We were in shock, we were angry, and we were grieved all at the same time…
The lines on her Yazidi face testified that her 61 years in Sinjar have been hard ones. Two years ago, ISIS attacked her village and her life would never be the same. While wiping away tears she described the ordeal that took away her home, her friends, and 12 members of her family.
“We didn’t own a car so we couldn’t escape quickly enough. ISIS troops surrounded us and separated the men from the women. They put the old people and children together in a third group. Any of the girls over 12 and young women were taken away to a market in Mosul and sold as sex slaves. Some of the girls were my grand daughters, one of them was only 15 years old. I don’t know where they are, if they are alive, I don’t know anything…” she said in a defeated whisper. She was caged, starved, jailed, and beaten. After a full year of continuous violence, she was fortunate enough to escape.
Our team sat before her stunned and humbled by the grief and inner strength of this remarkable woman. She is one of the 4 million refugees and internally displaced people living in squalor in Iraq. All of them carry the burden of similar stories.
The Kurdish government invited us to fast track registration as a charity in Iraq so that we can go to work immediately. I know we are in the right place and that our way of working is a perfect fit for this complex conflict.
We helped the Yazidi grandmother with some simple provisions and prayed for her. We have distributed food, soap and water tanks to a few hundred families. We have done all of this because of your support. We can do much more. There are millions of displaced people who need the compassion we showed to thousands this week.
We are experiencing a conflict and human disaster on a massive scale. We are here now and our response has already impacted many. We have the expertise, the determination, and the faith to get involved on a much deeper level. However, without your partnership, we cannot hope to succeed. You are an essential participant in this new venture.
Meanwhile we won’t leave behind the crucial life saving work we do in Myanmar in order to work here in the Middle East. The only way to engage with this massive crisis is to quickly grow in size, budget, and staff. I am inviting you to be a part of this. Please respond today.
We are willing to accept the risk involved because of a Yazidi grandmother and millions of others like her. They deserve our best and God compels us to do nothing less.