Members of an Iraqi ministry team in the Kurdish capital Erbil supply displaced people with food, clothing, beds and medicine. They recently met with a colonel from the Peshmerga forces
battling ISIS. The colonel inquired about the reason for offering all this aid. “We explained Christ taught us to express our love to people in practical ways,” said the team director. The colonel was quick to respond. “Arabs around us in the Gulf states claim to be religious Muslims but do not send anything but terrorists. But you who follow Christ send love, peace and goodness to people daily.”
“After a long talk with him about Christ, he bowed and prayed, asking Christ into his life,” the team director reports. “And he said, ‘Today I am the happiest person – I’ve had the privilege of making this decision,’ and he received a copy of the Bible.” The colonel’s experience is just one of many taking place in Iraq. In cities of refuge like Erbil – for people displaced from their homes in other parts of Iraq – people are turning to Christ at a stunning pace. Tent churches are springing up in the makeshift camps. Under normal circumstances, mission strategies focus on how to proclaim Christ effectively, but the challenge now is keeping pace with the number who would receive Him.
As a result of this trend, some church leaders and workers for ministry organisations are remaining in Iraq even as the cruel practices of ISIS continue. “I think of workers who stayed behind in Mosul and the surrounding areas because there are so many who are receptive to the Gospel,” says the ministry team leader. “They are willing to risk being in an area under the rule of ISIS for the privilege of more and more fruit for Christ.”
Source: Joel News International (names withheld for security)
BIBLE STUDY: Isaiah 45:22-24
PRAISE God for this extraordinary fruit in the midst of hardship. PRAY for these Christian workers.