Picture In 2004, I made the first of many visits to the Gaza strip. My wife and I went because her sister had married a doctor from Gaza who had studied in Kiev, Ukraine. When they were showing us around Gaza City we were near the parliament buildings and I was surprised to see a big cross along the road. There, to my shock, I found a vibrant church with more than one hundred believers and I even got to know their pastor who was an amazing man who had studied at Fuller Bible Institute at California. Pastor Hannah Mossaad invited me back to Gaza the next year to speak at his church, meet the people in his congregation and see more of what they are doing to help the people of Gaza! Since that time I have traveled several times to Gaza, to work with pastor Hannah to provide humanitarian aid to Christians and non-Christians who are living in difficult conditions in that area.
I’ll never forget one Sunday when I spoke at the church in Gaza in the morning and was having lunch with pastor Hannah and his wife after the service. We were approached by one of the deacons in the church with a letter that they had received. The letter was actually a bomb threat that of course shocked myself and my wife and I remember telling pastor Hannah, «Well, I don’t think there will be a service this evening!» Pastor Hannah replied, «No, there will be a service». I was astonished when more people came out to the service in the evening than there had been in the morning! Obviously, these folks were very committed to helping and encouraging each other when the going got tough!
A few years later, when the aggression became extremely strong and targeted at pastor Hannah and his wife, they moved to Amman, Jordan. Pastor Hannah and his wife continue to provide assistance and leadership to his church in Gaza and I have been with him in Gaza recently to see the work that we were doing together with him.