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!

Help Christian Refugee Families

The expanded diaper program in Iraq

Goal of doubling the program in 2018 surpassed by big numbers:  

Each mother received two packages of diapers per child and three packages of sanitary napkins. A small bag of baby clothing supplied by a German ministry was also picked up at the same time.

The number of dollars for diapers has not yet doubled for 2018, but the number of diapers is fast approaching four times the number we distributed last year.

What happened and why I waited to say anything:  There were two ways to expand the number of diapers distributed to displaced Christian families in Iraq — increase the amount of money spent on diapers or reduce the cost of the diapers.  We did both.

Our partner ministry in Iraq was buying the diapers at a cost of about 11 cents each from a wholesale house in Dohuc, Iraq.  The diapers are name brand and made in Turkey.  As we were able to increase the funding for diapers, the Lord responded with a bread and fish miracle right out of Matthew 14:13-21 … Instead of buying the diapers wholesale in Iraq, we were suddenly allowed to buy them direct from the manufacturer in Turkey.  Praise God!

The result of direct importation reduced the cost of the diapers to less than four cents each!  These are the same name brand, the same high quality, and still packaged just as a family would buy them in a store.

Rather than an $11 donation buying 100 diapers, that same $11 donation now buys nearly 300 diapers! Currencies across borders can vary wildly and this may not be the exact amount for our next purchase in September.  But nearly 2,000 babies and toddlers will receive diapers for June, July and August!  The program is expanding down as far as Mosul, the city that was ravaged in the last major stand of the Islamic State.

Please help Christian refugee families

The need in devastated Qaraqosh:  There are more than 1,600 babies and toddlers just in Qaraqosh, a destroyed Christian town that residents are trying to reclaim.  There is still no drinkable water to the homes here.  The well water is as salty as the ocean and diapers cannot be washed in it because a heavy solution of sodium will severely irritate a baby’s skin.

When I was in Qaraqosh in June of 2017 not even 1,600 people in total had moved back.  Now, over 21,000 Christians have returned of the 50,000 who were driven out.  Many others want to return but more than half the homes are beyond repair.  Some families are moving into homes that are not structurally safe and still smell of fire because they have nowhere else to go.  Some of those mothers were pregnant when they fled ISIS and had their babies while in IDP camps in Erbil.

Just in Qaraqosh we are supplying diapers to 437 toddlers born in 2016; 572 babies born in 2017; and 396 born so far in 2018. Of course, some of those born in 2016 already have, or will soon drop off our list as they are potty trained.

We distribute diapers in six sizes from newborn to toddler. Parents register through their church and present their ID and the ID of the baby. Diapers are distributed according to the age of the child.

In June of last year, there were only two stores open in Qaraqosh and neither had electric power while I was there.  We distributed the diapers from the shell of a building with no door or windows.  This year, the distribution was made from a new building constructed by our ministry partner with the help of volunteers and funding from ministries such as ours.

Well water is filtered at the location of this new ministry center, so families can bring large bottles and fill them up with water after the sodium is removed.  A German ministry furnished the expensive pumps and filter system which were far beyond the capacity of the Religious Freedom Coalition.

Instead of standing in the 100 plus degree heat, as the mothers did last year, they were in line in an air-conditioned building.  Dozens of stores are now open in Qaraqosh, but real jobs are few and many of the men must commute for hours to find work.  Without the help of ministries such as ours and our partners in Iraq, resettling Qaraqosh would not be possible.

These diapers are extremely valuable to the Christian families who have returned to Qaraqosh.  It may be another full year before normal power and water are restored because the entire Nineveh Plain area infrastructure was bombed and destroyed in the battle against the Islamic State.  This year, we expect a record turn out of children for our Christmas for Refugees program in Qaraqosh.

