Solidarity for resilience in the Holy Land

Marcia Blasi, Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, LWF General Secretary Martin Junge and Regional Program Coordinator Anne Caroline Tevoy look on as Bishop Munib Younan presents a decorative tile of the LWF Assembly logo to the Rev. Dr. Nestor Paulo Friedrich, Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil. The Brazilian church made a gift to the AVH Hospital and the tile is a token of thanks. Photo: LWF/Johanan Celine Valeriano

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) received with heartfelt gratitude a donation of EUR 51,400 from the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB) towards additional patient care at the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in East Jerusalem.

IECLB President Rev. Dr Nestor Paulo Friedrich said the church’s congregations had raised the money to support the work of AVH and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. By doing so, he said “Brazilian Lutherans hope to strengthen the presence of Christianity in the land where Jesus was born and raised, where he walked, preached the Good News of liberation, healed the sick.”  The IECLB funds were raised through a church-wide Christmas offering last December.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said the Brazilian church’s investment in the work of AVH “helps the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem to continue its efforts to ‘uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed’ by serving patients to have access to the life-saving, specialized care offered by the hospital.”

The funds will assist “AVH patients and their families with transportation, shelter, food, and psychosocial care,” which the IECLB had specified as equally important “for a good quality life” beyond the actual medical treatment.

The LWF-run hospital provides medical care through its specialty centers, including a state-of-the-art cancer center and a dialysis unit, which offer treatment that is not otherwise available in the West Bank and Gaza. The health institution also serves rural communities through mobile diabetes and mammography clinics. In 2016, AVH treated over 12,500 patients. It provided more than 20,000 chemotherapy sessions, over 25,000 radiation therapy sessions, and more than 22,000 dialysis sessions.

Junge thanked the IECLB and its congregations across Brazil for choosing “to reach out to their Palestinian brothers and sisters half way around the globe as if they were your neighbors next door.”