Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that you are growing in the grace of God and remembering His faithfulness at this special time of the year. I spent the last week in Iraq ministering to the persecuted Christians so here is a brief update. The situation there is indescribable and it is seems impossible. To hear the stories of those who have lost everything for Christ is a humbling experience and a reminder of how grateful we should be for what God has given. It is also a reminder of the fact that we are called to go and support our brothers and sisters as they face this time.
On the first day of arrival, the Pastor of the church took us to the front line of the battle with ISIS. There we distributed blankets, food supplies and toys for the soldier's children. We then anointed their posts, read Psalm 91 to them and prayed that God would protect them and give them the victory. The next day the camp was attacked and they repelled it without any loss of life or injury!. As I stood at the front line I thought what an honor God has bestowed upon me to face the enemy and proclaim victory in the name of Jesus.
We have so spiritualized our Christian life that we forget there are real battles, with real loss of life that need to be fought to maintain the ground God has given us.
We visited one camp filled with the Yazidi people. They were the ones trapped by ISIS on the SInjar mountain.
One camp has more than 80 women that are pregnant with the children of their ISIS rapists. Some had been raped 20 times during the day. We met a few young children playing in the area and all they wanted from us was to stay and play soccer. Not money, food, shelter or anything else...just stay and care about us! It was all I could do to keep from crying.
I am continually challenged by the words of Jesus as He separated the sheep from the goats. Many had the excuse that day of "when"? When Lord were you raped? When Lord did you need the sewage system repaired in your camp? When did they kill your family? The haunting response of..."when you did it the least of these you did it unto me" is ever so real at this time in the history of the church.
The time has come to stop playing church and reach out with the love of God and the message of the truth. I fear that if the church does not rise to the challenge, this situation will only get worse. If we have truly lost our lives in Christ then there shouldn't be any fear to face the enemy and proclaim and demonstrate the power of our God!
I visited another Christian camp and found 870 families that are in need of kerosene for their heaters. It is approximately $12 per family for a months supply. I gave them $3000 and promised to raise the rest so they could distribute it by Christmas.
If you want to participate in any of the projects in Iraq, you can contribute with our secure PayPal Donation Page by clicking here. All donations marked Iraq will be forwarded to our contact to help with the needs mentioned here.
Well I hope I didn't sound to harsh! The reality of the life of a Christian in this region has stretched us to new heights. Please continue to lift us up and hope to see many of you this summer when we come home for vacation. Please pray for my wife as her employer is canceling her work contract and we need another sponsor so we can stay in the region. We also may need to raise some support because of her loss of income. We know that God is able and will provide all our needs!
(Our contacts are not pictured here.)