There are still many thousands of Christian families who cannot return to their destroyed homes — not only in Qaraqosh, but in Bartella and other Christian towns.  Those families are still in IDP camps in places such as Dohuc and Erbil.  I attended additional diaper distributions in an IDP camp in Erbil located, of all places, on the empty floors of an office building downtown.  I also traveled to Karemlesh, one of the smaller Christian towns not mentioned in media reports. Diapers were distributed there, as well as to a small area of Mosul.

The entire three months’ supply of diapers is not given to the mothers all at one time.  We hold the diapers in storage and they receive two packages per child each month for three months.

During the war, in the areas occupied by the Islamic State, the U.S. led coalition including the U.K. and France bombed out every bridge, every power station, and all pipelines in order to starve out the terrorists.  The cost to rebuild will run into the billions of dollars and none of the nations that did the bombing are coming forward to pick up the reconstruction bill. Different ministries are supplying different needs.  Samaritan’s Purse is helping to make some homes livable again.  Open Doors and others supply much needed food items.

Each ministry fills a void.  The Christians of Qaraqosh and other towns simply call us “the diaper ministry.”  We fill a void that no other ministry is addressing.  At the same time, our partner ministry reinforces the Gospel of hope through our Lord.  Please pray for the Christian families of the Nineveh Plain.  Pray that their suffering will end and some normality return.

Please help Christian refugee families

Diaper Program Expanded!

More Christian refugees to be helped:  I arrived in the Middle East on June 14th at the end of Ramadan. I do not travel to majority Islamic nations during the Islamic “holy month” of Ramadan because in most places I could be jailed just for drinking water during the day.

            Jordan, under the current King is not as strict, but restaurants are still closed during the day. In Iraq – the nation that the United States brought democracy to – an individual can be jailed for up to six months for eating or drinking anything (even water) during the day. Regardless of work, even outside in 100-degree weather, drinking water is not allowed.

            I have been in northern Iraq since the 19th to observe our expanded Diapers for Refugees program. Since we are doubling the number of diapers and feminine products delivered to displaced Christians this year, it is important to make sure the facilities and personnel are sufficient to carry out the program.

            The first month of the Diapers for Refugees program in March of 2016, the Religious Freedom Coalition distributed 160,000 diapers at a cost of $18,000. This was a sufficient supply for 300 infants and toddlers for 3 months. We purchase in large quantities every three months to obtain the best bulk price available.

            In June of this year we transferred more than $35,000, or nearly double the original shipment cost in 2016, but not all of that was for diapers.

266,500 diapers for $29,750 – 9,000 feminine pads for $2,230 and 6,200 adult diapers for $3,720

            I am praying that the actual diaper count will be at 32,000 in September which would be double our distribution in September of last year.

            The Amazon problem: To accomplish this we must make up for the funding we would have received from supporters making purchases at Amazon. I have added a new support category below for those who would like to specifically donate to replace the lost funding from Amazon’s decision that the Religious Freedom Coalition is a “hate group” which they refuse to allow their customers to donate to.

            Please continue to pray for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. Also, please pray that the Congress finally passes a version of HR-390 that actually helps persecuted Christians in the Middle East. I also ask your prayers for the success of the mission I am on in Iraq this month.

                                              William J. Murray, Chairman

Doubling the Diaper Program in Iraq

Doubling the Diaper Program in Iraq:  Our recent poll of supporters currently gives the Diapers for Refugees program first place among our programs, but it is still number two overall.  Most of those responding to the January poll so far have told me to “Do it all / Whichever you think is best” which includes Diapers for Refugees, Christmas for Refugees, the Nigeria Easter program and our advocacy programs on Capitol Hill.

That is a tall order.  The current isolated status of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq where our mission on the Nineveh Plain is located makes the tall order even more complicated.

This year, I want more than anything to double our diaper program in Iraq.  In December 2017 we managed to increase the program more than 10%, even though the cost of the diapers increased. The December diaper program in Iraq cost $22,000 rather than the $18,000 cost in each previous quarter.  In the quarter ending in December, we delivered 180,000 diapers.

