The women didn’t mind the heat of 115 as they excitedly gathered for Beautiful International’s launch of the English classes in Northern Iraq. With our IM NGO (non government organization) ministry status in Iraq submitted, we received permissions for the training to begin after months of paperwork. John Cook, IM CEO, and Sam Block, along with the refugee leaders and Wesam and Claudia, our Indigenous Ministries team there, dedicated the classes to the Lord. The women were nothing short of thrilled!
One commented, “We have had nothing to do with our minds for three years and now we can learn in this class; thank you!” The program is up and running and the impact is far-reaching into the community and the future, as the women will be better equipped to work, especially the widows. Because of these classes, we’ve been given permission for Claudia to teach the children, sharing the love of the Lord with them. Get ready! The next step is our child sponsorship program in Northern Iraq.
In this same settlement, we are purchasing sheep for micro businesses helping families get on their feet with an income. Previous to ISIS in 2014, they were shepherds, making this a natural return to what they are familiar with. Pray for our teams and these programs as we invest into hearts for eternity.
Iraq this month. The response was overwhelmingly positive!!! We’ve been asked for 10,000 kits by our teams and refugee camp leadership. This kit helps children unpack their trauma so they can begin to heal.
Each $55 Trauma Care Kit Includes:
A very soft 18” stuffed animal (varies depending on supplies: lion, bear or tiger) with a chest pocket for the audio player
Solar audio player with two tracks, first, for the children, Bible stories set to music with the Gospel, and for the adults, the Bible in Arabic and English
A booklet called “The Survivors” in Arabic to help children process the PTSD they’ve experienced; written by a team of professional psychologists and counselors from a Biblical perspective on feelings trauma has brought, along with practical helps. Another plush toy and candy for every child in the family so no one is left out.
Bring comfort and joy to these children for years to come! Donate online on our website; you won’t miss it in the dropdown menu. This is a wonderful, practical way to make a BIG difference in a child’s life!
For many Americans, this month’s headlines announcing Iraq and coalition forces’ victory over ISIS in Mosul was a grim reminder of the war in Iraq. While many have assumed the worst is over, stark evidence points to a lingering and unsettling truth. With massive areas of Mosul uninhabitable, the rebuilding and resettlement will take time, resources and courage. Refugees have tough decisions to make. Officials estimate only 40-50% will go back to their homes, 15-25% will emigrate out of the country and the rest will settle in areas of Kurdistan. With an economy devastated by decades of war and recent plummeting oil prices, refugees struggle to find normalcy.
Almost 1 million refugees left Mosul since the offensive to recapture Mosul began in October 2016, bringing the number to 3.2 to 3.4 million displaced Iraqis. Whatever your thoughts are about this crisis, would you pray for us and the national Believers on the front lines? If you feel led to help, give as generously as you can, and we will continue to ask the Lord to multiply the resources to help refugees. To donate click the Donate Button on the right and select Iraq Relief in the drop down menu.
John and our team were passing through an area in Northern Iraq earlier this month, when they were alerted to a need in a refugee camp with 44 families. They had gone seven days with no fresh drinking water. All baths had long been suspended, toilets overflowed and the situation was dire. What a joy to be able to meet this need as a result of your generous donations. We have a new relationship with the leaders of this camp (Yazidi, Muslims and Christians live in one camp which is an unusual grouping), and our team there will be monitoring this situation for more solutions. Thank you.
Silam’s family: Silam lives with her 84 year old mother. Silam, 57, previously lost her husband who was killed in the eight year war between Iran and Iraq. Her sister, Basma, 54, has two daughters, twelve year old Mariam, and a younger daughter who was kidnapped by ISIS three years ago. When ISIS entered into their area in Mosul, people started to flee, but they didn’t realize how horrible the threat was, so they stayed in their area until ISIS was there. They not only beat and burned them, but also forced them to become Muslims. They have endured a lot of mental trauma (PTSD). Miraculously, and on a good note, Basma was reunited with her now nine year old daughter in Erbil recently. Your donations to the Iraq Relief Project have helped this family with clothing and food.
Another family from Keramleis was captured by ISIS, and beaten. They watched as ISIS burned their home, and the father was so severely beaten he now cannot function and work. We are helping with food, clothing and medical attention.
Other families who have very recently been freed from ISIS, are now in refugee camps and are being helped with much needed clothing, shoes and food as needed. We are assisting families with vital monthly prescriptions and helping families with counseling as well.