23 October 2023
This morning, we spoke again with His Eminence, Archbishop Alexios of Tiberias, who is at St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza City.
We are thankful to have been able to speak with Archbishop Alexios, as telephone service is spotty right now, and it is not always possible to reach our loved ones, friends, and contacts in Gaza during this trying time. Thousands are as we are, trying to get through to hear the voices of those they love, to be reassured by their voices that for now, in this moment, they are alive.
Today, when we spoke with Archbishop Alexios, His Eminence was very clear about the needs of those he has served for nearly thirty years.
Food, water, and medicine for those who need it first of all. What we outside the conflict take for granted, going to buy groceries from well-stocked stores, having the gas and electricity needed to cook our food, and the ability to turn on the tap and get clean, potable water in our safe homes, is not possible. In fact, many of those sheltering at the church no longer have homes.
That, Archbishop Alexios says, is the second need: To help those who have lost their homes to rebuild. For many these homes are not the first destroyed by war. Many put all they had into rebuilding and now, having lost everything again, need not just money and increasingly more scarce materials, but to feel that the world sees them, and that they are loved and not forsaken. They need not only the means to rebuild again, but the strength of the prayers, love, and support from those who see them from far beyond the borders of the conflict.
Finally, and last of all, Archbishop Alexios has asked for help to rebuild the church buildings damaged or destroyed in this week’s attacks. This church of St. Porphyrios that the Archbishop has described as “a treasure of Christianity” comes last, though. His people come first. The Archbishop, who is nearly seventy years old, is adamant that he will not leave his people. He has put his personal safety and needs last, and serves as a constant reminder that the Church is more than a building, however venerable and beautiful. The Church is all those faithful Christians who are made in the Image and Likeness of Christ, and who are most in need of our care, as we are called to show our love in Matthew 25. By feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, getting medicines and water, and, ultimately, houses to those who now have nothing, we do this for Christ, Himself.
We at the Order of St. George are diligently working to get Archbishop Alexios the resources that he needs to help his suffering flock. We are committed to seeing this through and offering our help and support to the men, women, and children sheltering at St. Porphyrios. We rely on the generous support and prayers of their brothers and sisters around the world.
The Holy Order of Saint George – an independent, pan-Orthodox, philanthropic organization not officially affiliated with any patriarchate – has established a fund to assist these suffering innocents in Gaza as part of our fundamental mission to assist and support the Christians and holy places of the Holy Land and Greater Middle East. Click below or contact email@example.com to assist with this mission.