“I depend on God alone: my salvation comes from him. He is my protector and savior; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.” Psalm 62

“I depend on God alone: my salvation comes from him.  He is my protector and savior; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.” Psalm 62

It is seldom that a person encounters an experience that brings her closer to live the suffering of “those who mourn” and to see the face of God shining through to comfort and save her from what could have been an imminent death.

Since the provocative visit of Ariel Sharon to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on September 28, 2000 and the killing of 8 young unarmed Palestinian demonstrators we have been living and hearing of violence that brought sadness and mourning to many families in our region.  Never for once did I think that I would be more than a sympathizer but rather a victim of this random violence.

On April 7th and after returning from a beautiful farewell celebration for my graduating class, I was stunned to learn that my husband was stranded in our house caught in a terrible shoot-out between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  I insisted on going home quickly to be with him.  I did, and as I was approaching the house I was advised to walk since it was dangerous to drive any car on the road.  I walked up a little hill leading to our house and entered the staircase praising God for reaching thus far without going through any shooting.  At that very instant I heard a huge explosion that hit the southern part of the staircase and knocked me down on the ground. 

I realized right away and since it has been a regular pattern for the Israeli army to use excessive force against civilian targets that tanks were bombarding our building.  My faith gave me strength to get up and climb another fight of stairs resolved to reach to our apartment where my husband was stuck.  Again, the building received another shell but I managed to get to him in time.  We waited until things calmed a little and we fled the building to stay with our son.

A week later we returned hoping to resume our normal life after fixing what the shelling destroyed.  Our prediction that civilian areas will not be hit any more failed and we suffered another round of devastating shooting by heavy Israeli machine guns and several bullets went through our house causing more damage and fear.  This time we left it for good.

I have seen many scared faces on television since the uprising started.  I have been agonizing over the plight of so many that mourned the destruction of their homes.  Now, I am one of them.  I am one who lived through this experience and it is so difficult to be a refugee in your own country and city.

Yet through all this and as I was thrown onto the floor I kept hearing His words “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness”.

Now, I will be moving to a new apartment in a building belonging to our church and across from my school (The Boys Home Building).  I look to resume my duties hoping to overcome this period of stress in our life.

We pray that the strength of our faith and the support of our friends will help us go through these very difficult times.  Pray with us that the grace of God will protect all the innocent, the children, the elderly, the poor and all those who have to mourn because of the intransigence and arrogance of those who value so little human dignity and the life of civilians.

Samira Nasser