Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Learn About The Gaza Strip

 I woke up this morning with a greater desire to spend time in prayer, and therefore I spent a lot of the morning praying as I got ready, and as I walked to the bus. It was a good morning! I had a bounce in my step, and I felt free to just be me, and to really take a stand for Christ. I have a friend who is a christian, but I have noticed that they often say inappropriate things, and we never talk about our faith, or anything remotely related. It bothers me because I want to have  a god-oriented friendship, and my heart is in Christ, and no one can really 'know' me if they don't know that side of me! In short, our friendship would be deeper. I felt the courage and freedom today to let them know that it bothers me. And I tried to weave in some 'deeper' conversation. That sort-of failed (haha) but I am going to work on it. I feel that this person just needs to be pushed a  little bit.
Thats sortof just a random blurb, because what I really wanted to blog about today was the Gaza Strip, and the conflict that is going on there. Today my sociology class visited the chapel to hear a guest speaker named Omar. Omar is from Israel. He is the program manager for a Danish humanitarian aid organization that works in the Gaza. He came to speak about the conflict and problems that the people in the Gaza face. 

He gave some staggering statistics.

The Gaza strip has an area of  350 km, with a population of 1.6 million!
Thats roughly 4000 people per km.

58% of the population are children (18 or younger)!

80% of the population live below the poverty line.

He told us how the Gaza is completely controlled by Israel, it is extremely dangerous, and having food, water, and electricity are daily battles. He told us of how he was unable to find milk for his baby daughter. He told us of how the children are so traumatized that when they do art therapy, all their pictures are of death, war, etc. He talked about how the Islamic and Christian people who live in the Gaza don't fight each other, but rather are united in thier suffering and help each other. Thats beautiful, but my heart broke listening to the suffering of these people. And so many children! Keep them in your prayers, as I will be.

In other news, there are five days until the mission trip to Camden, New Jersey! I am excited, and nervous. Camden is in a rougher spot than usual (which is saying something!) because of the police cuts that recently occurred. We are going at an opportune time I guess! Please keep our team in your prayers:)

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