The death toll in Gaza is now 1850 Palestinians dead with almost 10,000 injured. There are about 60 Israelis killed so far as well. More and more people get killed every day. Hospitals in Gaza have no room left and people have to sit on the floor sometimes. A Palestinian teenager in Gaza writes that her sister screams and covers her ears when she hears the sound of the planes and bombs. Some Gaza children are asked by reporters: "What do you want to do when you grow up?" They often answer, "I am not sure if I will live until I am grown up!". When pressured to give an answer they mostly want to be doctors (to help the injured people), or Journalists (to tell the world what is going on), or soldiers (to defend their people from the attacks). It is really sad.
I have been watching horrible images and hearing sad stories. It gets depressing after a while as there is nothing to do but pray. I did send a few bags of clothes though. I hope the red cross can manage to get those through the border. It is not much, but it felt so good to do SOMETHING. I wish there was more I could do.
I admire doctors in Gaza who are doing their best with very few supplies...I wish I were a doctor, I would go without a second thought to help in hospitals there. My sister Samar, who is a nurse, is actually considering going to volunteer in Gaza. It is scary as some hospitals have been bombed, so it is not safe. One of her friends went and took some medical supplies with him, but what he brought didn't last long. They lack a lot of things...I told Samar that if she goes we can send 5 suitcases of medical supplies with her if they let her bring them. Anyway, I doubt she'll go, it is really not safe there.
One of the sisters in my branch at church lost an aunt in Gaza. Her uncle's house in Gaza was bombed. Her aunt was torn to pieces and killed instantly. Her cousin lost both his legs and one hand. Her uncle and other cousin were on the roof and were blown down to the ground, but miraculously survived. The father managed to get a permit for him and his injured son to receive treatment in a hospital in Jerusalem. So they both managed to leave Gaza. The other son was not permitted to leave Gaza. His permit was denied by the Israeli authorities. The son remains all alone in Gaza while his father and his injured brother are in Jerusalem. That sister and the rest of her family hope they could go visit their injured cousin in the hospital, but they are not allowed into Jerusalem and getting a permit from the Israeli authorities is almost impossible. The grandparents house in Gaza was also bombed, but no one was home at the time so no one was hurt.
That family is probably one of the very few Christian families left in Gaza.
I actually happened to ask them if Hamas fired missiles from an area close to their house. The answer was no. They were not in any way used as human shields, how could they?! They were in their home! I hope that those hearing such things (Hamas using people as human shields) on the news can start questioning what they hear! The Israeli army had no reason to bomb these two Christian homes. What justification is there? Bombed by mistake? Well, that is two homes belonging to one family, so did the Israeli army commit the same mistake twice?
The world seems to have gone crazy. It seems like it is going down hill, and fast. We see more and more violence. More and more people are taught to hate and kill. The people from Da'aish in Iraq don't even act like humans. It is so shocking! They torture and kill Christians without a second thought. Over 170,000 were killed in Syria throughout this conflict period. Where is the world heading to? Has everyone gone mad?
There seems to be no hope, no peace anywhere in sight...But, actually there is...We just need to look hard. When we search and look carefully we will find hope and we will find peace. But, it is not going to come from outside sources. Just give up on the world, it is not going to give you what you need. These feelings of peace, joy and hope come from within. We have to hold tight to the Savior. He is the only source of peace in the world. Following His commandments is the only way to stay safe amidst this craziness. He will comfort us, lift us and strengthen us during these difficult times.
The smile on the face of the below boy from Gaza is amazing. Despite his pain and injury, he was able to smile. This is the look of hope that we all need. We should all smile in the face of adversity. Because of what happened in Palestine 2000 years ago there is hope for everyone. Our Savior provided that hope when He suffered and died to give us hope of eternal life. One day we will be with Him again and, like Brigham Young said, at that day we will look back at our earthly life and say: "What of all that, it was but for a small moment, and now we are with our Lord and Savior."