Shocking Need in Iraq For Special Needs Diapers Even For Young People

Why so many? Why is there such a horrific need for adult special needs diapers in Iraq?

One of the reasons for the need is physical injuries suffered during 18 years of continuous war in Iraq.

I have previously I told the story of Intesar (38), a paralyzed mother of two who receives adult diapers from our Diapers for Refugees program. She was paralyzed when hit by crossfire between American troops and Islamic State terrorists.

But cases like hers do not explain the large number of young people born with neurological disorders and other issues the last 10 to 15 years that cause them to need diapers the rest of their lives.

I am beginning to understand the cause and it is not going to go away.

Many of those born with neurological problems have high levels of uranium and thorium in their bodies. Some close to American bases have radiation levels in their teeth 28 times greater than normal. A lot of the ammunition we used in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan was made out of depleted uranium.

“Depleted” sounds safe, but there is no such thing as uranium that is not radioactive. Even the raw ore coming from the ground is radioactive.

But there is a bigger issue. Chemically, uranium causes the same problems that lead does.

Uranium mines are not safe and mining companies take steps to protect workers. Safeguards are mandated by the Federal government. The state of Virginia has the largest reserves of uranium in the nation and will not allow mining because of the dangers.

A mining association report says that uranium ore “…has chemical toxicity similar to lead, so occupational hygiene precautions are taken similar to those in a lead smelter.”

In other words, the uranium can cause the same neurological damage as lead even if it was not radioactive, which it is. Yes, it is a small amount of radiation. The problem is the length of exposure. Children near American bases and in areas where there was heavy combat are showing the signs of neurological damage.

I am not judging the kind of ammunition our military forces use in Iraq or elsewhere. I am no expert on what is effective. All I know is that we need a lot more diapers for special needs children.

In the middle of preparations for the Christmas for Refugees program I can’t work on the special needs’ diapers program … but I promise you I will beginning in January. This problem is not going to go away.

There are many elderly who did not receive proper medical care during the last two decades who now require diapers. There are many middle-age and young who were injured in bombings and shot by the Islamic State. Then there are the younger ones that break my heart because they will never have normal lives.

The suffering of these younger Iraqi Christians is not abstract for me. My wife Nancy and I have been in their homes. We have prayed with them and we have promised them help. I intend, with the help of the Lord, to keep my promise to them.

The Need for Diapers for Refugees

The Diapers for Refugees program we operate in the Nineveh Plain is an essential program that no other organization offers. We are also the only organization furnishing sanitary napkins to women in that area.

The adult diapers, not only for the elderly but for younger people with special needs, can literally change lives. I have mentioned before about being in the homes of some in need of adult diapers, talking and praying with them.

Iraq has literally been in a state of war since 2003. By the official end of the war in 2011, 4,497 American service personnel had died and 26,050 were wounded. Estimates are that more than 600,000 Iraqi civilians have died — and that does not include those murdered by the Islamic State (ISIS). The Christian population of Iraq has been reduced by 83%.

The destruction of hospitals by all sides and the number of doctors who have fled, has caused a drastic rise in the number of children born with severe disabilities. I have visited with some of these children and their families, and prayed for many of them.

Now there is a new crisis on the Nineveh Plain, as Syrian families with elderly parents or special needs children cross over into this area of Iraq. As of now we are reaching only a small percentage of the Syrian Christian refugees who need help.

To expand the diaper program to the Syrian refugees in the Nineveh Plain would cost an additional $5,000 a month. We cannot make that commitment now.            

For now, we must get through 2019. Please pray this month for the success of the diaper program this year.

Program Update

Diapers often increase the overall quality of life for elderly and special needs Christian refugees.

Special needs adult diapers: I received the first request for adult diapers in 2018. Our team had been so centered on the babies and toddlers and their needs that the idea of adult diapers had never been considered.

I did not think there would be a big demand for the adult diapers. I was wrong!

The percentage of older adults with special needs for diapers is far higher than in the United States because of the lack of medical care during war time. Infections that could have been cured caused damage that could never be undone.

Until I talked to some of those receiving the adult diapers, I did not understand how much lives were changed for the better by them. In many cases it is a matter of being able to sleep through the night. There were tears in the eyes of one man who told me how his life was changed by having the diapers. He told me he could sleep on a mattress for the first time in years!

