Persecuted by ISIS
Right now EMI has a small team in Northern Iraq doing a design of a large refugee community to serve an unreached people group, called Yazidi (see their Joshua Project description). Numbering about half a million here, this group was heavily persecuted by ISIS between 2014-2016, which killed many thousands of men, women and children- decimating so many lives and families by taking thousands of women for sex slaves. Their main city of Sinjar remains the only city in Iraq which has not yet begun to rebuild. Without hope, many continue to live in the sprawl of white refugee shelters surrounding this area.
There are hardly any known believers here, but we have the opportunity to work with one to develop an entire community for the Yazidis – providing opportunity to rebuild their lives and families through greenhouse farming and directly share the Good News and love of Jesus Christ. About one dozen missionaries are preparing to live among the Yazidi in close community.
Pray that God would comfort their pain
The EMI team met with a refugee family, with five remaining members. The father and brothers were killed by ISIS; several are still being held by ISIS to this day. In April, their daughter was released after being held in a basement in Syria for two years, continually abused. As the EMI Team gathered together in their shelter, she stayed in the small bedroom and was unable to see the team. So devastated and broken, she has not been able to interact with anyone outside her family since her return! The depth of pain is unimaginable.
Their homes have been destroyed with no hope of being able to return in the foreseeable future; there is no infrastructure working, but more significantly the towns are still not safe. Earlier this week, the EMI Team heard about an ISIS attack which killed two men in a nearby Yazidi town. The refugees entered this camp thinking it may last weeks to months…now they are five years in, and no end in sight. Construction of EMI’s design should start in a month – there’s hope.
The horrors throughout the world, especially in war torn areas, can be so disheartening. But thankfully now EMI has been able to make a difference in the lives of those who have gone without hope for so long. Pray God will be glorified through the transformation that is taking place. With your partnership we are truly able to “Design a world of hope”.
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