We had the privilege of being in Gaza last Saturday for the first day of school. We watched as first through fourth graders lined up outside the school building at the Christian School in the middle of town. One of the teachers noticed that the first boy in line had some spots. They decided that it was chicken pox. They sat him down to one side and told him he’d have to go home. He started sobbing; I thought his heart would break. He had looked forward all summer to returning to school. I thought it was a real testimony to the love these children feel at this school.
Last year one of the parents told me that his son who was in kindergarten got up every morning at 5:30, put on his school uniform and waited by the door until it was time for school. He told his dad, “If you try to make me go to that other school, I’ll run away and go to live with Auntie Samira( his teacher).” Most of the 110 children in the school are from very poor families.
There were demonstrations while we were in Gaza. The situation between the political parties has been relatively quiet this summer – by Gaza standards, but the conflict seems to be heating up. The economic situation seems to only get worse. The problems with electricity made the news, but a related, unreported and more serious problem is water. People depend on pumps to get water to tanks in their homes. When there is no electricity, water doesn’t flow and people run out.