The budget for the adult diapers just keeps growing and we are not even dealing with a large population. We are only supplying the needs of the Christian community on the Nineveh Plain. Our entire operation in Iraq is within 200 square miles. Our ministry partners in Jordan have been asking for assistance with the adult diapers as well. Again, the problems were mostly caused by lack of medical care. In Jordan the medical care was not available because of money. All the Iraqi and Syrian Christians are there illegally as refugees, and are not allowed to work. Most of those have no homes to go back to.

I do not want this ministry in the situation where we are able to do something one time and then never again. Promises should not be made if they that cannot be kept. We have been able to begin a small Diapers for Refugees program in Jordan targeting mostly elderly with special needs. The budget for 2019 is set, but we will try to do more in 2020.

While many Christian refugee families are unable to fully provide for their children, the government and other global organizations do not provide support.

Babies still need diapers: It is just not right to ask a young married couple to not have children because they are refugees through no fault of their own, but that is exactly what the United Nations and USAID expects. The United Nations, USAID and the EU hand out condoms and birth control pills.

If the young families are expected to hold off having children until the society in Iraq and Syria is back to “normal” economically, then they will never have children. It will take Iraq at least 50 years to recover from the 2003 invasion; the uprising against the US occupation and then the war with the Islamic State.

Although it is no longer in the news, there is still fighting going on in Iraq. There are still pockets of the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

Click here to help provide diapers to Christian Refugees in need!

Rayan: The Stories of Those We Support

Rayan xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (36) is a displaced Christian father of a one-year old daughter named Rebeca. He has been displaced from Bartella with his family since 2014 due to ISIS taking over their home, causing them to flee and take refuge in the city of Erbil. Rayan was one of the first people to return back home because of his love for his own village and his grandparents land. When he returned to see if his house was still livable, he was shocked to see the house totally burned into rubble. When asked about his living situation and his job, he smiled and said, “I work as an electrical employee. Some days I get payments, and some days I do not. Most people don’t have enough funds to rebuild their houses. If relatives and neighbors call me to help them in fixing electrical cables in their houses, I will get money on those days. Otherwise, I am still without money and I sometimes can’t feed my family. The wages don’t exceed $8 per day for 8 hours of working, which covers just a part of living costs for my family. We are dependent on your regular distribution of diapers and it greatly helps us as a family in saving some money to put towards our living situation. Actually, my wife was concerned two days ago because we used our last diaper and we do not have money to buy a new sack, but I told her I trust in our Lord that he will send your team to deliver diapers. I would have had to buy diapers instead of rice if there was any delay. Praise the Lord your team came at the same day. It is very encouraging what the Lord is doing to stand alongside us. Unfortunately, we are feeling like strangers in our home village due to the persecution we had faced by ISIS. Now, most of the citizens in Bartella are from Muslim background and many Christian citizens immigrated to foreign countries”.

Intesar: The Stories of Those We Support

Intesar xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (38), is a paralyzed mother of two and is currently among the many displaced Christians from Qaraqosh, this is her story.

“In 2005 I went to clinic at Mosul to receive a treatment …unfortunately, when I finished my visit and was on the way to my home village (Qaraqosh), I was shot by an unknown gunman during confrontations between US military troops and terrorists. This shot has changed me from being a normal woman to a paralyzed woman.” Intesar stops talking for a while as her eyes fill with tears while she describes the crisis that she was  going through. When asked about her living conditions when ISIS occupied Qaraqosh, she replied “we were forced to flee away from Qaraqosh and were displaced from it  in June 2014, at that time we went to Erbil. Then in August 2014 ISIS started to attack Qaraqosh with mortar fire, some people were killed, and then everyone started to escape from there seeking refuge in Erbil. It was so crowded, tragic to see such view. We left everything behind and went to an unknown future, after waiting for so long in the main checkpoint of Erbil. We finally managed to get in the city, at that time we were sleeping in the streets and gardens. It was so hard for us. Now, we rent  a small house because ISIS burned our entire house after collecting our furniture and putting it in the middle of the house to ensure that the fire would increase rapidly and destroy the house totally. They destroyed all our beautiful memories with it. We don’t have adequate money to rebuild our house. My husband is just a daily worker and we lost all our belongings and savings during the war with ISIS. So many of us are fighting just to live. These helpful diapers are one of my much needed items that will help me survive. Your team is doing an affective role in presenting services that the government cannot or does not provide any support for disabled people with their families. You indicate that you do love me through your visit. God bless you all for your faithful loving service to our Lord”.

