorenzo and Br. Martino

Visit December 2019

VISIT December 10 and 11 2019
Sr. Maria and I went down this month with all the suitcases we could bring. She had received wonderful vitamins for the children in the schools and we had also received new cloths for children of all sizes. 
First we visited a disabled little girl of six that had really benefited well from the medications which we have been able to provide for her. After we visited a home which was to be completed in a week’s time. The work was well done despite rains that had come the day before. Next we went to our office where five of the heads of our four schools awaited us for their monthly meeting. The meeting went real well. They brought us up on the latest events happening in each school. Each pre-school had received young professionals who had just graduated from the University and who need a job experience. They are: psychologists, social workers, physical therapists and occupational therapists. Some schools have or two and one school has four. In the Musaddar area still suffers shelling nights, so 80 of their 150 children need help with speak therapy. The trauma of the war has affected their speech. We ended with a nice meal together made by the Zahar Women’s Associations Kitchens. In the afternoon we spent discussing things in our office and at Sabah’s home I was able to use their internet to do paper work.
The second day we started out in the office and then as the bank opened we went  to the bank. After we visited two homes both of critical need of repairs. Again both homes were very wet due to the rains that they had received several days earlier. One home had three very cute boys two of whom are mentally disabled. They were home as the schools would not accept them. They are 10, 11, and 12 years old. We were able to bring them one set of new cloths. The family all live in one room on the roof of a building. Another family with a physically disabled father needed some money toward a battery for his cart which we helped with so he could get to his doctor appointments and other places.
Home renovations must slow down a bit due to the winter months. Families must find lodging elsewhere when their homes are be renovated. We hope to renovate a home a month for the months ahead.
Winter show the peoples poverty very vividly, so we went home thinking of all the families we visited.