ALEXANDRIA – A terrorist attack on two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday 2017 left more than 40 people dead and 125 injured. It also made several men, women, and children widows, widowers, and orphans.
One of the deceased was Hanan Dreas, a wife and mother of two children ages six and 10. Her husband, Wagih Girgis, and her children were traumatized by the attack and devastated by the loss of their wife and mother. Compounding their sorrow, Wagih, a waiter in a local coffee shop, had to find a way to care for his family. It would not be easy.
Finding it a nearly impossible task, Wagih eventually lost his job and his only income. The family’s situation descended from distress to disaster.
Wagih told International Christian Concern (ICC), “After the death of my wife, I lost my work because I couldn’t leave my children alone at home and also go to work. I had to stay with them to take care of them because they are little children and they cannot depend on themselves yet. I prayed to God to help me and to find a job close to my home to be with my children.”
The faith-based NGO stepped in to help in a practical, loving way to help Wagih establish a new life that would provide him with a continuing source of income while allowing him to care for his son and daughter. They helped him plan and open a small grocery store at the front of his home. ICC provided all the initial items necessary to open the store and help Wagih create a sustainable business plan.
ICC’s assistance is an example of what many NGOs have learned and put into practice. The most beneficial assistance for people in need is not simply a handout, but a hand-up with sustainable resources that will not only impact their circumstances but transform them so that what was once desperation becomes a celebration.
In Wagih’s words, “First, I thank God so much for doing this project for us through you and we thank you so much for everything. May God bless you and your service. . . This grocery store will help me so much to be beside my children, take care of them and in the same time it will help me to earn a sustainable income to meet the physical needs of my children.”
- International Christian Concern, ICC Helps Persecuted Christian Start Small Grocery Business
- CNN, ISIS claims responsibility for Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt
- Human Rights Watch, Egypt: Horrific Palm Sunday Bombings