20 YEARS OF RESTORING LIVES IN IRAQ
2022 marks 20 years since World Compassion first began doing work in Iraq!
For two decades, World Compassion partners have provided much-needed aid in the form of medicine, school supplies, food, shelter, bedding, and clothing to thousands of people displaced by war and ravaged by ISIS, all while offering encouragement and sharing the hope of the Gospel message.
We’ve helped plant churches, hosted leadership conferences, and have been blessed to build relationships with top government officials.
Today, we continue to reach Muslims and Yazidis with the Gospel through our skills training programs and mobile medical clinic. You’ll hear more about this later. Thank you to every person who has given and prayed – you have made a transformational difference!
Yet, over the years, peoples’ needs have shifted from immediate relief to full life restoration!
Restoration is who God is and what God does.
“So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10 NLT).
As a result of years of conflict and war, many Christian families lost the businesses that once provided the quality of life they long for again today. The massive influx of refugees and displaced people in Iraq has continued to strangle the economy, making it nearly impossible for most families to rebuild the life they once had.
In addition, the years of unstable security have worn on many Christian families, leaving them feeling hopeless and futureless, ultimately prompting them to move out of the country.
It’s estimated that there are only 250,000 Christians now living in Kurdistan, northern Iraq, which is down from 1.6 million in 2003 and 3.5 million in the early 1990s. In less than 30 years, over 3 million Christians have left an area of Iraq known as the Nineveh Plains (where Mosul, Iraq, is located).
But keeping Christian families in Iraq is critical to the message of Jesus spreading to this generation in this region! Believers are an anchor for the Gospel to remain in the heart of the cradle of Christianity.
One of the most significant roadblocks to Christians staying in the country is the lack of opportunity for work or the chance to reopen their business and rebuild their lives.
Over the past year, World Compassion has begun collaborating with the local church and other Christ-centered ministries in Iraq to help Christian families restart their businesses, as well as launch new ones, as we work together to restore their lives!
Imagine the shock and blessing it is for a Christian family to receive a grant from a local ministry that helps fund the start-up of their business again!
Consider our friend Sarmad. In 2014, when ISIS attacked the Nineveh Plains, Sarmad and his family ran for their lives. They lost everything, including his only livelihood: a ceiling repair business.
Three years later, when they returned after being displaced, Sarmad did not know what to expect. The shock of what he saw still has not left him; he found everything looted, destroyed, and then burned down to the ground.
Sarmad, as the main income earner, needed to get back to work to feed his family. He started talking to many potential customers and realized the high demand for his skills.
However, he had no money to buy the equipment and supplies needed to start over.
But Sarmad could not accept being jobless anymore; he approached our teams and began the application process to get a grant to reopen his business and start working to rebuild their lives.
Now, he has work every day and even employs a business partner!
“I thank God I was able to open my own business again!”
It’s not just Sarmad and his family who have been impacted – it’s now the families of those he hires!
This is literally transforming lives! But not just their physical lives. God is using gifts from people like you to give these families hope again – to give them a sense of purpose, a reason to live, and a reason to stay in Iraq.
It’s opening the door for them to not just build affluence but influence in their community!
When you give to empower a Christian small business owner in Iraq, not only are you giving them the tools to sustainably provide for their family, but you are keeping Gospel influence alive in a Muslim nation.
As these Christian families hire employees and serve their clients – most of whom have a Muslim background – they build relationships with these people, creating opportunities to share the Gospel and disciple them!
Once a business is up and running, recipients are required to pay 10% forward as a tithe to help the next person start their business.
You’ve heard it said: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
We’ll keep helping meet peoples’ immediate needs, but it’s critical that we also create a sustainable way for families to provide for themselves long into the future. It’s wisdom, and it’s the right thing to do.
It costs between $3,000 – $5,000 (£2,308 – £3,846) to kickstart a small business for a Christian family staying in Iraq.
Over the past year, we’ve tested this model with several Christian families. It’s working! We are now setting a goal to help 30 more families get their businesses back up and running!
We need $150,000 (£116,813) to help restore the lives of 30 Christian families and keep them in their home country!
Will you partner to bring restoration to Christian families in Iraq?
Remember, it’s not just their families you’re impacting – your gift sets off a ripple effect, impacting the lives of the countless others they reach for eternity!
Your financial gift creates opportunities for Iraqi families to truly start a new life and for Christians to continue being an anchor for the Gospel in the Middle East.
Thank you for your heart to see the church flourish in nations restricted to the Gospel message!
Each small business grant ranges from $3,000-$5,000 (£2,308 – £3,846).
A gift of any size helps us meet our goal of raising $150,000 (£116,813) to help 30 Christian families!