taking the words of Jesus seriously

One of the most powerful elements of the GazaCeasefirePilgrimage.com movement globally is hearing from the Palestinian Christian minority, like our new friend, Cami.

You may remember, the week before Christmas, Pope Francis condemned the Israeli military’s murder of two women, one 84 years old, who were sheltering in Holy Family Church in Gaza City. They were shot by a sniper leaving the church. The Pope called the murder of these innocent Christian women by the Israeli military, “terrorism”. Kat and I prayed for them and their families when we found out. On Saturday, we met Cami, one of the people we prayed for. Nahida Anton and Samar Anton were Cami’s family.

It was Cami’s 84-year-old aunty Nahida who walked outside the doors of the church into the courtyard to go to the convent when she was shot in the stomach by an Israeli sniper. What threat was this grandmother and beloved elder? What justification is there for looking down a high powered telescope getting a clear look at an elderly woman and deciding to pull the trigger?

It was Cami’s cousin Samar who ran from the church to embrace her elderly mother who lay in an expanding pool of blood when she too was targeted by the sniper. How can you look at a defenceless woman running towards an elderly woman lifeless on the ground and decided to again pull the trigger?

That image, of these two Christian women, a daughter seeking to embrace her murdered mother like her mother held her as a baby, on the grounds of a place of worship, now slumped over each other’s bodies, I cannot shake.

I must not shake.
It must shake us all.
Shake us from our apathy.
Shake us from our indifference.
Shake us from inaction.

This is not just Cami’s aunty.
This is not just Cami’s cousin.
These are our sisters in Christ!
These are human beings!!!

This is the church, the living stones, flesh and blood, being targeted alongside every soul in Gaza.

Our sister Samar served as a volunteer cook for the poor and hungry at Sisters of Mother Teresa House. Our 84-year-old sister Nahida was a beloved grandmother, not just to her own grandchildren, but to the whole community of Holy Family Church where they worshipped Christ and served him by serving those in need. Not just the Christian community, but they saw Christ in every hungry child, every suffering soul.

You might not be able to fathom the murder of 30,000 souls in Gaza.

You don’t have to.

Just hold these two women, your sisters in Christ, in your heart.

They are not numbers.
They are not statistics.

Say their names,
Nahida Anton.
Samar Anton.

They are your sisters.

They are witnesses to Christ, or in New Testament Greek, “martyrs”. Their lives testify to the truth.

Are we listening?

God save us from not being shaken.
Save us from the devil’s indifference.
Deliver us from the evil of apathy.
while people are being murdered en masse.

Let all God’s people say,

About The Author


Australian pastor and social change educator, Jarrod McKenna, has been described by Rev. Jim Lawson, as “an expert in nonviolent social change.” Jarrod is the Founding Director of CommonGrace.org.au, a co-initiator of the #LoveMakesAWay movement for refugee rights and is a co-founder of the global GazaCeasefirePilgrimage.com movement. Jarrod pastors with Steeple Church in Melbourne and Table in the Trees in Perth, and is the co-founder of the InVerse Podcast and Collective with Dr Drew Hart. He is living on Wadjuk Noongar land, found on most maps as Perth, Australia, with the love of his life Kathleen and their boys.

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