My family and I are home from our short adventure into northern Iraq, and I just wanted to take a moment and write very briefly about the journey. There is no way that I can write everything that took place, and I have no intention to. This will be bullet point thoughts. We will enjoy sharing though as we get asked along the way…In addition, rather than writing about the things we were able to do and affect change it will be more profitable to write about the affect Iraq has had on our family.
Now that we are home our time in Iraq now becomes a memory. A spot in our minds that become a home for a world that is not our own…this spot in my mind though is real life for people, daily. People that have either lost everything or have chosen to lose everything for the sake of another. We have met families, individuals that have been traumatized by terror. And we have met incredible people that have come to help the hurt. We were questioned by some why we would take our family over at all, never mind just one week…
How is it possible that a newlywed Chinese couple chooses to leave home knowing entirely that they may never go back? They are at complete peace building a new life, and living alongside a foreign nation starting a school for children teaching English and the Gospel.
How does a single American doctor (who could be enjoying retirement) that has worked side by side previous presidents, taught in universities, and published numerous books, choose to adopt numerous children and live in the middle of devastation in hopes to bring restoration? Lovingly building a safe house that will provide a life for women who have escaped slavery and have no families to go home to.
Or a young Colorado family of 8 who resolved 2 years ago to put their lives in the hands of God, and continue to stay amongst imminent travesty helping those who never had the option of leaving. Choosing to call Iraq home, teaching God to the nations, and providing necessities of life to the desolate. People choosing to not just provide food clothing and shelter, but living Gods heart.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
What is being blessed, truly?
We cannot think that our blessings allow us not to be burdened for the lost. That our ignorance is an excuse for complacency. It is a blessing to see the purity of the gospel. A gospel that relies on nothing other than believing in Jesus and His spoken word. A gospel that does not rely on a program, salary or comfort. The true blessing is getting the opportunity to see Jesus’ love change people in a moment.
A gospel that works everywhere…
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
It is a blessing to be able to worship in a sewing room with women that have been entirely violated by war. Women that have had entire families killed and taken from them. Women that have terror babies living inside them. Worshipping with them, and seeing joy, hope and comfort break out.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
It is a blessing to spend time walking the hills that Abraham walked with a converted Muslim man in hiding (from his family), and to visibly see the heavy presence of God fall upon his hungry life in a moment. Entirely filled up and excited for the future.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
It is a blessing to hear from a young man using the Lord’s discernment to leave their home within hours to save his family’s life. They have been heavily persecuted, but the kingdom is available to them. Discernment is just a part of the available kingdom.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
It is a blessing to be able to join with other people that come together from across the planet and yet be in complete unity because of a truth in our hearts. Brothers and sisters that long to make peace.
Where do we fit? What does anyone benefit by my life? Your life?
If you believe in the one person Jesus Christ who was able to change the world then the view you have on your life will begin to have infinite worth. Because He is in you. The final solution does not come from money or anything the world would suggest. The final solution comes from a person that laid down His life for humanity and He requires humanity to do the same for each other. People are dying, but as long as we breathe there will always be the free gift of life. He’s just looking for surrendered labourers. People sent with a message of love and hope. He will leverage the seed and cause the growth. If we believe in Jesus then we ought to believe what He said. Don’t just plug ourselves into the incredible promises, plug yourself into the cross.
There has been severe persecution and unrest in the Middle East. It is still carrying on. But there is a greater openness to the kingdom, and it will lead to an incredible harvest.
We have a harvest field here in the west as well. Embrace the challenge. It is not just in the Middle East that people are dying, and need to know Jesus’ love, and the freedom He guarantees.
Contributing Author: Christie Polson
Christie is a Wife, a Mother of three children, a Entrepreneur and a Business Owner. In March 2017, Christie and her family traveled with BTJ on a vision trip to Iraq to see first-hand the projects that BTJ is involved in.
If you would like to join BTJ on a trip to Iraq, to help those that have been hurt and to better share the situation with your church, please do not hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org