Christmas Message from the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches
Dear Partner, Supporters and Friends of DSPR
Our heart aches to convey this message during what should be a season of joy and togetherness. Amid strife and sorrow, we reach out to you, dear partners supporters and friends, with a heavy heart. This Christmas, our usual celebrations are shadowed by turmoil and the tragedy of Gaza. The candles we would light remain untouched as our homes in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, all of West Bank and Gaza are sad, and the cherished presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the very essence of this feast, feels distant as circumstances force Him and His mother to seek refuge elsewhere again, as it’s the time of forcible migration, and as King Herod is still around.
The voices of our Gazan brothers and sisters, filled with longing and hope, are stifled under the destroyed homes, lost amid the clamour of false narratives of the controlled media and the deafening roar of bombs. They echo faintly under the ruins of once-standing buildings, yearning to reach out to you, but hindered by severed phone lines and the absence of internet connectivity.
In this time of darkness, we hold onto the belief that the spirit of Christmas, compassion, unity, and unwavering resilience, shines brighter than ever. Though our physical connection may falter, the bond of friendship and partnership remains unbroken in our hearts.
Amid these trying times, amidst the chaos and heartache, our gifts to the children of Gaza take on a different form. While the customary festivities elude us, our offering remains steadfast; it‘s the gift of healing services that our courageous staff, our unsung heroes in the NECC-DSPR in Gaza continue to provide, albeit with limited resources.
Our true gift is the invaluable psychosocial support extended to the traumatized children and grieving mothers in the shelters they sought refuge in, guiding them through this unprecedented pain, fear, thirst, hunger and the overwhelming sense of the absence of peace, justice, and security. We endeavour to help them navigate these tumultuous waters, aiding them in coping with the unimaginable hardships that besiege their daily lives and dreams.
In the face of adversity, our resolve to provide care and support remains unyielding. Despite the nonstop shelling and bombardment, amid the prevailing uncertainty that shrouds their existence, our staff persist in their dedication to these families.
Our prayers and efforts are dedicated to empowering these resilient souls, assisting them in nurturing and safeguarding their children amid despair. Their strength inspires us, their resilience humbles us, and their unwavering spirit fuels our determination to stand by them in their time of need.
This Christmas, our gifts might not be wrapped in glittering paper and adorned with ribbons, but they are wrapped in compassion, resilience, and the unwavering commitment to provide solace and support in the face of unfathomable hardship. We extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support and solidarity during these challenging times.
May the light of hope pierce through the clouds of despair, guiding us towards a future where peace reigns, voices are heard, and the joy of this season is restored. Wishing you strength, solace, and the warmth of love this Christmas, despite the adversities that encircle us.
On Behalf of DSPR-MECC’s Central Committee, Central Office, the five Area Committees, the volunteers, staff, and rights holders
Nader Anton Abu Amsha
Dr. Audeh Quawas
DSPR Central Committee
December 20, 2023