Iraq: 'our greatest challenges - and greatest opportunities'
As thousands of displaced Christians in northern Iraq are fleeing increasing persecution from ISIS, Leading The Way is responding to an historic ministry opportunity ...
Senior Director of International Operations Allan Guinan recently visited Northern Iraq where Leading The Way is broadcasting the Gospel 24/7 via their satellite and radio broadcasts, discipling new believers, and providing practical help to hundreds of families in refugee camps.
The ministry provides not only food and supplies, but solar-powered devices with Gospel messages, and also hosts retreats for refugees.
“We face our greatest challenges and our greatest opportunities,” he said. “While we see this significant rise in persecution against believers, at the same time this presents a great opportunity to present Christ.
“It is the proclamation and demonstration working together. People are wanting to know more and are hungry for spiritual truth and they’re wanting to know something of the Lord Jesus Christ. So people are hearing the Gospel message through our broadcasts.
"They’re responding, they’re being discipled through our follow-up teams, and they’re being helped practically as they suffer and endure persecution because of their faith in Christ.”
Allan recalls visiting 4-year-old Mary and her family who were living in just one room in a refugee camp: “Mary had just had a seizure before we arrived and her mother was extremely upset and in tears.
“But she was thankful that Christians had come to be with her as she shared how they had fled ISIS. She was overcome with grief for her child as she didn’t feel she had the ability to provide the medical treatment she needed. So we grieved with her, we embraced her, we cried with her and prayed with her. We know that made a lot of difference as the Lord hears our prayers.
“We were also able to help them with some food and medical supplies. That kind of story I could tell over and over again as we do these pastoral visits where people have fled persecution from ISIS.”
Leading The Way’s Regional Director, George*, who also travelled with Allan to this region, believes God is using this crisis to turn the nation back to Christ: “We’ve been visiting areas so close to where ISIS is controlling villages and cities. But the Lord is bringing Christ again to this land.
“We’ve met so many families struggling through the harsh winter months living in tents. They are living in agony and when you present them with the Gospel, you make a difference. I think this land will be exposed to the Gospel more than any other time in history and the Lord is able to change many people because of our great church partners who are really sacrificing their lives for the Lord to see change happening.”
* last name withheld for security reasons