Baharka refugee camp is home to over 3,500 displaced Iraqis. They are Christians, Yazidis, and Muslims—all completely destitute from ISIS’s bloody march through the Middle East.
Until our teams arrived, nothing had been distributed here through other aid groups for weeks on end. The people were getting desperate.
We worked together to unload several trucks carrying thousands of dollars of aid supplies to these families: Mattresses, food, baby formula, blankets, stoves, cooking pots, water containers, and more. Their gratitude was profound and deeply encouraging, especially after all they have been through.
Rakin and his family are from Ninevah. When rumors of ISIS began to surface, he didn’t waste any time, fleeing the city immediately. Everyone who remained was killed.
Now they share a single abandoned house with 70 people—12 nuclear families uncomfortably cloistered into one tiny space. The smell alone was unbearable. Many of the people were too terrified to even have their photo taken because of what ISIS might do to them if they are found. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
We also visited a refugee school that had just been opened and distributed backpacks full of school supplies to the children. Many have been out of the classroom for months with nothing to do and nowhere to go. The school is restoring some semblance of normalcy and value to their lives, giving them something to look forward to every day.
From there, we went on to a camp of Christians living in an abandoned school building. The conditions were abysmal, but sadly, these smaller communities are much safer than larger camps like Baharka. Here’s a short glimpse into what we saw:
As our team prepares to depart Iraq, I can’t help but dwell on a thought that has stayed with me for this entire trip: These refugees are just ordinary people like you and me living in extraordinarily harrowing circumstances.
They have hopes and dreams for their children, their grandchildren, and their communities. They simply want to earn a living again, to send their children to school, to grow in their faith and to live lives of peace.
These people are not just strangers thousands of miles away . . . they are our brothers and sisters. And today, they are hurting. We cannot afford to ignore their suffering!
The good news is, we are not helpless to intervene in this situation.
I think our incredible partner Dr. Sarah Ahmed said it perfectly: “When good people get together to do good things, great things will follow.” That’s what I’m believing God for—that He will continue to use our partners, our donors, and our advocates to accomplish great things in Iraq for His Glory and for the good of these refugees.
There are so many ways to get involved.
First, you can pray. If we say we believe in a God of the impossible, shouldn’t we actively trust Him to do the impossible in our world? Commit with me to lifting our Iraqi family up in prayer consistently.
Secondly, you can help provide financial support to our ongoing initiatives in the Middle East:
- Life-Saving Aid Supplies: Critical items like food, water, bedding, blankets, stoves, medicine, and more
- Mobile Medical Clinics: Medical supplies, operational expenses, and expert staff
- Children’s Storybook Bibles: Comic-style Bibles in Arabic designed specifically for children
- Church Planting: Training and support for refugee church planters to bring hope to the Middle East.
And finally, you can share.
It’s amazing to think that there are countless Christ followers in the U.S. and around the world who have no idea what is happening in Iraq and the Middle East. Some have heard, but feel helpless to intervene. This is where you come in.
It only takes a moment of your time to re-post a blog like this one or send a message. This is something that everyone can do to show their solidarity. Ask people to pray. Direct them to ways they can get involved. It’s that simple.
This has been an incredible trip. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all you’re already doing to help our fellow believers in Iraq . . . for your prayers, your generosity, and your encouragement.
My prayer today is that God would raise up an army of American believers who are committed to stand with us as we continue to bring restoration, healing, and hope to the victims of this Christian Holocaust.
May we be loud. May we be bold. May we never forget our family struggling to survive in Iraq.