CRISIS IN IRAQ
Crisis Response International (CRI) update
Founder/director Sean Malone reports that CRí Relief Operations continue in Iraq: Our team has recently located a large group of Yazidi refugees who escaped the genocide in the Mt Sinjar region, perpetrated by ISIS. We are currently meeting basic needs and distributing relief supplies to them. Thanks to Samaritan’s Purse, we also were able to give over 4000 pairs of shoes to victims who had traveled for weeks on foot to save their lives.
CRí now has the ability to distribute thousands of copies of the Bible to refugees, as we also continue to meet other life sustaining needs. In addition, our teams have ministered and provided medical care to Kurdish forces on the front lines who are fighting to push back ISIS and keep refugees safe.
Our teams will be participating in 50 hours of prayer in Iraq as we look to see an altar of ceaseless prayer and intercession established in the region. Please keep our teams in prayer and take a moment to watch the video below. Please pray about giving or going, to serve the needs of this massive humanitarian crisis!
Important note – Some of you may have seen emails circulating soliciting urgent prayer for CRí. The information was originally a text message sent to a few close ministries for prayer as ISIS closed in our team. The text included reports from local pastors that children were being beheaded. This text that went viral was never meant for public distribution. However we have confirmed through an official in Bagdad that five children in Tikrit were beheaded by ISIS along with many other atrocities in the region. Please continue to pray that ISIS is stopped and the people in Iraq get the help they need.
Devastating floods – missing church planters now safe
Empart Founder and President Jossy Chacko writes: Thank you for your support and prayers while I was away in India. I could not be away and continue to do all that the Lord calls me to without the unfailing partnership of friends such as you and your readers.
Hopefully you saw messages telling you of the devastation of the floods in Nepal and India. We have excellent news – the five Church Planters who were missing in Nepal have all been found safe. Praise the Lord! The rest of the story is not as happy, however. Their own villages have been destroyed and many of the families have lost loved ones. So I want to share with you more information that has just arrived, and give you the opportunity to help.
The floods across India have now caused damage to around 25% of the nation. The worst affected states are: Jammu and Kashmir in the north-west and Assam and West Bengal in the north-east. Many of our Empart workers have been directly affected – the ones we know definitely about include 15 in Jammu and Kashmir and another 28 workers in Assam. Our leaders are working with them, along with our brothers and sisters in Nepal, to determine the best ways to help them.
These floods are being reported as the worst in five decades; the financial loss in Jammu and Kashmir alone is estimated to be over $AUD 1 billion!
How do we respond? We support those who can reach the affected areas. Our workers, despite having suffered personal loss, are ready and willing to do what they can – being the hands and feet of Jesus to the suffering. The most urgent needs are for clean water, food and clothing so Empart is gathering together essential items for relief kits and packages.
Would you please pray and give as you are able? For more information on how caring Christians can pray and contribute, contact call the Empart office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 EMPART or +61 3 9723 9989. Make a difference today – in eternity you will be so glad you did!
LAS PALMAS, GRAND CANARIA
Mercy Ship Will Sail Next to Madagascar
Mercy Ships announced this week it will bring the world’s largest civilian hospital ship to Madagascar for its next field service until the middle of 2015. That is at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina.
Speaking in a news release, Mercy Ships President and Founder, Don Stephens said, ‘We are honoured to be able to come alongside the island nation of Madagascar and its government’s effort to strengthen their healthcare infrastructure through the (free) training and capacity building Mercy Ships offers. Thousands of patients are suffering from pathologies which the specialists on the Mercy Ship are equipped to assist through the surgical expertise of our dedicated professionals.’
Equipped with five state-of-the- art operating rooms and is a modern hospital specialising in maxillofacial, reconstructive, plastics, orthopedic, ophthalmic, dental and obstetric fistula surgeries, the Mercy Ship is expected to sail from the Canary Islands by mid-September anticipating arrival in Madagascar is by October end.
Doctors on board anticipate operating on thousands of patients during the 16,500-ton hospital ship’s stay. The surgeries and care are provided at no cost to the Malagasy people, and the focus of care is on the population, which has very little or no access to specialised surgical healthcare.
Madagascar is located off the southeastern coast of Africa. More than 43 percent of its more than 22 million inhabitants are under the age of 20, and the nation is positioned 151 out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index. A protracted political crisis in recent years has endangered the nation’s ability to meet a number of millennium development goals, and taken a heavy toll on Madagascar’s economy and people, especially the most vulnerable.
Mercy Ships said there is a real need for the expertise that Mercy Ships can bring to the nation, both in terms of specialised operations, as well as in education and capacity building alongside Malagasy professionals working in medical care and surgical need.
For more information visit www.mercyships.org.