In March we were able to increase the amount to 220,000 diapers at a cost of $24,950, bring us almost 40% towards doubling the program this year!  Sanitary pads for 250 mothers will cost $230 and special needs diapers for 60 older people will cost $720.  The grand total for March was $25,900.

However, this significant increase was only made possible by one very generous supporter whom the Lord has blessed who donated $8,000 toward the March diaper delivery. I am worried we may not be able to maintain this growth for the June diaper delivery.

Please pray that once again we will meet our goal in June of expanding the diaper program.  The need is so great for these refugee families!

Help DOUBLE the Diaper Program in 2018

June Diaper Delivery Updates

Mothers and children waiting in line for diapers.

We are currently in our second diaper distribution of the year! Our ministry partners in Iraq are continuing to roll out diapers from our first distribution. This month already, five more Christian refugee camps received diaper and sanitary pads.

On June 16, 90 families received 2 packs of diapers per child, totaling 180 diaper packs distributed. At this camp, 192 packs of female sanitary pads were delivered along with 12 packs of adult diapers. Later that day in another camp, 220 children each received two packs of diapers. 28 feminine sanitary pads were delivered as were 72 packs of adult diapers.

On June 16 in another area of Iraq, 55 Christian families in a refugee camp received two packs of diapers, totaling 110 packs. 104 packs of women’s sanitary pads were delivered along with 24 packs of adult diapers.

The next day, June 17, 660 packs of diapers were distributed to 330 children. 672 feminine sanitary pad packs were delivered and distributed and 24 packs of adult diapers were distributed as well.

On June 18, 130 families received diapers for their children. Those in need of adult diapers received two packs each, totaling 12 packs. At this camp, 130 families received food packages, that contained 16 food items, and hygiene packages that contained 16 cleaning items.

Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help

The Diapers for Refugees program is currently delivering 160,000 high quality disposable diapers to Christian families in northern Iraq every three months. The cost of a single shipment of diapers is $18,000. This cost has remained stable since the start of the program in 2016. The cost per diaper is only 11 cents each.

Please help us as we strive to reach out goal of 640,000 diapers delivered to Christian families in need in 2017.

Diapers for Refugees Continues to Help Christian Refugees in Iraq

March kicked off the 2017 Diapers for Refugees delivery program in Iraq. Our ministry partners in Iraq are continuing to roll out diapers from our first distribution. In May, four more Christian refugee camps received diaper and sanitary pads.

On May 1, 75 families received 2 packs of diapers, totaling 150 diaper packs distributed. Later that day in another camp, 50 families each received two packs of diapers, totaling 100 packs delivered.

On May 4, 68 Christian families in a refugee camp received two packs of diapers. The largest distribution happened on May 13, when 430 packs of diapers were distributed to 215 Christian refugee families. At this camp, we were also able to provide 400 packs of sanitary pads to the women of the camp. Each woman received two packs each.

Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help

The Diapers for Refugees program is currently delivering 160,000 high quality disposable diapers to Christian families in northern Iraq every three months. The cost of a single shipment of diapers is $18,000. This cost has remained stable since the start of the program in 2016. The cost per diaper is only 11 cents each.

Please help us as we strive to reach out goal of 640,000 diapers delivered to Christian families in need in 2017.

Diapers for Refugees Continues to Help Christian Refugees in Iraq

March kicked off the 2017 Diapers for Refugees delivery program in Iraq. Our ministry partners in Iraq are continuing to roll out diapers from our first distribution. In May, four more Christian refugee camps received diaper and sanitary pads.

On May 1, 75 families received 2 packs of diapers, totaling 150 diaper packs distributed. Later that day in another camp, 50 families each received two packs of diapers, totaling 100 packs delivered.

On May 4, 68 Christian families in a refugee camp received two packs of diapers. The largest distribution happened on May 13, when 430 packs of diapers were distributed to 215 Christian refugee families. At this camp, we were also able to provide 400 packs of sanitary pads to the women of the camp. Each woman received two packs each.

