Iraq (MNN) — When an ex-Marine asked to meet Patrick Klein, president of Vision Beyond Borders, in a local church, Klein had no idea that he was about to gain his strongest supporters in the Iraqi container project.
The project involves packing a shipping container with food, hygiene products, and more to send to the hurting people of Northern Iraq. The opportunity to share the Gospel and simultaneously help the physical needs of people displaced by ISIS was too good to pass up, and Klein’s friend thought so, too.
The ex-Marine started by describing the issues facing former armed forces men and women. “’They’re disillusioned, they’re discouraged, [there is a] high suicide rate.’”
Not only is there a sense of disappointment and depression, there’s an added blow for Iraqi war veterans.
“They feel disappointed because of what happened and how the Yazidis and Christians have been run out of their homes by ISIS,” explained the ex-Marine.
But he had a plan. “He said, ‘What if I had a vision to get the marines involved? What if we have them start giving back?’”
The ex-Marine suggested putting together a group to help pack supplies, and Klein agreed.
“And so we had a group of them, about 18, 19, of them came, and they helped pack up hygiene supplies that were sent to Jordan for the Syrian refugees.”
The veterans were impressed and wanted to continue helping. They asked Vision Beyond Borders if they could head up the Northern Iraq container.
Veterans wanted to tell Iraqi refugees, “You’re not alone,” and now they have that chance.
“It was just so cool to see these men,” says Klein. “It was exciting to see God stirring the hearts, and it’s a great witness, for even some of these armed forces people who are non-Christian, to see Christians reaching out and helping Christians around the world.”
Klein says the container is important to demonstrate that Christians are willing to help–”not just to tell them we care, but to show them tangible ways that we really do care about them.”
Klein wants to send the message to the Iraqi people that “we’re Christians, we love Jesus Christ. We’re not just here to take pictures and give stories we make money off. We are committed to helping you.”