I just recently returned from Kurdistan/Iraq with a team of 11 men from our Church,Grace Community. About 18 months ago God laid on our hearts the desire to help the refugees that were fleeing worn-torn cities in Iraq because of ISIS. We linked our arms together and put boots on the ground to help our brothers and sisters.
We were able to rescue many displaced people and secure housing for them. On my most recent trip we were able to witness first hand many victorious stories. This is just one of many to come..
Waheeda pictured above still lives in the apartment complex with her family. She is married and a mother of 3 children. She fled Bagdad and found herself lost and unprepared for what might be next. By the grace of God she was able to find safety,security and a fresh start in Erbil.
She was a bank accountant in Baghdad but had a love and desire for crafting...
In order to make it and help her family make it she is making crafts that have Arabic Bible verses etched into it. Day after day she spends time etching Bible verses on wood, rocks, and vases.
We were able to stop by and see first hand her makeshift work station in her home. I recognized her from our visit a year ago and her son remembered me from playing soccer with him. As we listened to her tell her story and work her craft my heart was encouraged.
What man intended for evil God is using for good. Waheeda refuses to give up and refuses to deny Jesus. She could have stayed in Baghdad and kept her home and job when ISIS took over but she refused to deny Jesus and left everything behind.
What I am learning from these precious refugees is that they are resilient and refuse to let the circumstances of life keep them from pressing on for Jesus.
As I watched her work and drink tea with her family I was deeply moved and grateful to be part of a church that responds to the needs in our world instead of just talking about them.
And by the way we bought everything she made and supported her new business venture. The national news doesn't cover these kind of stories but I do so that we can see that our God is alive and well in Iraq!
Hope is growing from the ashes!