We again bring extracts from Spiral Magazine (September 2014 edition) published by the Parish of South Gillingham.
Gaza: The Baptist Church in Gaza city has had to stop having services because of the recent bombing by Israel. Hanna Maher, the pastor of the Baptist Church, cannot visit all members of the church because of security fears, so church members are staying in touch via telephone, when the lines are working, and organising meetings in homes. Jalila Ayyad was the first Christian to be killed in the recent wave of violence. She died on 27 July after an air raid on her family’s apartment building. Christians are a minority in Gaza, just 2,000 people out of a population of 1.8 million.
Both the Catholic and Greek orthodox churches have opened their premises to support families, and are caring for over 1,000 refugees. Please pray for protection for those who are taking refuge in churches and schools, for God to use his people as salt and light in the midst of this conflict and for a lasting peace in the region.
Iraq: There are now hundreds of thousands of terrified refugees trapped in many parts of the country, without enough supplies to cope or survive. The TV pictures from the Sinjar mountains illustrates this plight in all its horror. There was no access to food or water, and according to the Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq 45 children have died of thirst. Some families have thrown their children from the mountains rather than watch them die of starvation or be taken by militants. Over 70 women and girls have been raped, and many captured and sold. Please pray for a significant international humanitarian response to this crisis, for comfort, healing and support for all those traumatised, injured or bereaved and protection and provision for all refugees.