Episcopalians invited to stand with Christians in the Holy Land this Easter

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    Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem are invited to take part in an Easter Appeal to support the ministry of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City and the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, which treats children with disabilities. Both ministries serve, with dignity and respect, some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. The appeal is sponsored by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ).

    The Easter Appeal 2020 offers an opportunity for individuals and church communities to celebrate the hope of the resurrection by standing with our Christian sisters and brothers in the Holy Land. Despite the dwindling Christian presence in the Middle East, the two dozen humanitarian ministries run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem serve all people without regard to their religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay.

    Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, an internationally-accredited rehabilitation center, offers under one roof a host of services to children with disabilities. Its three-week residential program teaches mothers from across the West Bank and Gaza to become their child’s at-home therapist and an advocate for children with disabilities in their local communities. This transformative program is the only one of its kind in the region.

    At Ahli Hospital the free community clinic offers care to the poorest Gazans living in Palestinian refugee camps and squalid neighborhoods. Services include treatment for malnourished children, therapy for traumatized families, and comprehensive healthcare for all who enter their doors. Ahli General Director Suhaila Tarazi understands that while the plight of 2.1 million people living in Gaza is not always in the headlines, their on-going work is crucial to thousands of families.

    She says, “Ahli Hospital is the church at work, the hands of Jesus in this desperate place. I thank all of our American friends. Without your strong stand beside us, it would be difficult for us to continue. You give us the feeling that we are not alone in this ministry. That we are not forgotten.”

    Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia, chair of the AFEDJ board of trustees, writes, “As we turn our eyes to Jerusalem during Holy Week and Easter, please join me and the churches of Western Washington in support of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza and Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre. Together we can reach our Easter Appeal 2020 goal of $100,000 in support of these remarkable Episcopal ministries in the Holy Land.”

    Parishes may make a church-wide appeal to members, choose to donate the offering from an Easter service, or offer a gift through an outreach program.

    Downloadable resources for the Easter Appeal 2020 such as a flyer, a brochure, story cards, a bulletin insert, a letter from Rickel, and videos from Jerusalem and Gaza are available at www.afedj.org/easter.