Pictured above is the 5th grade of Saint Joseph school in Qaraqosh, Iraq. For much of their lives these children have been living in displacement. Five years ago they had to flee when IS took over their city, and their school was used by IS as an army base. Recently the children have been able to return to their city, and with your support the former IS ‘army base’ was transformed back into its original purpose: a school.
Because of you, the 5th grade can dream again. We asked them to share their dreams for Qaraqosh.
MALAK’S DREAM: SAFETY
Malak (11) expects God to take care of her. Her favorite Bible story is the feeding of the multitude; it reminds her how God takes care of her daily bread. She dreams that her city will always be safe.
“On the left side I drew our town with IS. I used dark colors, because it was a very unsafe situation. On the right side I drew my city as I like to see it: safe and colorful. Safety makes me happy.”
MARSEL’S DREAM: THE CROSS
Marsel (12) dreams of a city in which people help and love each other, a city in which he can play on the street with his friends.
According to Marsel, this can only be achieved with the help of Jesus, that is why he drew the big cross at the entrance to the city. “Jesus rose from the dead to deliver us from sin. Only the cross can deliver us from evil.”
ANMAR’S DREAM: MODERN CITY
Anmar (10) is also a fan of the resurrection story: “Before Jesus died, people didn’t believe He was the saviour, but when He rose from the dead, many people became believers.”
He would like to see his city be rebuilt, to become nice and modern. He hopes there will be malls, amusement parks and, most importantly, a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant!
BASMA’S DREAM: COLLABORATE
Basma (11) drew the map of Iraq with a palm branch, the symbol of peace. “My dream is that we have peace in our country, and we collaborate.”
Another dream of Basma is to see all of you! “I hope that many people from all over the world will come to visit our city.”
YOUSIF’S DREAM: NO FEAR
Yousif (11) hopes that IS will never return to his city. Through his favorite Bible story, the storm on the lake, Jesus tells him to trust in God: “When the storm comes, Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid.”
He drew a cartoon pencil to color his city. He likes his city to have lots of parks and other places to play with his friends.
MAJID’S DREAM: EDUCATION
Majid (11) drew a library. He wants his town to be educated. He also included a Lego factory because Majid, an eager learner himself, dreams of becoming an engineer.
The Bible taught him to be patient and strong. He wants to be like Jesus in the story of the temptation in the desert, where Jesus fought all temptations and achieved victory over evil.
MARY’S DREAM: PEACE
Mary (11) loves the story of Jesus’ resurrection: “It proves that He loves us.” She dreams that people in Qaraqosh will live together in love, and that there will be peace.
She made a drawing with a lot of text referring to that dream. She also drew a family having a picnic. “They can do that, because there is peace.”
Many houses, schools and churches destroyed by IS have already been renovated or rebuilt with your support. Advocacy projects have started, and our trauma care projects are in full swing.
But the work isn’t done yet. With your continued support you can play a part in making the dreams of these children, and children like them, come true.
- Thank God that some Christian schools, like the Saint Joseph Elementary School, have reopened in the Nineveh Plains. Pray for the students, that they will receive proper academic and spiritual education, so that they can grow up to be strong witnesses of Christ in their nation.
- The city of Mosul remains unsafe for Christians to return to. Please pray that the situation will improve, so that there will once again be a church in Mosul.
- Even though they have decided to stay in Iraq, believers are still struggling to go back to normal life. There is no guarantee for safety, there are few jobs available, and social infrastructure is very poor. Pray that God will grant them peace in their hearts, and trust in Him for their every need.
- Youths, in particular, have been affected by the crisis. The years of displacement have left a large gap in their education, many of their friends have left the country, and they cannot find a job. Pray that the church is able to help the youths to hope in Christ.
- Pray for the leaders of the country, that they will seek to do what is good for the people, and not for themselves. Pray also that Jesus will reveal Himself to them, so that they will come to know Him as Lord and Saviour.
Will you help shine the light of Christ into the darkest places this Christmas?
Your gifts and prayers can bring hope to vulnerable families devastated by persecution.