Bethlehem and the West Bank: Over the past few months I have referred to our “adult” diaper program in Beit Sahour and Bethlehem, and we do assist many older adults there who are in special needs housing. Often a bed and food are provided, but there is little money for medical care or expensive adult diapers.
There is a second category of diaper recipients who are neither infants nor adults. These are children who are no longer young enough for baby diapers but still in need of diapers because they are unable to take care of their own sanitary needs.
The special diapers for these children, ranging in age from three years up to early teens, are very costly in the “West Bank.”
Much of the cost has to do with taxes. We pay no tax for diapers purchased in most areas such as Iraq because of the tax exempt status of our partners. But in areas such as Bethlehem we are forced to pay a double tax. Everything in Bethlehem has both an Israeli and Palestinian Authority tax. These taxes increase the cost drastically.
I have been working hard to find ways around paying the taxes so we can help more children and adults in critical need.
We purchase Holders Brand for handicapped children and youth. These are special diapers designed for the handicapped and are very costly even before the double tax. The small diapers are 40 cents each, medium 48 cents each and large 59 cents each. Overall the average is 50 cents each and we supply three diapers per day or $45 a month on average.
The cost may sound high, but it isn’t. This is about the same cost as bulk boxes of adult diapers from Costco in the United States. Without the double tax in the West Bank the cost would be much less than the Costco price in the USA. Without the tax we could buy more and help more special needs Christians who are in poverty.
There are many special needs children and youth on our waiting list. Please pray that costs can be lowered so we can help more special needs Christians in poverty in the Holy Land.
In Bethlehem our diaper program is called Heart for the Persecuted Church, not Diapers for Refugees, because these Christians are not refugees. Some of these families likely have ancestors who saw in person the Apostles, and maybe even the Lord Jesus.
Israel is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but Bethlehem and the Christian villages in the West Bank are not in Israel. In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, Christians live in fear and poverty. I am doing my best to gather support for these deprived Christians.