When was the last time you heard about Iraq in the news? In the last two years, a pandemic, an election, and crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine have taken center stage.
There is undoubtedly great hurt in the world today. This means that there is also great opportunity for God to work through His Church to show His healing and restorative love.
But out of peoples’ minds and out of the headlines, there are still hundreds of thousands of refugees living in camps in northern Iraq who have felt forgotten for years.
After fleeing to escape the hands of ISIS and the Syrian civil war, these families were forced to relocate. Even though eight years have gone by, thousands of Syrians and Iraqis continue to live in tents or temporary structures, struggling to find purpose and lacking the basic ingredients for a quality life.
This is why so many refugees continue to sit idle, experiencing ongoing despair and fighting off depression. Without a home, a job, or even basic medical care, it is hard for these people to feel anything other than discouragement.
Imagine. There are thousands of children –8, 9, and 10 years of age – who were born in these camps. For them, living in a tent is all they know. Parents are longing to give them a better way of life, but how?
So far, World Compassion has had 20 years of great work in Iraq, meeting peoples’ immediate needs by providing food, clothing, medical assistance, and more. Now, we are looking ahead at how we can help completely rebuild the lives of families in a sustainable way!
We’re doing this through small business grants, skills training programs, and medical care, all centered around the Gospel message!
This is one we are excited about!
As of 2021, World Compassion has begun helping Christian families restart their businesses, as well as launch new ones!
This is a truly sustainable and transformational way to make a life-changing difference for entire families. You may have seen us share more about it in last month’s publication.
Small business grants are empowering these Christian families to kickstart the businesses they once had to help provide the quality of life they long for again today.
For some business owners, this may be as simple as replacing essential tools or equipment that were destroyed or looted in the war.
But without these grants, many will continue struggling: living in makeshift housing while relying on donations from organizations and small stipends from government agencies.
By supporting a Christian small business owner in Iraq, you’re giving them the ability to sustainably provide for their family once again. You’re also helping to keep these families in Iraq and, therefore, impacting this Muslim nation with the Gospel message for years to come!
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!
Our skills training programs serve hundreds of refugee women in northern Iraq, many of whom are single moms who suffered unimaginable horrors at the hands of ISIS.
Women get to learn in-demand skills like sewing and salon care while experiencing the love of Christ and having conversations with their instructors who share the truth of the Gospel one-on-one!
Narashem is one such woman who is moving her family towards sustainable life restoration because of the skills training program!
“My name is Narashem, and I am 35 years old. I have been in this camp since I was 27. Sewing is a way that I can advance and move forward. It is an opportunity for me to provide for my children. With a salary, I can replace some of what my family has been living without for years. I also love helping other ladies learn to sew so they can meet their family’s needs.”
World Compassion is helping Yazidi women like Narashem learn relevant skills that will serve them for years to come – providing for their needs, giving them a sense of purpose, and lifting their community.
These women are discovering fulfillment not just in learning to stand on their own two feet, but in being able to help serve others by training them to do the same.
This year, 480 women will go through these programs!
World Compassion also empowers a local church through a mobile medical clinic that travels to smaller towns and villages, as well as refugee camps in northern Iraq.
Each month, teams of doctors and nurses from the local church serve nearly 1,000 people, providing check-ups, tests, and medicine.
Through this outreach, teams also have the opportunity to share the Gospel and pray for each patient one-on-one. This is another consistent way to open the hearts of thousands of people to the message of Jesus Christ.
We are reaching people who otherwise may not receive even basic medical care or hear the Gospel message!
By serving these underprivileged Iraqis, refugees, and Yazidi people every month with quality medical care, we are meeting them where they are at with the love of Jesus. When their physical needs are satisfied, they are more receptive to prayer and the Gospel!
This model of outreach is evangelizing the Muslim world through one-on-one ministry while meeting real, life-changing needs!
Your gift of $50, $500, or $5,000 can help radically restore the hope, health, or livelihood of someone living in Iraq who might otherwise feel like the world has forgotten about them. Below are some opportunities you can be a part of.
At this moment in time, we can show people who have walked a long road of suffering that they are loved – that we see them, and that their heavenly Father sees them!
Thank you for your commitment to compassion and evangelism across Iraq!