Iraq (MNN) — The Iraqi* government is making plans to take back the city of Fallujah, which has been controlled by ISIS for the past two years.
In doing so, the government is telling citizens in the area to leave before the fighting starts, potentially creating more refugees in the already growing Iraqi refugee crisis. But if these people flee north, they may find some help.
Emily Fuentes, with Open Doors USA, says, “Open Doors is working with Iraqi refugees who are fleeing to the North to provide just for their basic needs. Many are continuing to live as refugees and so Open Doors is providing food kits, hygiene kits, all sorts of things to make their lives manageable.”
Open Doors partners with area churches and others who know the culture and know what the people need. And it’s through these partnerships that the Gospel is able to accompany the aid being handed out.
“So they’re using the resources we supply to reach out to Muslims and other non-Christian groups. And we’re seeing just really a rival in spite of the horrific things that are happening. It’s an amazing ministry. Open Doors is providing the resources, but really the Christians on the ground are the ones using it to reach out to their neighbors,” Fuentes explains.
Fuentes says on top of Open Doors trying to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqi people and those who will be fleeing Fallujah, it’s also preparing for the future. In Northern Iraq, Open Doors is granting micro-loans to individuals to help them start their own businesses, generate personal income, and begin building a new life. But in doing all of this, the organization could use some help.
Will you help come alongside Iraqi believers and serve refugees? If so, here are a couple ways to help.
How to Help
- Pray: Consider signing up for prayer alerts and joining countless others in praying for those are persecuted and in great need.
- Advocate: Advocate on behalf of the Iraqi people and/or write letters of encouragement to both the believers in this country and the refugees.
- Donate: Help Open Doors provide micro-loans to help individuals start up their own businesses in Northern Iraq and try to rebuild a new normal. Will you join the cause?
Regardless, please pray for Open Doors partners as they prepare for a great influx of refugees as the fighting to take back Fallujah begins. Pray for the peoples’ hearts to be softened and for them to know the healing and restoration that comes from knowing Christ. Pray also for both the workers’ safety and for the safety of the refugees.
*Iraq is listed at #2 on the World Watch List (WWL). The WWL is a ranking of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most sever persecution for their faith