An Iraqi family who fled fighting near the city of Mosul prepares to sleep on the ground as they try to enter a temporary displacement camp, July 3, 2014 in Khazair, Iraq.
By Pastor Glem Melo
Mothers and children, all displaced from Mosul, are seen fetching water from a truck near the Garmava transit camp. UNHCR / S. Baldwin
In the midst of the great, horrifying darkness that is engulfing Iraq and Syria, the light of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ shines forth.
This is attested to by a report that I just received from our partner, Middle East Reformed Fellowship (MERF). It says,
Since the invasion of Iraq, about 73% of Iraqi Christian families lost their security and livelihood, as did other religious minorities. Most fled to predominately Christian areas of Iraq or neighbouring countries. (about 300,000 Iraqi Christians are in Syria). The brutal advance of fanatic Islamists is forcing tens of thousands to flee again. Please pray for God’s people facing much hardship to be strengthened in their faith. Their testimony to Christ’s saving grace could touch the many Muslims disenchanted with Islam.
An eight-year-old girl holds her brother, aged three, at the school in Alqosh village, where they and their extended family have found shelter after fleeing from Mosul. About 150 people from 20 families are staying in the school. UNHCR / S. Baldwin
Praise God that the behaviour of fanatics is turning many Muslims away from Islam to consider Christ.
It is true that the situation continues to be horrendously grim for our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. On and on, we read chilling reports of both adults and children being beheaded, some tortured and crucified, women raped and violated. But we can rejoice in the rock-solid truth that the Lord our God never fails to care for His own with the infinite and eternal love that comes only from Him.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
A girl, who fled from the violence in Mosul, carries a case of water at a camp on the outskirts of Arbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, June 12, 2014. Stringer/Iraq / Reuters
Let us pray that the Lord would continue to comfort and strengthen His persecuted people in Iraq and Syria, and that in the midst of great darkness He will continue to cause the light of Christ’s gospel to shine forth and spread out in word and in deed for the salvation of souls.
In doing so, let us keep in mind the following key prayer request from MERF. It’s at the heart of what our Father in heaven wants to accomplish in and through all His cross-bearing children.
Pray that they [our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria] may be uplifted by Christ’s provision for their bodies and souls and bear a shining witness in Him to forgive those who hate them.