I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m a middle-aged government office worker who, until recently, had little exposure to the Middle East beyond pita bread and Indiana Jones movies.
But now, I have an amazing opportunity to interview Christian families who have been impacted by persecution.
How did I get to this place?
Give me two paragraphs to tell you about this extraordinary year. First, I was invited by the Jordanian Tourism Board as one of 12 Christian writers to tour their country to see first-hand their tremendous Christian heritage . While I was there I met workers who were ministering to refugees, faithful worshipers in small churches, and Muslims who spoke glowingly of the Christian influence in their country. It rocked my world.
When I came home, I met a family split over the conversion of their daughter to Islam. Then I stumbled into a large, local community of Christian Ethiopians who feel the world has abandoned them. I’ve recently met with a group that that has sent 1 million Arabic bibles to the Middle East and has helped plant one Arabic speaking church in the US every single week this year. And last month, I met with a priest who is trying to bring 600 Iraqi Christian families into safety.
The headlines are full of news, much of it playing into the fear factor. ISIS, the Syrian war, the persecution of believers and a refugee crisis. We wring our hands and ask our hearts, “God, what should we do?”
Refuges need help to tell their story
Suddenly, I have been immersed into a world that is at the epicenter of politics, humanity and God. And I realize that this entire year has been in preparation for this moment. Will I step up to the plate? Will I use the words, knowledge and passion to tell His side of the story?
Later this month, I’ll be headed to Jordan. I’ll meet with senior Jordanian officials to get their side of the refugee crisis. And then, thanks to some amazing saints on the ground, I’ll interview many Iraqi Christians who are refugees who want the world to hear their stories of persecution , faith, and hope.
This story needs to be told. I can’t get a straight answer out of the news. I can shout down evil, but what good does it do? I tried to sort it out here, but there is still a hole. The stories are begging to be told, they just need a scribe to put their voice to words.
“How can I help?
I’ve been in your shoes, watching someone go and do something wishing there was a way to help. I honestly don’t want to ask for help, after all there is my pride. This American individualism promotes the “go-at-it-alone” mentality, but that short-circuits the love and concern of friends and family.
I need prayer. Technically, I’m going alone, but with plenty of support and friends here and there. Still, I am going to be praying for safety for myself, peace on my family, and vision for those around me. You can join me.
I need money. I’ve set up a GoFundMe page for those who want to dive in and help. I want to make a significant monetary contribution to the direct efforts helping these Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
You can contribute here: Persecution Stories
I will visit about 100 Christian families directly impacted by persecution and they will have needs. There won’t be any U.N. authority or Aid Agency handling the money. It will be friends, who work with these people every day, helping direct funds to meet refugee medical care, paperwork issues, and basic needs.
My personal costs for transportation, lodging, and translation services will be about $1400.
So, will you join me on this crazy journey? Thank you.
I’ll be writing in this space every day of the journey. Please subscribe here so you don’t miss a moment. I covet your prayers.