CHRISTIAN GIRL FROM GAZA PRAYS FOR END TO HOLY LAND WAR

A 12-year-old Christian girl from Gaza whose family has taken refuge in one of the churches there has shared her prayers for an end to the war. She told SAT-7’s You Are Not Alone program that she and other children want to “return to play and live our childhood”.

Faeqa Ayyad, along with her parents and siblings, is living at the Holy Family Church in Gaza City, along with other Christian families who have sought shelter there. The church compound has suffered damage during the conflict in Gaza, and two Christian women were killed there in December. 

“Without faith I would not feel safe,” Faeqa told presenter Sirene Semerdjian. “I ask the Lord to stop the war and bring peace and to return to play and live our childhood. My siblings need to live their childhood. When my sister is asleep and she hears strikes, she puts her hands over her ears because she is afraid. I comfort her and hug her. Of course, I am afraid too.”

Faeqa and her family had to evacuate their home when the neighbourhood was attacked. “Our house is like the others around it. They are all fragile like biscuits,” she said. “They won’t stand. Our house is surrounded by rubble. It is very tragic to see my room with nothing intact in it. It makes me very sad. All my clothes are on the floor. I look for my things in the rubble. I looked for my books so I could read.”

Faeqa said she misses playing, eating fruit and vegetables, and going to school, but she is grateful for what they do have at the church compound. “Our conditions are not great, but at least we are doing well because some people are not. Some people don’t have food or water or electricity,” she said.

Faeqa said that the war has been going on for too long and they were “counting the days”. “We want to return to our homes and the war to stop. Every person has the right to live in peace,” she said.

FORCED TO FLEE

You Are Not Alone has been sharing the stories of people caught up in the conflict across The Holy Land since it began last October. In another recent episode, Magdy El Jeldeh, a Christian from Gaza, shared how he and his family had initially taken refuge at St Porphyrius Church before fleeing first to Rafah, then to Egypt, and eventually to Australia.  

“We left for safety,” Magdy said. “Even the churches were struck. Three people were killed in the church while we were there.”  

“We found safety, but we miss our nation,” he added. “We never thought of leaving Gaza, but after we saw this war, we realised there’s no safety for us. No housing, no hospitals, no universities, no jobs.” 

Magdy said that before the war, “life was beautiful” in Gaza, and now he looks at the photos and videos he took of his homeland to remind him of its beauty.  

“It wasn’t easy for us to leave knowing that we cannot return and leaving everything behind, leaving friends, relatives, and work. It is impossible for things to return to the way they were,” he said.

PRAYERS FOR PEACE

Concerns have been raised about the future existence of Gaza’s tiny Christian community – numbering only around 1,000 people – as the war claims more and more lives and forces people to flee. Churches have been hit and believers killed in the conflict.  

SAT-7 ARABIC’s Voice of the Church program, which started shortly after the war broke out to bring a message of hope and encouragement to people in the region, has returned for a new season. In one of the latest episodes, Kabi Al-Awad, Pastor of the Evangelical Church in Lebanon, prayed for the Lord’s peace and protection: 

“Lord, we pray that you extend your protection over the countries of the region such as Syria and Lebanon, the Holy Land and North Africa. We put it all in your hands. Come and stop the destruction and declare your kingdom. Give us peace and give your church peace to carry the message of the Gospel in the whole region.” 
 

PLEASE PRAY

  • For an end to the war in Gaza, and for peace and justice to prevail
  • Pray especially for the children affected by this conflict: those who have been orphaned; the injured and disabled; those missing out on education, healthcare, and other vital services. 
  • Pray also for families who have lost children
  • Pray that all hostages will return home soon 
  • Pray that all the displaced across The Holy Land can return to rebuild their homes and their lives.  

 

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