Thirty-six members of the Yazidi religious minority are free after nearly three years in the hands of so called Islamic State (IS), the UN says.
They have been taken to UN centres in Dohuk in Kurdish northern Iraq. It is unclear whether they escaped in Iraq or were freed, as the UN declined to give more information to avoid jeopardising future releases.
IS killed and enslaved thousands of Yazidis after seizing the northern town of Sinjar in 2014.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces regained control in 2015 but many Yazidis were held captive by IS elsewhere as the group took over large swathes of northern Iraq.
The 36 survivors include men, women and children who were enslaved, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
They reached Dohuk two nights ago where they are being housed in centres established by the UN Population Fund.
There, they are being reunited with family members and offered care including clothing and medical and psychological aid, the UN said.
The women and children are being cared for at dedicated service points and will be referred for more specialised treatment.
The UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said the UN was going to do "everything possible" for the rescued Yazidi.
"What these women and girls have endured is unimaginable,"she said.
For more information visit: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39762790
It feels insufficient to say that children from Syria are suffering from PTSD. The oft-orphaned survivors of a horrible ongoing humanitarian crisis are, likely, experiencing post-traumatic stress, but these children of war have experienced more trauma than the medical professionals who care for them have ever seen.
“We have talked to so many children, and their devastation is above and beyond what even soldiers are able to see in the war,” Hamza, a neuropsychologist with the Syrian-American Medical Society, told ATTN: “They have seen dismantled human beings that used to be their parents, or their siblings. You get out of a family of five or six or 10 or whatever — you get one survivor, two survivors sometimes. A lot of them have physical impairments. Amputations. Severe injuries. And they’ve made it to the refugee camp somehow.”
The emotional and material problems facing Syrian civilians are compounded every day by the crushing poverty and exploitation that Syrians experience at refugee camps.
“I have patients who tell me they were touched inappropriately by their doctors,” Alkhouri said in an address to the conference. “The doctors, because the patients were Syrian, assumed they were ‘whores.’”
“There are girls on the streets of Beirut selling themselves — 8, 9 years old,” he said. “And then you tell their parents: Why don’t you send them to school so they can improve themselves? And they say, ‘They make $50 a day. Can you give me $50 a day?’
“You have millions of children who are devastated,” Hamza, the neuropsychologist, told ATTN: “and you have to ask, ‘Where is this going to lead?’”
One thing is for sure, “It’s going to impact the whole world.”
We appreciate your prayers. The event had an excellent amount of participants, and everyone left feeling refreshed!
In fact, one participant from Syria was saying that simply participating in the event is like a much needed breath of fresh air! They get to come, meet other believers, pray, worship, relax, and fill up with enough spirit to go back to Syria.
Katalyst is still going because they have faith that change is happening, and God is working.
Please continue to pray for all the youth in the Near East, so that God may continue to use them!
Katalyst is a network of youth ministries, who work towards training and equipping youth leaders in this region. The Katalyst team have been working hard in the final preparations for Katalyst Beirut 2017.
Today, at 4pm Lebanon time the pre-Katalyst Beirut training will start with delegates from Iraq, Syria & Jordan. The Lebanese will join on Friday & Saturday. The Katalyst team is excited to have our main speaker focus on "Surprised by God.” There will also be 14 different workshop being presented over the 3-day training. Please specifically pray for:
The war in Syria has lasted for 6 years. We can picture the scenes and retell the stories of that great conflict.
Let us come together, as the Body of Christ, for a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Syria.
Below are four prayer requests that the Lord has put on the hearts of some who work with Syrians. Use these words as a spring board to begin your time before the Lord. After 6 intense years of struggle, the war in Syria has left the nation divided into two groups, those who have remained in country living in survival mode, and those who have fled to various regions all over the world, also struggling to have their basic needs met each day.
Here is an encouraging story from a recent trip to Jordan, where a dramatic move of God among Muslims, particularly with refugees, was documented.
“Many there are disillusioned and broken and just want to know the truth. Now more than ever there is a harvest among Muslims.”
'Hi I’m Daniel and I’m here to tell you about Jesus.'
One afternoon Daniel walked into a white tent with a family of eight people inside. “Hi I’m Daniel and I’m here to tell you about Jesus,” he announced. He wasn’t quite prepared for their reaction. “The family freaked out, they looked at each other and almost turned white. The father was excited, yelling.”
What’s going on? Daniel wondered.
The interpreter explained that the night before Daniel’s visit, the whole family was sitting in their tent having tea together. To their surprise a man in white opened the door to their tent and stood at the entrance. The man was glowing. “Hello, My name is Jesus and I am sending a man tomorrow named Daniel to tell you more about me.” Then he disappeared.
So when Daniel arrived at their doorway and told them his name, they were completely undone. They asked him to tell them more about Jesus and he explained the Gospel. The whole family converted. The father had been a part of the Free Syrian Army. He had known bloodshed. He was a devout Muslim. This man and his family are now planting underground churches in Jordan and are seeing a harvest among Muslims.
Recently the father was dismayed by a large cell phone bill and he asked his 15-year-old daughter about it. “It’s because I’m telling all our relatives in Saudi Arabia about Jesus,” she said.
Source: Tyler Connell, Ekballo Project
Learn more about what the Ekballo Project team is doing and watch videos of what God is doing in the Middle East and with Refugees on the website, ekballoproject.com
Winter rages across the Near East, with snow, rainstorms and freezing temperatures, but despite the cold weather outside, hearts are warmed as they turn to the truth of Jesus. We feel encouraged as we continue to hear stories from our many partners working amongst refugees. As another new year has started, many organizations and churches have risen up to meet the challenge of helping, loving, encouraging and sharing with these destitute ones:
“Razan” is a sweet lady mother of 2 children, that captivated our hearts with her serenity and peace which are exactly the meanings of her name.
Razan was disabled because of a severe MS syndrome and could not go to doctors due to financial lacks.
Being disabled physically and crippled financially is a very hard thing to live with specially if you live in a war situation like in Syria, where swords are widely used to slaughter people, but Razan speaks of another kind of sword with tears in her eyes.
As she was praying that Jesus would heal her so she could take care of her 2 little children, she saw a sword of fire piercing her body from top to bottom and felt a heat that was beyond description and that fire brought life back into her sick body.
Looking at how excited she was telling us her amazing story, we knew that we were led her way by God himself not only to visit and assist her as we thought we were doing, but to witness that in the midst of destruction and hopelessness He is able to raise up heroes of faith and carriers of hope.
This true story was taken from the Triumphant Mercy blog. Check it out here: http://triumphantmercy.wixsite.com/storyforthought/single-post/2017/01/10/Swords-for-blood-and-swords-of-fire
Who we are.
We are ones who want to see God move in the Near East and are praying for the people and cities in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.