This Sunday morning, as the morning light breaks over the city of Mosul, Iraq, the church bells are silent. This is the first time in 1800 years that church services will not be held in the city. The religious cleansing of the city done by ISIS this month has ensured the city is empty of Christians. So this is what they wanted and this is what they have… Even Mohammed in 660 A.D. did no such thing…
THE TASK AT HAND
In talking with a pastor friend in Kirkuk, he shared that the first thing that we need to do is to show the Love of Jesus Christ. They are sharing the value of faith in Christ, trusting in Him for complete forgiveness. With 35,000 Christians fleeing, for many who truly know Christ, it gives the opportunity to share that Christ is not simply followed because of culture, but He is “the ever-present help in the time of need.”
I was listening to one Iraqi Church leader from Mosul say, “Christ must be sleeping in the back of the boat. We are asking Him, ‘Master, don’t you care?’ We must wake him up!!! We need help!!!” Would you please join me in helping be the hands of Christ?
We as a ministry have set a goal of raising $35,000 to be able to assist these people. But who are we helping? Many are cultural Christians in need of a personal relationship with Christ, many know Christ and have walked with Him for decades… Many are Muslims who also are fleeing for their lives… These people need a tangible touch from the Lord. One fleeing Mosul is the brother of the pastor I stayed with for 21 days in Baghdad in January of 2004.
During those days, I had the privilege of attending the beginning of one of the first evangelical churches to be planted after the 2003 war in Baghdad, and to stand with 700 Evangelical Believers from Iraq asking the Lord to heal their land and their people. I was a guest in the home of the pastor in Kirkuk. As I spoke with him yesterday, his statement was, “Brother, we need help! Can you help us? We need food and to rent housing for people living in the church.” As the people fled Mosul, there was a checkpoint that ISIS had set up. They took every piece of jewelry including wedding rings and anything else of value. These people have nothing…
As you know, thousands fled to Kirkuk, but even there, the danger of ISIS looms… But the pastor I spoke with said, “It is our privilege to serve the Lord here.” This man’s life, the life of his wife and two daughters are forfeit if ISIS takes Kirkuk.
We see Kirkuk as the first line of meeting needs, and if needed, we will fall back into Kurdistan’s Erbil. This is a place in 2006 I had the privilege of helping lead a conference for the Believers from the Church in Baghdad. Frances, (not his real name) is a friend of mine who loves the Lord. He and his wife met at this conference. They settled in Erbil and will be helping us along with two evangelical churches there.
Would you help us respond to this crisis? To date just over $4,000 has come in; I am asking the Lord for the remainder… Can you help us help them?