IMG_3179Iraq – As we began the women’s conference last month in Kurdistan, I asked how many were refugees and 75% of the women held up their hands. These are some of the women and their families Indigenous Ministries has, since 2014 helped through the national church with food, water, clothing, diapers and other relief supplies; thank you for making a difference in their lives as you’ve donated to the Iraq Fund.

IMG_3079Impact – One of the young women attending, Maha, is from Karakoosh. She and her husband have three energetic young girls and live in an apartment with four other families who are also refugees. With resources and space in short supply, tension is high and Maha is overwhelmed. She and I talked and her tears and words spilled out in obvious exhaustion. We spent time discussing options for her and prayed together. Two days later, her husband called the pastor and said, “I don’t know what they did at the conference but this morning, my wife, she is very happy and I am very glad she went to it.” I love this; one of many stories of how this conference made a difference in these women’s lives.

Theme – The conference theme was the newness of spring, and how hope, joy and love CAN ABSOLUTELY bloom again no matter what situations we journey through. We opened the Bible together and looked at hope and joy through the attributes and promises of God. The women also sat in small groups discussing the messages.

FullSizeRender (1)Nutrition and exercise – The second evening I donned my exercise suit and we jumped into the topics of nutrition and exercise. I challenged the women to get online and learn more about nutrition and then to encourage each other to exercise; most women in the Middle East are not involved in taking care of themselves in these two areas.

Nahla, the pastor’s wife, did a great job of putting the conference together, and my IMG_4248translators, Blanda and Shahla were fantastic. As a ministry team, we elected to invest the $500 we would have paid for a hotel meeting room to repair the broken church bathrooms and held our meetings there at the church. Worked out perfectly.

I’m so very grateful to my Beautiful International Partners in the US who regularly pray and give financially making ministry to these women possible. I really hope this report encourages and blesses you as much as I’ve been blessed and that you’ll continue. I’d love for you to join me as a Beautiful International Partner by praying for and giving to Beautiful International. Your generous monthly or one time gifts keep the wheels going. There are many more opportunities to help women in Iraq and around the world, and I encourage you to get involved so we can continue on!

IMG_2754Bracelet craft – We made exquisite one of a kind beaded memory bracelets which were a BIG hit. I greatly appreciate John and the pastor who got in on the action helping twist the wires! All the women, and ESPECIALLY our ladies in the refugee camps loved making a special Beautiful craft they are really proud of and will look at as a symbol of God’s love surrounding them.

IMG_3640We ended the conference with prayer and the question, shall we do this again next year? They answered with a resounding “YES!” Thank you for your partnership that made this possible and I thank the Lord for His grace on this time. The next Beautiful conferences are in the Middle East and India this fall.

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