The following report is from one of our partners in the Middle East regarding a recent trip to Kurdistan:

After three days of evangelism in Turkey we traveled to another area of Kurdistan to prepare the way for the rest of our team – in all there were nine of us from five different countries. Our main purpose in going was to minister to the displaced refugees of Kurdistan by proclaiming the Gospel and distributing food, bibles, and medical supplies.

We visited a group of nominal Christian refugees who were now living in a church building. Many people fled with only the clothes they were wearing. They had lost everything. We met a believer who lost two houses and a business, and yet he is rich in the true sense of the word. He has the Lord Jesus.

As we went around we met many interesting people that we could minister to, hand out bibles and challenge, especially the nominal Christians, with the Gospel.

We met a young man from Bartilla near Nineveh. His family escaped from ISIS a day before they entered into the city. Some people had escaped even an hour before the darkness fell. He said that before he was too busy and had no time to think about spiritual things, but now he sees the importance of it. He is beginning to see that God is in control of all things, even the situation they found themselves in.

Another man who was being forced to confess Islam, refused and managed to escape to Erbil with his family. We met him at an unused mall that was turned into a refugee center, and the priest running the center gave us permission to hand out New Testaments and literature.

Many of the Christian refugees are from Qarakosh and if you would have gone there to preach the Gospel it would have been a miracle if you would have escaped alive. They fled with nothing and were very happy to receive the bibles and talk with us about the Word.

One day we traveled to another place and distributed hundreds of New Testaments and blankets in a refugee center. I was able to preach in public there for a short time. After our distribution of books and blankets someone complained about us to the Imam of the Mosque who contacted the authorities. One believer told us that muslims will give them problems as a result, but he was so glad that we came with the Gospel. He said that this was the first time in six years that anyone has done evangelism in his town. He seemed to be very encouraged to continue on in the faith. The problem is that very few give the Gospel – they just give material aid only. In the same place we got to preach to some nominal Christians and hand out blankets and New Testaments, and these people were very happy to see us.

One of the local believers in this town who helped us was an Iranian believer. The Lord saved him out of Islam three years ago by reading the New Testament. He escaped persecution into Iraq. Since then he has been to several countries including Iran. Six months ago he was caught in Iran with ten Bibles. He was arrested and interrogated. He was afraid of what they would do to him but the Lord intervened: the police became unable to speak to him. They could only grunt and motioned to him to leave! It was so encouraging to meet this dear man.

We then traveled to the North to distribute blankets and New Testaments to the Yazidis. We went to distribute New Testaments and children’s books and blankets to Yazidi refugees. One of the leaders of the Yazidis was a man who had been hiding on Sinjar mountain for fifteen days, four days without food. We could have never gone to them because they live in a dangerous part of Iraq, but they were now in a place where we could reach and evangelize them. The authorities turned up as we were distributing the bibles and took them from the Yazidis, but they returned the bibles to our van, and the Yazidis took them back once the authorities left.

During our trip, we distributed around 7,000 New Testaments and also many children’s books and audio players. We were also able to help many children with heart defects get connected to an organization that brings sick children to Israel for free treatment.

Our trip was cut short because of the riots and constant tear gas firing at the demonstrators over the various different conflicts. We managed to distribute New Testaments in Kurdish, Turkish, and Arabic and evangelize to many.

It was a great trip and a great blessing. Thanks for your prayers and support.