Catherine Christie

Catherine Christie is a long term overseas personnel serving the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and the National Council of Churches in Korea.  Last fall, 2013, she shared with us reports from the Peace Train that traveled from Europe to Busan arriving in time for the World Council of Churches meeting there.  This fall, 2014, she has been on home assignment in Canada.  She is now back in Korea for another two year term.  Please read her 2014 Advent letter

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Canadians Caring for Gaza

Friends:  We are writing to you about Gaza.  [Print]

Hear Ramzi, a partner of the United Church of Canada as he reports on 2 visits he has made to Gaza this year – one in May and one in September.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnQeZ6mUMkA&list=UU_Cp_PMMI2uULVLE7x76BOA

The attack on Gaza for 50 days in July and August have devastated the people of Gaza.  2,100 Palestinians were killed and many more injured.  Five hundred children were killed.  Thousands of children were injured. These 2 children from one family were among those killed.

After a November 24th conversation with a colleague in Gaza, Kathy Bergen reports that his initial comment was “We are still alive”.  Yet she says:

“I cannot see an improvement in the lives of my Gazan friends since the August cease-fire agreement.  To date Israel has not lifted the siege on Gaza.  Egypt has closed its border with Gaza, again leaving Gazans on their own in this large open-air prison.  Winter is coming and this adds to the everyday misery of the people.

Electricity is only available six hours a day.  Water is scarce and expensive.  Around 40 UNRWA schools are still being used by people whose homes were destroyed.  They are sleeping on thin mats with one blanket in continuing plummeting weather conditions.  The UNRWA schools which are open are working three shifts instead of two in order to accommodate the children whose schools are being used by the homeless.    

Very little building material has been allowed into Gaza by Israel and not much reconstruction has happened.  Some caravans were brought in and taken to Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip.  However, these caravans were not wired properly and some people were hurt by electric shocks because the water got into the wiring.  Un-insulated, the caravans are very cold.  

With its financial resources reduced the UN is laying off more and more people so they cannot offer much help.”  

Residents of Gaza City were forced to leave their homes with their belongings due to recent flooding.

Dr. Mads Gilbert offers his perspective.

He is a Norwegian doctor who worked overtime providing medical care during the war on Gaza.  It is a passionate description of people doing the right thing in the face of suffering and injustice.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40234.htm.

You can help by giving through the United Church of Canada.  Money will be sent to Gaza directly shortly after it is received.   Here’s the gift tool link for donations: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=1955&AID=2274&PID=4380
(While it says Palestine, this money will go to Gaza for relief through churches who are working there.)

Today we can’t turn around the situation in Gaza but perhaps we can show that people in Canada care about the desperate situation of Gazans and give them a little hope.

Blessings,
Marianna Harris & Steve Berube, Co-chairs,
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel.
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/7f4ab9a5a57204972eba6a8cf/images/6c065f99-7121-485d-819a-c16774942fd3.jpg