Our most recent trip to Iraq came during the period of high tension between the USA and Iran. Iranian General Qassem Soleimani had just been killed by a US drone strike. In response, Iran fired missiles at US targets inside Iraq. A week before our team was scheduled to fly into Iraq, one of these Iranian missiles landed inside the grounds of the airport where we were scheduled to land. Although the missile didn’t explode, many who had signed on for the trip were understandably concerned at the prospect of traveling into a potential war zone. In the end, one hardy soul made the trip with us. Despite a small team, and with the need to carry in supplies and meet with workers, we went ahead with the trip as planned. It is good we did.
Our 4 days in Iraq were uneventful (as far as any threat to our team). Nevertheless, we had an amazing time connecting with the BTJ workers and seeing what God is doing in Iraq! We had the privilege of visiting both of the businesses that are supporting them while in the country. It was wonderful to see how these businesses are continuing and growing!
Spending time with our good friend Barbara White at the Dream Center (learn more at ) was another highlight of the trip. We were also able to connect with the organizer of the Baby Fufu project where refugees are able to support themselves by crocheting the prayer bears we provide in our store. You can learn more here: or go online and purchase a bear from our store. Not only will your purchase be a reminder to pray for BTJ workers and refugees in Iraq, but you will also be actively helping a refugee support her family!
The most incredible part of the whole trip was when we received a phone call and were asked to go to a local gas station to meet with two Iraqis who wanted to be baptized! “How will we know who they are?” we asked and were just told, “Go, they will know who you are!” We rushed right over to the gas station where we were to meet. After waiting for some time, a car pulled up. As it turned out, there were three people wanting to be baptized in a safe and secret location so as not to raise any awareness of what they were doing. For us, baptism is a public display to all our friends and family. To them, it is a desire to follow Christ fully, which needs to be hidden from their family and friends to avoid being beaten or possibly killed.
After sharing briefly with them and listening to their testimonies, we baptized the three of them. What an amazing testimony followed as they shared how during baptism they felt as if they were going down under, even dying, then as they came up from the water, they saw light and a new life. One even said they thought we had turned out all the lights and wondered why we had done that. Please pray for these new believers that they can remain strong and be a light to those around them.
Step out of your comfort zone and see what Back To Jerusalem can do for you!!!
Every year we try to host two tours to give our supporters and prayer partners an opportunity to go “into the field.” This is an awesome time to see firsthand some of the areas where we serve and where prayers are needed, along with meeting the locals and experiencing their way of life.
Upcoming tours are set for the following times:
August 31 – September 9, 2020: Vietnam and Cambodia
January 9-16, 2021: Iraq
Here are just a few stories from some of our team members as we traveled together for 5 days within the proclaimed “Happiest Country in the World,” Bhutan
From J&D (Beautiful couple from Oregon)
“Going to Bhutan with BTJ was an unforgettable experience for my wife and me. Our small group hailed from at least 3 different countries and we were all complete strangers on day one. As the adventure unfolded, we quickly began to enjoy the mutual blessings of fellowship. These bonds were enhanced by the unique experiences we were all enjoying together. One of my favorite memories was the authentic hospitality shown us by our host in his home village. We ate the local food and listened to the stories of triumph and persecution from the local believers. We marveled at the craftsmanship of the host’s elderly father as he showed us the village home he built for his family. This was the family headquarters where their generations were born and farmed the surrounding hillsides. From this heritage, our host was prepared for a life that would eventually lead to a harvest of many souls. We were sitting among the very people who were the visible fruit of this work. On our return from the village, we enjoyed the beauty of Bhutan’s rivers, mountains, and valleys while we listened to our host tell of his experiences in ministry. On one occasion, he said, the Lord was building his faith. He had spent his last dollar and consumed all the bread when suddenly there was a knock on the door. He was shocked that his visitor in the night was a 5-year-old girl! She handed him an envelope and disappeared into the darkness. The contents of the envelope provided his family several more months of provision in his mission of faith.”
From Ruth (Faithful prayer partner from the UK)
“I would highly recommend any tour with Back to Jerusalem for an exciting faith-building experience! I had the blessed experience of going to Bhutan with them and having fellowship with the believers there. What a privilege to walk into a modern-day Acts church! The tour of the land was varied and stimulating too. Don’t hesitate — sign up now!”
For more information or to sign up Please Contact:
Belinda at firstname.lastname@example.org