I just returned from a mission's trip to explore the land in Iraq with 7 other men from Grace. I will attempt to tell a few stories over the next week or so of God's amazing intervention.
Each morning we would wake up and pray this verse from Isaiah 30:21 "Whether I turn to my left or right my ears will hear a voice behind me saying this is the way walk in it." We knew we were in a dangerous place but we also knew our God was with us wherever we went. We felt compelled by the Spirit to find a way to reach out to all these precious people who had been displaced by the darkness of the ISIS leaders. Needless to say we have hundreds of stories but here is one of them...
After purchasing 11k of food and supplies and handing it out to the refugees I found myself in a room with a family that had just made the trek from their homeland to Erbil Iraq. I began to share the good news of Jesus Christ and that we had come from a distant land to help them. I shared that we saw their distress on the news and just couldn't sit there and do nothing. I began to share that the God I love and serve sent me there to help. In the midst of the conversation the young father of the child above, began to speak in Arabic to my translator. I could tell he was pretty passionate about what he wanted to tell me, so I asked my translator what he said.
He went on to tell me that this baby that was laying to my right on the ground was four days old and he and his wife had fled their home and had not yet named their baby girl. Then he said he wanted me to name their baby! Imagine for a second the gravity of that moment. I was asked to give this girl a name.
Well, immediately The Spirit gave me a name. It was so clear and so fast that I didn't miss a beat to tell him what he should name his daughter. I said that I would name her "Grace." Tears began to stream down my face as I begin to realize how God had orchestrated this moment from the foundation of the world to be a setup for the Gospel.
So I went on to explain what Grace meant and how God extended grace in giving his son Jesus, and that there was a church called Grace back in America that loved them too. As I was sharing this truth another man dressed in full Kurdish Garb began to weep when I told him that Jesus loves him.
It will be a moment etched in my heart forever. And somewhere in Iraq years from now a young women will tell a story of why her name is Grace and how God's Grace saved her and her family. Only God could set up something so beautiful like this in the midst of death, execution, chaos and fear!