‘Vicar of Baghdad’ shares one man’s story of facing down Islamic State terrorists
Michael Ireland, ASSIST Special Reporter, shares that the huge crisis for the Christian community in Iraq continues and the enormity of it is just beginning to sink in.
Anglican vicar Canon Andrew White who works in the region and is known popularly as The Vicar of Baghdad says, ‘At least 250,000 people have been forced from their homes, their churches, and their towns. They have been persecuted in ways too awful to describe. Their children have been killed, mutilated, and made to suffer in ways we never thought possible. Yet in the midst of all this God’s glory has never left us.’
Canon White says in a post on his Facebook page (used by ANS with permission) that last week ISIS (now known as Islamic State) broke into one of the Christian homes in the area.
‘There was the father of the family with his children. The ISIS people held a sword to each of the children’s necks and told the father Yokhanna that unless he converted to Islam they would all be killed. He looked at his children and said, “I always want you and need you.” He could not even bear to consider that his children would be killed,’ Canon White reports.
‘With great reluctance, he said the words of conversion. ISIS left and he phoned me crying, “Abouna Abouna (my father), they were going to kill my dear young children, they forced me to say the words of conversion and I said them. I love Yesua so much I will never leave my Yesua. Will he leave me now?”’
Canon Andrew White
‘I asked myself what I would have done if I were placed in that situation. I told Yokhanna that Yesua still loved him and would never leave him. That Yesua would always be part of his life and would always be in their home,’ Canon White said.
Meanwhile the canon’s work at St. George’s Church in Baghdad continues trying to help the thousands of displaced people in the wake of the Islamic State terrorist activities in Iraq.
‘We had to provide everything, everything. Food, drink, mattresses, baby’s cots, wheelchairs and much more. The people have nowhere to stay; most have sought refuge in churches and schools where hundreds are left to sleep on the floor. Very soon, the children should be returning after their summer vacation — nobody knows if and how the schools will even be able to open with so many hundreds of the Christians and Yazeedis (a Kurdish ethno-religious community) there.’
Following a bout with hepatitis, Canon White said: ‘Today I started work properly and shared in taking the funeral of Amelia, a wonderful lady of 102 who was the granddaughter of Smith Wigglesworth.
‘I got involved with the family because my grandfather was at one time the assistant to Smith Wigglesworth, when he died he was given Smith Wigglesworth’s Bible. Two days before my grandfather died he gave me the Bible and it has been with me ever since. It has come with me all around the world and has always been a source of great inspiration to me. I do pray each day that I may see the signs, wonders and miracles that Smith Wigglesworth saw, and by God’s grace I do.”‘
CHURCH MEDICAL WORKERS KILLED TRYING TO HELP STOP EBOLA VIRUS SPREADING
Michael Ireland also reports that eight health workers were killed by the very residents of Guinea they were trying to save. One of the victims was a pastor and a clinic administrator with ties in Duluth, MN.
Moses Mamy went to Guinea to help stop spread of Ebola (Photo WDIO-DT website)
According to Emily Haavik, writing for the web presence of WDIO-DT (www.wdio.com), Moses Mamy started Hope Medical Center Guinea a decade ago with his co-founder, Jon Erickson. The clinic partners with the Duluth Gospel Tabernacle‘s medical missions in neighbouring Liberia.
Ann Fure, who works with the Liberia team, said Mamy and Erickson started Hope Medical Center out of a need for good medical care. ‘They both saw that sometimes people will seek help from a nurse or from a hospital and could be given the wrong medicine or the wrong dose of medicine and people were dying unnecessarily,’ she added.
Mamy and Erickson also started churches and schools. They seemed to act wherever they saw a need. When Mamy saw people dying from a lack of education about Ebola, he did what he’d always done -figured out a way to help. ‘He decided to form a team and to go out and try to inform people about what Ebola was and how to prevent its spread,’ Erickson said.
WDIO reported that Mamy’s group brought water, soap and bleach from village to village. Ann Fure said they were well received until last Tuesday: ‘Most of them were receptive and took to heart what they had to say. But this last village, they thought they were bringing Ebola instead of bringing help, and so they started stoning and attacked the people.’
In the village of Womey, residents attacked the group with knives and rocks. Mamy and seven other people were killed.
The station said Albert Damantang Camara, Guinea’s minister of technical education, said the attackers didn’t make a distinction among journalists, officials and health workers: ‘They just say, “This delegation has come here to kill us, to bring us the virus, to lie about what happened in other places of the forest region, and we have to kill them.”’
WDIO went on to report that on Friday, Guinea’s government said that six people had been arrested in connection with the killings.
Mamy leaves behind his wife, Nowei, and five children, but that’s not all, WDIO said. ‘What I would like him to be remembered (for) is his generous heart,” said Erickson. ‘He really wanted to help the whole man. Body, soul and spirit.’ WDIO said Mamy did just that. He leaves behind a legacy of one clinic, three schools and 20 churches.