Jewish hospital will offer free medical care to Palestinian children in partnership with Christian group

February 26, 2013

By Mark Ellis

Karen Dunham (center) ushers baby Esther (left) out of Gaza to recieve medical treatment as part of the groundbreaking "Rescue the Child"

Karen Dunham (center) ushers baby Esther (left) out of Gaza to recieve medical treatment as part of the groundbreaking “Rescue the Child”

A top Israeli medical center and a Christian organization that ministers to Palestinian refugees have launched a new project, “Rescue the Child,” to provide free medical care to Palestinian babies and children from the West Bank and Gaza.

“It is such a move of God to reach out in love and compassion to these children, who were dying and had such little hope,” says Karen Dunham, director of Living Bread Church International. “Isn’t it like God to team up a Christian organization and a Jewish hospital to show love to the enemies of Israel during this time?”

“That’s what Jesus did, reached out to the least of these. There are no borders that the Lord cannot move,” she says.

Dunham received a green light from the chairman of the Assaf Haroef Medical Center in late January and has already begun moving children in need of attention. “Living Bread will be moving the patients to them and back to Gaza,” Dunham notes. “It is an amazing door of love God is opening up.”

Some may be startled by the fact that an Israeli hospital will extend medical aid to people that some consider their enemies. “Israel will be caring for children of families that threw missiles at them– this is very big news in the heavenly realm,” Dunham notes. “Love will not fail.”

“Living Bread can use volunteers for this huge undertaking to pray over the patients and visit them in the hospital and help return them to Gaza Strip.  All the follow-up care must be done by Living Bread and its volunteers,” Dunham says.

Assaf Haroef Medical Center (www.healthtoisrael.org) is located about 15 km from Tel Aviv.

“Rescue the Child” will provide medical care for babies and children from the West Bank and Gaza badly in need of assistance due to lack of medical capabilities in these areas.

In 2003, Dunham met an evangelistic Catholic priest, Father George, who amazed her when he said, “Go to Jericho and feed the people and win the whole city for Jesus.” The Holy Spirit gripped her soul when he said those words. Immediately she knew that she and her son must move to Jericho, “the door of the land.”

At the time, there were no Americans in Jericho. “The only woman who would rent me a house was a woman in one of the refugee camps who desperately needed money,” Dunham recalls.

Some of her friends expressed anger when she said she wanted to move into Jericho to feed hungry Palestinians. “Why would God tell you to feed the enemy?” they asked.

Since then, Dunham survived numerous fire bombings of her home and attempts on her life.  She has become widely recognized for her acts of compassion, ministering the gospel in refugee camps in Jericho and Gaza.

She has won unusual favor from Israelis and Palestinians. Media sources have even referred to her as a “Mother Theresa in Israel.”

Aharon Cholow, who has worked with Christians and Jews to raise awareness and support for Assaf Haroef Medical Center, is Dunham’s principal contact.

The medical center, a teaching hospital with a global reach, is associated with the Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine. “I believe that as an Israeli citizen we always have a right to defend ourselves from any aggression, However, we will always stretch out our hand for peace and show compassion to the suffering of children,” Cholow noted.

Related stories:

Karen’s Christian testimony

Karen’s ministry in the Palestinian refugee camps