This month in Northern Iraq, something very special is happening! Children’s Sunday school is being taught to the children of the Yazidi women in the English classes. These pictures are of Yazidi children in another area, but they were so excited to receive their Christmas packages and Bible lesson, that we thought we’d share their faces with you.
Would you please keep our team in your prayers as the children are being ministered to? These refugee families have been through so much, and it’s a joy to share Biblical truths with the women and the children.
Thank you for your special part in this with your prayers and financial gifts which empower this ministry to be effective and ongoing!
The Church in Iraq has a long standing tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Although Christians are currently a minority, until the 7th century, they were the majority religious group with many churches in the region. Nominal Christians, Catholics and evangelical Christians in Iraq now number approximately 600,000, most of whom are located in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
In our church plant in the north, for several weeks the children work very hard rehearsing Christmas songs and a drama and then proudly present it in the Christmas service. There are beautiful decorations in the church, and special foods and sweets served after the service.
Church members visit refugee camps during the month handing out food packets and sharing the Christmas message to families. The youth go along singing carols. With so many families in crisis, what a special joy it is to share the Hope in Christ we have because of His birth!
Armenian Christians celebrate Christmas on January 6; Assyrians and Chaldean Christians celebrate on the 25th of December. Officially the evangelicals celebrate together on December 25. In Christmas celebrations, they welcome brothers and sisters from Muslim backgrounds into their fellowship to share in the festivities.
On the evening of December 31, they have a big celebration including worship, listening to the Word of God read and preached and enjoying dramas. They play Biblical competitions, and then they pray for the new year. In the last minutes before midnight, while handling the candles, they congratulate each other for the new year, and share a big cake as a family of Believers.
Relief Aid continues to be a vital arm of Indigenous Ministries’ work in Iraq. One of our teams recently gave out dozens of liters of kerosene to refugee families in the church to help them with the cold weather. They also regularly provide food packets, clothing, medical helps and heaters as needed.
Pictured is a refugee woman with health issues whom we have helped with food and clothing. The next picture is a refugee camp; and John and Dee handing out food packets.
Your generous donations will help refugee families hear the Gospel and receive aid. Donate online or mail in your check. Thank you so much.
This month marks a record for our child sponsorship program in Northern Iraq! We have 86 refugee children in our program in Northern Iraq with a goal of having 125 in the program by the end of the year. Of those 86 children, 47 are sponsored – we have 39 children who need sponsors.
Join us (each of us in the Indigenous Ministries home office sponsor at least one child) and take advantage of this opportunity to speak into the life of a precious child in a refugee camp! Have you ever thought of a practical way to stop terrorism? This is one! Let a child know you care; that you pray for him or her.
Your $39/month support helps with food, a school uniform, backpack and help with school progress. Your help also brings the children together once a month for Bible lessons, games and songs. They hear the Gospel! Start your sponsorship today online at IndigenousMinistries.org or call Sarah Rieger at our office at 719-302-3028. God bless you. Please do it today!
If the heart of Indigenous Ministries is the Church, how do the child sponsorship programs fit in with this prime directive? Our programs are designed to draw our sponsored children and their families into the national churches, in order that they might be ministered to by the pastor and church families. It’s working!
In Egypt, that’s the reason the CSP (Child Sponsorship Program) along the Nile was begun. With so many widows, several years back, our ministry team asked, “Is there anything we can do month to month to help these destitute women? They are really struggling and anything will help. We would like to help them and share Jesus with the children and widows.” Now, three years later we have 57 children in the program. So many hearts have turned to the Lord as a result.
In the Philippines, the need for families to secure a better income than continuing as scavengers, tied them to Resty and Mel who prayed with a local pastor, and together they are assisting many families. Their children are receiving a quality education along with critical nutritious food. It begins and ends with the Church.
In Iraq, with 3.4 million refuges in Northern Iraq alone, many families living in UN camps and settlements face difficult choices; food or backpacks and school supplies? Pastor Sabri and his wife have stepped in and visited many families extending to them help and an open door to the fellowship of this church plant. The children are being enrolled in our CSP, and as the program approaches 50 sponsored children, we marvel at changes already evident!
The Scripture reminds us that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27. Thank you for praying for and sponsoring the children in our CSP programs! Join us…there are so many lives waiting to hear the Gospel!
The Yazidi high school girls and women in N. Iraq took their final exams this month and have done well! We’re so proud of each of them. A special word of thanks to our team lead for this project, Wesam, and to Elham, who has been teaching since July. For 10-15 minutes before classes, Wesam has been sharing the Word of God. The ladies asked to know more about our beliefs, and say they really enjoy these sessions.
Our funding for this project has run out, however, the girls and women have asked to continue, and 36 jumped in and signed up for the next classes. By faith, I’ve said we will continue with this great opportunity, as long as the funding comes in. We will also include a backyard Good News Club-style meeting for the children each week.
To donate, go to IndigenousMinistries.org and select Beautiful International Women’s Ministries. The need each month is $2950; we are asking the Lord for six more months of classes. Thank you so much for praying and giving.
As part of IM’s Global Church Planting Initiative, one of our Middle East pastors recently shared with us these updates:
– In October we distributed the spiritual books among refugee families who attend our ministry each Saturday, which many of them want to know specially about the biblical perspective about Mary in the Gospel.
-Since the 1st Sunday in October, I have been preaching about the Core Values for the ministry to help the congregation and the servants adopt these values, and serve the Lord in the light of them.
-In Thursday 26th of October, we had a very blessed time with the young people of the church, who met to pray, worship, listen to the Word of God, and spend time together from 8:00 pm till 8:00 am on Friday.
-One of the church women has a Christian bookstore and is dressing as a Muslim woman to make Muslims comfortable as they look for biblical resources (see Sept. 2017 The Liaison).
Please pray for this pastor and church, as this is a very difficult time for them in Baghdad, and they depend on our prayers and support. Thank you to our faithful Global Church Planting Initiative faith partners for your hand in this.
Our weekly prayer bulletin is sent out on Tuesdays. To be included in the email blast, please sign up on the website, right side, up top. Thank you for engaging in this vital part of Indigenous Ministries. Watch our FB page for stories on each of these photos.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. I John 5:14
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.