Janet Maher, a Palestinian woman, had a harrowing experience during the conflict in Gaza. Janet, along with her three children, sought shelter in a church during the bombings. The article details the challenging conditions inside the church with limited access to food, clean water, and no electricity. Despite the dangers, they found solace in prayer and mutual support.
The separation from her husband, who was in Egypt when the conflict erupted, added to Janet’s distress. The family struggled to reunite, including a risky and difficult journey to Egypt. Janet reflects on the devastating impact of the conflict on innocent lives and emphasizes the need for the world to be aware of the situation in Gaza.
Christianity Today reports:
Janet Maher is out of Gaza.
The Palestinian wife of the Egyptian former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church had been sheltering in the Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church with her three children and 350 others—but not her husband. Two weeks before the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, Hanna Maher had traveled temporarily back to Egypt, where he had to remain after the war broke out.
Despite the horrors of suffering 43 days of bombardment by herself, as CT previously reported, the family separation is the reason why Janet and her children are now safely in Egypt, reunited with Hanna. But first they had to undergo a harrowing journey that began with tearful goodbyes to a hallowed community.
“I spent weeks with these people and am broken by the experience,” Janet said. “But everyone pleaded: If you get out, tell the world about our situation.”
The death toll in Gaza exceeds 11,000, including more than 5,000 children, according to statistics released by the ministry of health in the Hamas-run enclave and last updated November 10. But save for the shrapnel and scattered remains of human carcasses flying over the walls of the church compound, little of this was known to the Christians inside.
With no television or internet and only intermittent connection to the cell phone network, Janet and her fellow sheltering Gazans knew only the daily reality of war. Most of the day was spent trying to figure out how to procure food, with the young men tasked with trips outside to the local market.
Most often, the day would begin with bombing—sending the people scurrying away from windows and doors to the center of the room. Three times a week, the priest would lead morning prayers. Frequently, they would gather for impromptu singing, simply to calm their nervous spirits. Some would read the Bible; others cried alone in the pews….
Read Janet Maher’s full story.