Yara: The Stories of Those We Support

Follow along for a series of The Stories of Those We Support to get a new perspective of the Diapers for Refugees Program, first-hand from Christian refugees in the Middle East.

Yara xxxxxxxxxxx (14) has been displaced from the city of Qaraqosh with her family since June 2014 when they had to flee and take refuge in the City of Erbil after ISIS occupied their city. Yara has been paralyzed since birth due to damage of her brain cells as a result of a choking incident that occurred when she was born.  Her parents discovered this disease when she was just two months old. Since then, Yara has undergone various stem cell treatments that were unsuccessful. After asking her father what her daily difficulties are, he replied “Actually , one of her worst challenges that she is struggling with is she is unable to depend on herself to use the bathroom or even walk, so we carry her and it is not easy for us because she is grown up and heavy. Also, she cannot speak to express her feelings. Therefore, sometimes we cannot guess what she is going through or what her real need is. We are especially thankful for your willingness to help, please know that we deeply appreciated that you put in effort to cover our expressed needs and may the lord bless all the people who donated these useful supplies abundantly”.

The Stories of Those We Support

      Diapers for Refugees has been committed to serving the Christian victims of radical Islam since 2016. To understand the influence your support has made through this program, please read this story from an 86-year-old man with paralyzed legs who receives adult diapers from our Diapers for Refugees program.

 

Adult diapers allow this paralyzed man to sleep normally at night.

“I love to state my gratitude for your help, I want to ask you to keep providing this kind of help, because I can’t afford the diapers for myself due to my disability and illness. I am aged patient, but with the diapers I can sleep properly in my home with a proper life.

I am satisfied with what God done for me that He made me be able to return back to my hometown when the Daesh (ISIS) were defeated. I believe that God didn’t forget me.

I love my hometown and my church which my father, the village families, and I helped to build Al-Tahera church that’s why I will never leave it; part of my life. I decided to stay here in Qaraqosh till I die.”

      The man, who we will call Matthew, was helped to escape as the Islamic State overran the Nineveh Plain. He was cared for in a camp for displaced persons in Erbil but insisted on returning to his native town of Qaraqosh.

      Many have returned with him to ancestral homes on the Nineveh Plain including young families who now have babies and toddlers. They are returning to looted and destroyed homes.

      This ministry is blessed to have the opportunity to make a very real impact on Christians who have suffered loss and humiliation.

       You see, the Religious Freedom Coalition provides diapers every month, not just to disabled elderly, but directly to 1,080 babies and toddlers of Christian mothers in the Nineveh Plain area of Iraq.

       This note from the mother of four-month-old Jeenil Waad Moses from Bartilla encourages us to work to do even more.

 

More than 1,000 displaced Christian mothers receive diapers for their babies and toddlers.

“I have been recieved diapers for three times, one time monthly… I was not able to buy diapers for my daughter since the day of her birth.

I was very happy once I saw your team members and I felt that God didn’t forget us even though our house is destroyed and we do not even have a bed to sleep on.

Your team visit means a lot for us and make a huge difference in our lives.”

      By supplying these mothers and babies with diapers, we are strengthening their faith in Christ and proving that they can trust in God to provide for their babies’ needs!

        The joy this program provides for these displaced Christian mothers is evident in their smiles. To show your support to this growing program and to do your part to come alongside our brothers and sisters in need, please help by donating today!

Two Million Diapers in 2019

Two million diapers in 2019:  More help is needed for Christian families on the Biblically important Nineveh Plain — not less.

There is no running water in many of the Christian towns on the Nineveh Plain.

 

Two full years after liberation, areas of Qaraqosh still look like this. Note that the power lines actually are not connected to anything.

Their water came from the dam on the Tigris river near the major Iraqi city of Mosul. That was the largest Iraqi city held by the Islamic State and it took more than a year for the Iraqi Army and Shia militias to take the city back from the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State even with nearly constant bombing by The United States and other Western air forces.

The electric power plants were destroyed in the bombing. The water treatment plants were destroyed in the bombing. The water pumping stations were destroyed in the bombings. Most of the power lines came down and the water pipelines were hit as well.

When I was in Iraq this past December, there were still craters in roads. While many of the bridges that were bombed by the Western Coalition to stop Islamic State movements have been rebuilt, there are still some bridges that are down making transporting water difficult.

