Christians Helping Muslims in Gaza
Our mission is never complete in any unstable environment until we check on the needs of the minorities in that situation. We were very warmly received by Father George, an Argentinian, who spoke fluent Arabic and connected immediately with Dr Livan Turino, one of our core team members who is of Cuban origin. The visit was a highlight for the entire team; an experience in humanity, religious relationships and the beauty of harmonious co-existence in spite of atrocities committed by extremists in other parts of the world.
We went to offer assistance to the Christian minority but Father George in his humble, dignified demeanour, exuding spirituality personified simply thanked for the offer and said that because they were a small group that was well endowed they were capable of taking care of themselves. In fact they had housed 1200 Muslim refugees in their Church and had earned the ire of Israel both for that action and for the fact that Argentina identified strongly with the Palestinian cause. Besides providing shelter to the Muslims they provided food, mattresses and simple needs once the ceasefire took hold. Father George emphasised that winter will arrive soon and asked us to prepare accordingly, as the church would be doing, to assist the thousands of homeless refugees.
He further added that of the 1000 pupils taught in their schools, 90% were Muslim, and that the religious identity of both groups was strongly preserved. It was the most beautiful encounter we experienced and filled the team with hope that man has the capacity to coexist peacefully.