"The people of New Westminster continue to strengthen us, as brothers and sisters in faith, with generous contributions to sustaining our medical ministry in Gaza," he wrote to Bishop Michael Ingham recently.
The appeal for the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City was initiated by Bishop Ingham during the time of conflict in Gaza during December and January. Funds which have been sent to the Diocese of Jerusalem in several installments.
"Given that most people in Gaza are dependent on aid for survival, our ministry of treating all civilians in need is vital to their ongoing health and care," wrote Bishop Suheil. "As you can imagine, as people recover from their wounds, there is an ongoing need for rehabilitation and social services. With the number of wounded, we are assisting more people than our allotted funding from UNWRA
"I look forward to our ongoing cooperation in our educational and humanitarian endeavors in this region, sharing a message of reconciliation and peace," Bishop Suheil wrote.
Mark Beley, diocesan comptroller, also reported that diocesan contributions to the Council of the North from collections taken when congregations participated in the national church's "Amazing Grace" initiative totalled $1,977.
Jerusalem: Wednesday 14 January 2009--Today brought more injured and wounded patients to Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, as each of the last 18 days has. But this day also brought hope and much needed assistance for Al Ahli in the form of several trucks filled with medicines, medical supplies, blankets, and food that arrived in convoys coordinated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The hospital to date has received some limited assistance through various aid agencies, but the trucks arriving today represent a huge boost to the hospital’s ability to continue its urgent humanitarian mission of medical care for anyone in need, even under the current dire circumstances. The hospital’s location in the very heart of Gaza City is now placing added responsibility on its work, which is being carried out so bravely and selflessly by the hospital staff.
The materials that reached Al Ahli Hospital come from the overwhelming generosity of many partners and friends: US AID; the several members of Action by Churches Together International (ACT) acting through the ACT Palestine Forum who coordinated the purchase and transport of supplies; and the dozens of individual churches, agencies, and persons around the world whose hearts have responded to the needs of the hospital. The assistance from US AID has been exceptional in helping in several other areas of need through a variety of collegial contacts.
Bishop Suheil and the Diocesan family are deeply grateful for this gracious outpouring of generosity and support. And Suhaila Tarrazi, Director of Al Ahli, speaks with a voice touched by emotion in thanking the many friends and supporters who have offered their prayers and assistance.
Bishop Suheil states, “We are so grateful for the immediate and exceptionally generous response in prayers and monetary gifts. In addition, the generous donations of medical and urgent humanitarian supplies such as food, blankets, plastic sheeting, bedding, fuel, and even detergent for washing clothes and linens make all the difference. We are inspired and touched deeply by the devotion of Suhaila, Dr. Maher, and the Medical, Nursing, and related Staffs at our Hospital in Gaza.”
“You can rest assured that we are doing all that is humanly possible under these most complex and difficult circumstances to insure the safety and well being of the Hospital and its Staff,” the Bishop continued. “Funds that flow from the Diocesan account will be transferred as quickly as possible to Al Ahli Hospital to meet the many rising costs associated with the treatment of such a large number of in-patients. Because of the circumstances, these patients and their families are now being provided for at essentially no cost.”
One patient who came to Al Ahli recently was Mohan’nad, a 9 year-old boy whose leg was badly injured when a building near his home was damaged. Thankfully, the doctors and staff at Al Ahli were able to save his leg.
“We are advancing necessary cash to the Hospital for this purpose and are able to do this thanks to the generosity of so many, from locally in this Diocese, our Global Anglican family, international partners, and the many individuals who have sought to help through their monetary gifts.”
The hospital staff, although fatigued, remains in good spirits while facing the many challenges in attending to patients. Knowing that there are people who care for them and support them brings comfort and sustenance in these difficult days.
-Release from the Al Ahli Arab Hospital. For further information contact the Rev'd Canon Samir J. Habiby, Special Assistant to the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem: firstname.lastname@example.org