It gets worse: As I have mentioned previously in newsletters the water from wells on the Nineveh Plain is as salty as the sea. The well water is not drinkable. Cloth diapers cannot be washed in well water as the salt will stay in the diapers and irritate babies, causing diaper rash. The whole purpose of our Diapers for Refugees program is to reduce or stop completely the problem of severe diaper rash that can cause bacterial infections.

During 2018 the need for diapers increased as families moved away from aid centers and tried to move back to their looted homes.

As more families move back to Bartella, Qaraqosh, and other towns on the Nineveh Plain they receive less aid than they could have gotten in the larger city of Erbil.

Keep in mind that every Christian home was looted. The washing machines are gone as are the stoves, air conditioners, furniture and even the clothes and dishes.

Because of the images many Americans have of those living in the Middle East, I have to emphasize over and over again that these Christian families were almost all well educated and middle class.

The Christian families did not live in tents or huts, like the image many have set in their minds. Many of these homes were anywhere from 1,500 to 4,000 sq. ft.  and had tiled floors with full modern baths and kitchens. That is all gone, every bit of it.

I have been in these homes … before and after. I have enjoyed dinner in more than one Christian Arab home in the Middle East. I have met Christian men and women who are doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. Some were millionaires before the invasion.

I have also seen the jihadist writings on the walls of destroyed homes. I have visited the shops and even factories that were owned by Christians that now lie empty or in ruins.

There was a huge metal door and window factory at the entrance to Qaraqosh that now lies in ruins. All of the equipment was stolen and carted off to Turkey.

Currently the biggest industry in Iraq is demolition and the reprocessing of scrap metal and cement. Those are not great paying jobs.

And sadly, I must report that most of the wealthy Christians, those that were millionaires fled to Europe during the occupation by the Islamic State. They don’t plan on coming back. Without the wealthy the rebuilding process will be even slower.

Every dollar counts in a situation like this: This is why the Diapers for Refugees program is so important. Every dollar’s worth of diapers we can furnish to families in need is one more dollar they have to rebuild their shattered lives, one more dollar to help buy dishes or linens or a mattress to sleep on.

These are the reasons I want to keep the Diapers for Refugees program alive in 2019.

One Million Diapers in 2018!

The supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition propelled the Diapers for Refugees project to a record number of Christian families in Iraq and Jordan. In all, over one million diapers were delivered to Christian families in need during 2018.

All of the families helped were in situations where cloth diapers for babies could not be used. All of the families faced economic situations caused by the destruction of there homes in Iraq and Syria by various Islamic jihad fighters, including those from the Islamic State.

While the Islamic State did a great deal of damage and killed tens of thousands, the jihad fighters of other groups including al-Nusra killed and destroyed as well. Al-Nusra is currently known as Jabbat Fetah al-Sham, but the first name it used was al-Qaeda in the Levant.

Yes! This is a branch of the organization that attacked the United States on 9-11. This is the organization founded by Osama bin Laden. It is also the main group fighting to overthrow the secular government of Syria. When the United States armed the “opposition” in Syria, all the funds and missiles wound up in the hands of al-Qaeda.

William Murray in Qaraqosh just after it was liberated in 2016. No civilians had moved back.

Situation no better: I first visited the Christian town of Qaraqosh, Iraq in December 2016 just three months after it was liberated and before one single resident moved back. While I was there I could here the artillery fire from the front lines outside of Mosul, the largest city that the Islamic State occupied.

At the time I led a caravan that took food and water to members of the Christian militia know as the Nineveh Protection Unit. They, along with a Shia Muslim militia, had liberated the town from the hands of the Sunni Muslim jihadists.

I know we are told by our government officials every day that the Sunni Muslims are our allies, but sadly this is a lie. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) were Sunni Muslim, and both at one time or another have been funded by the Sunni Muslim state of Saudi Arabia.

Every terror attack you can think of against Americans including 9-11 and the attacks at Ft. hood, San Bernardino, Orlando and others were all carried out by Sunni Muslims, and every one of the murderous perpetrators had some connections that led back to Saudi Arabia.

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Two million diapers this year

 

The Diaper Ministry:  The Christians of the Nineveh Plain call us the “Diaper Ministry” and often tell our associates in Iraq what a blessing the gift of diapers is.

I first visited the town of Qaraqosh shortly after it was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2016.  The battle for Mosul was still ongoing and the front line was close enough for me to hear artillery fire.  A Shia militia was using the Christian town as a staging area before moving to the front lines to fight along with the Iraqi Army against the Sunni Muslim Islamic State which still held Mosul.

