This winter, nearly 1.2 million people share Ibrahim’s story. These Iraqi refugees are living in desperate need having fled the violent attacks and unrest of ISIS with only the few possessions they could carry. They now live in crowded apartments and temporary shelters with no employment and no source of income.
With the conflict showing no signs of ending soon and temperatures falling well below freezing, the need for food, winter clothing and other items is essential.
World Renew is providing kerosene lanterns, rental assistance, food packages, blankets and winter clothes to Iraqi refugees of various faith backgrounds over the course of the winter. The food packages contains staples such as rice, oil, sugar, canned meat and tea that are purchased locally and can help a family survive for one month. They are being distributed by a local organization known as Hope, Peace, and Joy (HPJ).
World Renew’s Senior Program Manager, Ken Little, recently visited Northern Iraq to monitor this ministry. “Visiting displaced families was a heart-wrenching experience,” he said. “These are ordinary working families who were forced to flee for their lives because of their religious beliefs or ethnic background. They now have so little and must find a way to survive the harsh winter.”
Ibrahim Sahel and his wife have ended up in a village called Bandawaia. They are living in an abandoned building and are extremely grateful for the support that they have received. On October 23, for example, HPJ distributed 85 food packages, 45 bars of soap, 7 bars of laundry detergent, 12 containers of dish soap, 8 boxes of used shoes, 200 blankets, 200 carpets, and 200 heaters to families in Bandawaia.
“The Christians in the village are the ones who keep us alive,” he said, acknowledging that this assistance has been an answer to his prayers. “Jesus Christ has stood with us every step of the way. I have strong faith in God and his protection.”