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Iraqi women find fresh hope following retreats

Iraqi women returning home to cities ravaged by ISIS are finding fresh hope for the future, thanks to retreats organised by Leading The Way's Help the Persecuted ministry ...

This Autumn in Jordan, hundreds of Iraqi women and children quit the harsh conditions of their makeshift homes for a chance to experience the love and hope of Christ through retreats organized by Leading The Way – retreats that provided a safe space to rest, laugh, cry, and be comforted by the Word of God.
 
Leading The Way’s Help The Persecuted ministry hosted these refugees who fled ISIS not only to meet their physical needs with meals, the peace of a clean, secure bedroom, and toys for children, but also to equip them spiritually with sound Biblical teaching, prayer, singing, and Bibles.
 
Last year, Help The Persecuted held a similar retreat for women where more than 80 percent gave their lives to Christ. The ministry helped these refugees work through the devastation of leaving everything behind.
 
But this year the women faced a new shock to navigate at the retreat since they had recently returned to their homes in cities that had been freed from ISIS – homes that had been utterly ravaged. Though this trial proved more crushing than the first, the women knew where to go for strength: their sovereign Lord.

One of the Leading The Way field team
members amidst destruction in an area
near Mosul

A Leading The Way staff member noted the mature faith that had developed in these believers from one year to the next: "There was more peace and joy on their faces – you could see the difference. These women will be used by God to make an impact in their families and communities. This is a building block."
 
Thankful for the retreat, one attendee said: “My soul was renewed. I feel that I am a new person now. I am so hungry to learn and to be blessed in God’s presence.”
 
A young girl who participated in the children’s retreat said: “I feel the love of God, and I thank you so much for making it possible for us to leave our homes for a few days and be refreshed.”
 
Leading The Way is working closely with local churches to ensure everyone who attends these retreats receives follow-up support. There are already plans to host more retreats throughout the Middle East over the next year.

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