Good morning, Friends!
As I drive to and from my CPE classes and clinical work, I rely on Michigan Radio to keep me company and, more importantly, to keep me connected to what’s going on beyond my tightly-focused chaplaincy experience. Lately, though, the news has been overwhelmingly disturbing – refugee children in our homeland, water shut-offs in our neighborhood, a commercial plane shot out of the sky, Christians fleeing for their lives in Mosul, increased fighting in Gaza. How our Lord must grieve over the choices made by humanity!! To keep on the theme of resolutions written for our own Household, I want to highlight an article I saw in the Episcopal News Service this week about Gaza’s Al Ahli Hospital which sits smack in the middle of the melee in the Israeli-Hamas conflict: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2014/07/15/gazas-al-ahli-hospital-appeals-for-urgent-help/
You may recall that General Convention passed a resolution in 2012 inviting all bishops and dioceses (that includes us!) to support the work of this hospital: B017: Support for Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza
Resolved, That the 77th General Convention call upon the Bishops and Dioceses of the Episcopal Church to join in fundraising efforts to help meet the shortfall created by the reduction in funding, and to advocate through The Episcopal Church for restoration of humanitarian fiscal aid to Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza from the global community.
(Here’s a link to the previous blog about this important work in Gaza where you can learn about the work of this hospital, its mission and statistics – https://edomiresolutions.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/a-ministry-serving-the-gaza-strip/)
With the return of fighting in Gaza, Al Ahli’s resources are under an even greater strain. The Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani sent out this appeal last week –
On July 14, he wrote: “In the last two days, the impact of the airstrikes has caused structural damages to the hospital, including its ventilation system in the operating theatre and the emergency room. In addition, windows have been broken in many buildings, as well as in the new diagnostic center. Currently, and since the beginning of the crisis, Al-Ahli staff have maintained around-the clock presence at the hospital, receiving wounded people and providing them with the critical medical care that they need. Like the other hospitals in Gaza, Al-Ahli hospital is experiencing shortages in medicine, fuel for electrical generators, food for patients, and food parcels for many in the community seeking this help.”
So, what can we do?
• Read through the links in this blog to see for yourself the great work of this hospital and urgency of this request,
• Sponsor an informational time at your coffee hour to share what you’ve learned.
• Consider a special offering one Sunday. You can find where to send any donations in Bishop Dawani’s appeal.
• Tell your family and friends.
• And pray:
O God of wholeness and healing, we lift up the staff and patients of the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. Strengthen and guide the Management and all the staff as they treat the poor and injured. Bless the patients who receive care with your healing touch. Give us a renewed awareness of the blessing of health and grant us the courage to support the caregivers in their work. Give wisdom and guidance to the leaders of these lands to strive for peace and reconciliation. All this we ask, in the Name of your Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen.
– Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council