Jim Brown and a group of men from Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Goshen, Ind., recently returned from a second trip to Iraq where they helped people who have been displaced by Isis. He wrote about the experience on his blog today. A portion of that appears below. Click here to read the complete post and view additional photos.
Out of the Ashes of Isis
About 5 months ago God spoke clearly to me in my office while I was prepping for my sermon in the Book of 1John. It was as if The Holy Spirit had grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. Out of that came a vision to reach the precious people in Iraq who were being displaced by the atrocities of Isis. Our church unloaded their support. They immediately prayed, gave, sacrificed and formed a team to go to the war torn country. To be quite honest, we were discouraged by many to not go. Some people thought we were crazy, others were even upset with me because they thought I was leading people to a death march.
But we knew God wanted us to go! Out of that prompting by the Spirit a team of 8 mighty men who decided to go in first, knowing full well the potential cost. Our wives and families stood in support and bravely held down the home front. I will never forget the night we rolled out of Goshen with tears streaming down our faces realizing the risk at hand.
Fast forward to today…
We just returned after a second visit with a big vision to rescue hundreds of refugees. We desire to find them housing in apartments for 6 months and a fresh start to their lives. Our prayer is that out of the ashes of Isis comes a strong a mighty church planting movement for Jesus.
God is alive and well in Kurdistan… on this second trip we were able to go and support, love, care, and pour courage into these precious people. We saw first hand what God is doing with our Grace4Iraq mission. God is giving us a chance to link arms with a man of God, Pastor Malath Bayloon and his church to reach people who once would never have given us any chance at all.
Grace4Iraq is rescuing people who were in tents along the side of the road and pulling people in who had no place to call home and restoring dignity, hope. Plus it is showing them that Jesus loves them. The ladies above represent 3 generations of women, who now have a place to call home. We sat with these precious ladies and heard their horrific stories of Isis pushing them out. We ate a meal with them that they had prepared for us. We saw the smiles on their faces. I wept tears of joy as I saw first hand what can happen when a church decides to help their brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.
We were able to purchase beds, cabinets, blankets, heaters and mattresses to get a couple of apartments ready for two families being rescued. I will never forget the smiles on their faces, the taps on the hearts by men, and the kisses on our hands from the women to show us how grateful they were.
Click here to read the complete post and view additional photos.