Iraq (MNN) — The Borgen Project reports that in the last three years, over 3.4 million people in Iraq have become internally displaced. When you’re living in an IDP camp, multiple unique challenges arise. And some of the biggest challenges? Medical needs.
In the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq, there aren’t often medical facilities. Even if there are local medical facilities, they can be easily overwhelmed by large refugee populations, and they’re not always accessible.
However, one team of local medical professionals is traveling across northern Iraq from camp to camp bringing their expertise to IDPs. The mobile medical clinic is staffed by Christians and supported by Christian Aid Mission.
Steve Van Valkenburg with Christian Aid Mission explains, “They can see from 100-200 people a day and they can help them with their medical needs. There are doctors, there are nurses, there’s a lab technician, a pediatrician, [and] they have a pharmacy there.
“There are just many basic needs like infections and things like that that need antibiotics that really doesn’t take a professional to diagnose and prescribe. But there are other things that are far more serious, and without that, they would be dying and more often sick. This allows them to then have a time when they can actually receive medical care; otherwise, there is no medical care available for them.”
For a refugee or internally displaced person, medical assistance can address health issues, but the Christian medical staffers also care about their spiritual well-being.
“Refugees may not have much, but through Jesus Christ, God can be their shepherd, their fortress, and their encouragement. Showing medical love by reaching out…helps them with their physical needs, it helps them emotionally, but also it’s a natural way to share the Gospel.
“They can give out New Testaments, they can verbally share the Gospel, [give out] the mp3 players…. The mp3 players include a Gospel presentation and the New Testament, things like that.”
However, supplying medical assistance and giving out Gospel materials doesn’t come cheap. It costs $10,000 a month just to keep the mobile medical clinic running.
Van Valkenburg says that’s where the greater Body of Christ comes in. “We can’t be there, but they are there and they’re ministering in the name of Christ. One thing we can do is help them by providing for them the $10,000 a month they need for medicine, and the $10 mp3 players, and also the Bibles [and] New Testaments. Bibles are $5, New Testaments are $3.50. These are all things they can use to go out and touch the hearts and touch the physical lives of these refugees.”
Click here if you’d like to give to Christian Aid Mission’s “where most needed” fund as they support ministries like the mobile medical clinic in Iraq.
And then, here’s a few things you can pray for:
- Pray for the Christian staff with the mobile medical clinic, that God would give them stamina and boldness as they provide urgently needed medical aid and share the Gospel.
- Ask God to heal the hearts and souls of refugees who may feel confused and worried, that they would find rest in their Heavenly Father and His Word.
- Pray for this medical clinic to receive the funds it needs to stay in service.