WNDU, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, Ind., featured a story on the men from Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, pastor), who traveled to Iraq earlier this month. In this clip, Rick Kurik, a member of the church who made the trip, is interviewed. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article or to watch the interview.
Goshen pastor returns from mission trip in Iraq
GOSHEN, Ind. A Goshen pastor is home, after making a 6,000 mile trip to Northern Iraq. Jim Brown, senior pastor at Grace Community Church, said he received a call in his office about five weeks ago, prompting him to head overseas.
“Sitting in my office, God just kind of just pounded me on the top of the head, and said, ‘Jim, see if there’s something you can do about this,’” he recalled.
By “this,” Brown interpreted it as helping the thousands of Iraqis displaced by ISIS, a militant group that executed journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. The United Nations recently estimated 1.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes, partly because of ISIS attacks. The UN also reports insurgents have killed 693 children since January.
“Imagine me, as a father, not being able to provide for my family and not being able to have the resources do so,” posed Brown.
He needed funds to fuel his mission. Brown took up a church collection. Michiana pitched in as well. Brown raised $65,000 for his “ground mission.” In the wake of ISIS attacks, he and seven men from Grace Community Church boarded a plane to Erbil—a city in Northern Iraq. They used the money to feed Iraqis and spent time ministering to the people as well.
The refugees were not vagabonds, said Brown. In fact, he adds they are middle-class people scrambling for a place to sleep.
Click here to read the rest of the story or watch the interview.