July 2021
As the crisis in Lebanon deepens, American Friends offers food assistance to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center families
On Monday, as he waited for hours behind 70 cars to buy a half tank of gas, Archdeacon Imad Zoorob didn’t need to read the New York Times’ front page story about the economic crisis in Lebanon. He has been living with the impact of the rapidly devalued Lebanese Pound since early in the pandemic.
“I get up at 6 a.m. to secure a place in line to get enough fuel to go to church,” said Zoorob, the sole Episcopal priest in Lebanon. Zoorob serves as rector of All Saint’s Church in Beirut as well as director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center, the nearby boarding and day school for children with cognitive disabilities owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. “This is a picture of our lives on a daily basis,” he said earlier this week. “We ask for your prayers.”

According to the World Bank, the Lebanese Pound has lost 90 percent of its value. Life savings, the value of pensions, and the purchase power of wages have been reduced to virtually nothing. Zoorob explained, “People are still receiving their old wages which weren’t enough to keep them afloat when the currency was normal. Imagine now with this rate. God help us all.”
Students at St. Luke's Center before the pandemic
St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but Zoorob has stayed close to the students and staff and their families, who are struggling financially. For a time, with the outpouring of financial support from AFEDJ donors after the August 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut, Zoorob was able to offer food cards to the 83 families in the St. Luke’s community. 

As the financial crisis in Lebanon grew worse, Rev. Zoorob established the Food for St. Luke’s Families program which AFEDJ donors have continued to support. Zoorob said, “I am really grateful for such great and generous support for St. Luke’s families because the staff and the children are in great need.”

With its weak caretaker government and worsening economic crisis, Lebanon and its people will continue to face unimaginable challenges. Zoorob said earlier this week, “We are told by the government that subsidies for flour, for bread, for gasoline, for everything will soon end. We are told that this is just the beginning.”

Your gift to support the Food for St. Luke’s Families program will have a huge impact on a struggling family in Lebanon.
Take a one minute car ride with Archdeacon Imad Zoorob.
Thank you for bringing healing and hope to Gaza 
Since the early days of AFEDJ’s partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem, our donors have demonstrated their generosity and compassion for the humanitarian ministries in the Holy Land. But in May and June of 2021, the outpouring of support for Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza was truly stunning. 

Your generosity and our ability to quickly put your gifts to work have allowed the staff of Ahli Hospital to respond to the desperate needs of Gazans immediately. “Many thanks to your encouragement, solidarity and continuous support to Ahli Arab Hospital, I am very grateful to all our supporters who are keeping Ahli and myself in their thoughts, prayers, and generous giving,” said Suhaila Tarazi, director of Ahli.

Despite the ceasefire on May 21, Tarazi reports that continued sporadic air raids keep Gazans fearful that violence between Israel and Hamas will erupt again. 
"[You] are giving us a hand to plant seeds of hope
for all those who are hopeless in Gaza."
Suhaila Tarazi
She recently wrote to AFEDJ Executive Director John Lent, “When you walk into certain areas in Gaza which were once lively streets and full of businesses, you smell the odor of death and feel the agony of those innocents who lost their beloved ones and their homes. People, in general, are very anxious and worried with little hope of better days to come. The destroyed infrastructure means that sewage is everywhere which is another public health burden affecting Gazans, and the constant disruption of electricity compounds all the problems.”
News from Ahli Arab Hospital 
An average of 150 patients every day seek care at Ahli Hospital clinics. Due to the ongoing violence and appalling living conditions, the vast majority of Gazans are traumatized and need mental health psychosocial support. Ahli focuses on treating traumatized children, especially those who lost their families or homes. On a weekly basis, the Child Trauma Clinic receives 60 children and a process is in place to expand the program to include another 60 each week.

Most Ahli patients are poor and can neither afford their family’s food nor the cost of the hospital treatments. With funds provided by AFEDJ, Ahli has expanded its free community clinic from one day to four days a week.
The generosity of AFEDJ donors enabled
Ahli Arab Hospital to expand its services.
Tarazi wrote, “We are very grateful to our American Friends who are giving us a hand to plant seeds of hope for all those hopeless in Gaza. Through your support we try to treat whoever comes to us. Ahli staff members are ready to work day and night and sometimes to risk their lives to eliminate the suffering of the patients. With your help, we can continue to offer the most compassionate response to those grieving, injured, traumatized, and homeless in Gaza.” 

Please click here to make a donation to support the sustained lifesaving mission of Ahli Arab Hospital. 
St. George's College reopens in September 2021
St. George’s College in East Jerusalem will welcome back its first pilgrims and students in September after a 15-month closure due to the pandemic.

Spaces are available for most of the fall 2021 courses, as well as courses in 2022 and 2023. St. George’s will offer special discounts to groups and individuals who enroll in 2021 courses. 

The Very Rev. Richard Sewell, dean of St. George’s, commented, “As we begin to plan the re-opening of the College, I am extremely grateful to our staff for their sacrifices this past year and to our friends around the world for their prayers and financial support. We are all conscious of the grace of God which in so many ways has sustained us individually and as an institution...We pray that the College will be able to continue the purposes of God, His kingdom of justice, joy and peace for many, many years still to come.”

Please visit the St. George’s College website for descriptions of available courses, safety measures, and additional information at www.saintgeorgescollegejerusalem.com.
AFEDJ offers a safe, secure channel to make gifts to support the work of the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 203-655-3575