No civilians had returned, and the only Christians present were members of the Nineveh Plain Protection Unit (NPU) which is a Christian militia that fought with the Shia Muslims to liberate the area.  I met some of these Christians when I led a convoy of three trucks and vans to Qaraqosh to take food and water to the NPU, as they had been isolated by the Kurds.

Our convoy was initially blocked by the Kurdish Peshmerga, who are viewed in the United States as the great heroes of Iraq.  In reality, the Kurds were attempting to cut out a piece of Iraq for their own nation and wanted to take most of the Nineveh Plain for that purpose.

The Kurds are not America’s helpers in Iraq; they are helping themselves with American funds and arms.  I wrote a column when I returned to the United States about the Kurds stopping our convey from reaching Qaraqosh.  It was entitled “Iraqi Palace of Mirrors” and was widely published.  It can still be found at WND.COM and other news outlets.
Help Christian Refugee Families Today

Since my first visit, I have returned to Qaraqosh several times most often to watch the delivery of diapers to the families who have moved back.  The real name of the town is Baghdadi.  Baghdadi was the Assyrian name before it was renamed by Muslim Arabs after their expansion out of what is now Saudi Arabia.

This photo of a business looted and burned out in Qaraqosh was taken by me in December 2016. While I was there, a Shia militia drove through town on their way to fight in Mosul, which was held by ISIS.

As far as the Christians who live there are concerned, the name of the town is still Baghdadi.  In June of this year, when I visited Baghdadi I was given a shirt with the ancient name of the town on it.

The entire Nineveh Plain region was Assyrian Christian before the invasion by Muslims.  It pretty much remained Christian despite persecution by Arabs and Kurds — until the American intervention in Iraq.  Since that time, most Christians have been forced out.  There were two million Christians in Iraq when the United States invaded in 2003.  Today there are only about 200,000 Christians left and most of those would escape if they could.

The few Christians who remain need our help.  The Christians of the Nineveh Plain are returning to homes that at best have been looted and at worst completely destroyed.  “The diaper ministry,” as we are called there, brings some sunshine to the bleak existence in the devastated towns of the Nineveh Plain.  There is no cable TV, no high-speed Internet.  There is not even any water pressure.  Worse, the well water is as salty as the sea and drinking water must be trucked in.  What water is available is too valuable to wash clothing with.

The Christians returning to the towns of the Nineveh Plain find few jobs and have the great expense of rebuilding their lives.  Those with babies and toddlers cannot wash cloth diapers because of the water situation.  All power is still only by generators as power lines are not up yet.  The cost of disposable diapers is a real burden but one that keeps infants free of severe diaper rash infections.  Our program removes that burden form these desperate families.

            Our Diapers for Refugees program will distribute 500,000 diapers during September, October and November thanks to the generous gifts of the supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition.  The mothers of each of those children also receive feminine sanitary pads for themselves.

            We don’t stop there.  We also distribute adult diapers for elderly and handicapped who have special needs.  We transferred the funds for the September purchase of high-quality diapers made in Turkey and the diapers have been delivered to our associate ministry’s warehouse in Erbil and to a distribution facility in Qaraqosh (Baghdadi).

We require the official government ID of the infant or toddler to make sure diapers are used by those in need.

           The families are in great need and we work to make sure those in the greatest need are assisted.  We work with pastors and priests of all denominations to obtain lists of those in the church who require diapers.  Although the volunteers work off those lists to help distribute the diapers, we still require the ID of both the parent and the infant to make sure the diapers go to help those most in need.     

            Our commitment to the Diapers for Refugees program in Iraq calls for a December distribution of an additional 500,000 diapers, along with sanitary pads and special needs adult diapers.  We are very close to achieving that goal at the same time we are ramping up for the Christmas programs in five nations including Syria.

            Please pray that whatever funds may still be needed for the Diapers for Refugees program will be raised quickly, allowing us to concentrate on providing Christmas events for thousands of displaced Middle East Christians.  Please pray for the children and their parents, that their lives can reach some kind of peace in the middle of the chaos of the Middle East.

            Our ministry partner in Jordan has called me several times, pleading for the Diapers for Refugees program to help Christians families there.  The small pilot program he envisions would cost only $7,500, but I will not make a commitment until I am sure that every dime needed for the program in Iraq is available.  The commitment in Iraq was made for four distributions in 2018, and that promise must be kept.

            If current price of diapers stays the same we will distribute 500,000 again in December!

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