The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 (NIV)
Greetings from Iraq!
I give thanks to the Lord for He is always faithful despite the very hard times in Iraq. He is still working in this country that is torn apart by war and hatred and He is still revealing Himself to those who seek Him.
The situation in Northern Kurdistan is heartbreaking especially for the Christian refugees and displaced people who live in harsh conditions. A large number of Iraqis still live in small caravans and tents with temperatures more than 50 degrees Celsius and there is a limited amount of food and medication. The children are, as a result, paying a high price due to deficiency in nutrition and the rise of diseases and illnesses among them.
As for the older age group – the youth – they are the most traumatised and perhaps the biggest victims of this sad situation. Besides their physiological needs, their psychological and emotional needs are affected the most. They have developed resentment and hatred towards others; have generally given up on life, in addition to blaming God for their miserable lives.
With this in mind, the Bible Society in Iraq saw the dire need to help the distressed Iraqis because we believe that knowing God and His Word will heal them and put them on the right track again. We started to hold workshops for the people who are interested in trauma counselling with the goal being to train these people to counsel and provide help for the refugees on spiritual and psychological levels.
The first trauma counselling conference took place in September 2015, where 18 people from different churches (Evangelical, Orthodox and Chaldean) gathered together and underwent the training. The conference was fruitful and had a positive impact on both the attendees and refugees. We thank the Lord for the prayers and donations from supporters of the Scottish Bible Society, who stood next to us and covered all the fees of the conference. They have given generously and we’re thankful for our partnership.
The second training conference was held in April 2016 and like the first one, it was a huge blessing to the attendees. We still need to conduct more training as the need is great. Our dream is not only to reach Christians, but also Muslims and Yazidis, because they are in dire need of spiritual and emotional healing too. It’s important to understand that being with these people will open doors to reach out to them and to tell them about God’s love and salvation. Many non-Christians have come to Christ when they saw our genuine love and willingness to extend a helping hand to them, even though they were not Christians. It meant a lot to them that Christians were helping non-Christians unconditionally.
Dear friends, the circumstances and difficult conditions of the refugees are still the same, whether physical, psychological or emotional. Nevertheless, there’s always light that shines in the darkness, and the love of God still penetrates the darkest hearts and fills them with forgiveness and hope.
I thank you wholeheartedly for your support and love, and hand-in-hand we work together as the Body of Christ to proclaim God’s Word and show His love to all people.
Programme Co-ordinator of Bible Society in Iraq
Please pray for Christians experiencing ongoing and devastating trauma. And please consider giving a gift today which will help provide Bibles, train more volunteer counsellors and change more lives through God’s Word.