Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gaza Today

I was in Gaza on Monday. The situation was quiet, but I did see both Palestinian Army (loyal to Fatah) and Hamas milita on the street. The Army wears regular army fatigues; the milita wore black T-shirts with army pants; all carry machine guns and look mean. Their presence certainly contributed to my feeling of unease. Friends told me that there were fewer milita on the streets than before and in fewer places. I asked a friend if the situation was better than it had been a week before when their was open conflict in the street -- 11 were wounded and a Jordanian diplomat was killed. He didn't really answer, but said that most people see the future as black. When I called him last week, he and his family (and neighbors, I'm sure) had been up most of the previous night because of shelling by Israel. The last few nights have been quieter. We did visit our friend who had been shot in that conflict. He lives in the Shati Refugee Camp and had just gotten out of the hospital the day before. He was standing near a window talking on the phone. when he was hit The bullet entered his back, but did not penetrate his lung. He is progressing slowly, but steadily.

The bright spot of my trip was a visit to the new Christian school. They are just completing their first year. God has really blessed them. The school is a haven for both students and staff. In spite of the conflict around them the school has been able to stay on course. They need some new staff next year. So, please pray for the leaders as they search for qualified Christians.

Another bright spot was Matouk's, my favorite restaurant. It hasn't changed although I was the only foreigner there.

I take a taxi from the border into Gaza city. The drivers take turns, but most of the time it seems we get the same driver. We've had some great conversations. Yesterday he asked, "Is there no hope for our situation?" I was able to share that indeed there was Hope. Please pray for K.

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