[su_button url=”https://diapersforrefugees.org/helping-christian-refugees/”]Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help[/su_button]

The Diapers for Refugees program is currently delivering 160,000 high quality disposable diapers to Christian families in northern Iraq every three months. The cost of a single shipment of diapers is $18,000. This cost has remained stable since the start of the program in 2016. The cost per diaper is only 11 cents each.

Please help us as we strive to reach out goal of 640,000 diapers delivered to Christian families in need in 2017.

With Genocide, Words Are Not Enough

Last year, former Secretary of State Kerry declared that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities, however the Administration fell short on necessary follow through. Today, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on global human rights, urged the new Trump Administration to step in and close the gap created by its predecessor.

Even after acknowledging the genocide, the previous Administration refused to support criminal investigations of perpetrators,” said Smith, author of the bipartisan Iraq and Syria Emergency Genocide Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390).Staff from non-governmental organizations are risking their lives to conduct these investigations. Without our help, evidence that can be used in trials will be lost. Proving these perpetrators are criminals—murderers, child abusers, rapists, slavers, drug dealers and more—will support our efforts to combat support for terrorist groups like ISIS.”

Smith, along with Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), today sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, requesting an update on actions the U.S. has taken to investigate and hold accountable perpetrators, urging the U.S. to take the lead on related efforts at the U.N. and emphasizing the need to seek justice for all the victims, including Christians. Click Here to Read the Letter.

President Trump personally committed his Administration to confronting the genocide that ISIS has been committing against Christians and other religious minorities,” said Smith. “Only a few months ago, I met with Christian survivors in Iraq and saw that aid and action is needed, and needed right now. For the previous three years, the United States had abandoned these and the other survivors from religious and ethnic minorities. H.R. 390 is a blueprint for making sure these genocide victims finally get aid from the U.S. and perpetrators are punished.”

At the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump stated “We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians…All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to confront it.”

Smith’s legislation, co-led by Eshoo, will direct the U.S. government to:

  • Identify threats of persecution and other early warning indicators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes against Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minorities that ISIS targeted for these crimes, or against other religious or ethnic minorities that are persecuted.
  • Provide humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance to these communities, through entities that are effectively assisting them, including faith-based entities.
  • Support criminal investigations of perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes in Iraq, specifically ones collecting evidence that can be used in criminal trials.
  • Review U.S. relevant law and recommend how to close statutory gaps in being able to prosecute in the U.S. American citizens, or foreign nationals who come to the U.S., who have committed these crimes abroad.

The legislation is supported by more than 20 groups, including the Knights of Columbus, Family Research Council, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (Southern Baptist Convention), 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, In Defense of Christians, ADF International, Baylor University, Open Doors, Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Business Alliance, A Demand for Action, Yezidi Human Rights Organization International, Religious Freedom Institute, Center for Religious Freedom (Hudson Institute), Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Community of Sant’Egidio, International Christian Concern and the Religious Freedom Coalition.

It is also supported by all the former US Ambassadors-at Large for War Crimes, David Scheffer (1997-2001), Pierre Prosper (2001-2005), Clint Williamson (2006-2009) and Stephen Rapp (2009-2015), as well as the Founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, David Crane; Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea; and the author of Defying ISIS, Rev. Johnnie Moore.

Smith added, “Any legitimate effort to prosecute ISIS for genocide must follow the evidence and include crimes against Christian victims. I urge the Administration to ensure that international prosecution initiatives recognize the genocide against Christians and thereby ensure justice for all victims.”

Smith has held nine related Congressional hearings since 2013 and last December led a mission to Erbil (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) at the invitation of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, to see first-hand the plight of the 70,000 Christians – almost 1/3 of Christians remaining in Iraq – who escaped ISIS and have been sustained by the Archdiocese of Erbil with support from organizations like the Knights of Columbus and without any support so far from the U.S..

[su_button url=”https://www.faxcongress.com/Stop-Genocide-of-Christians-Now-MTE3NQ%3D%3D.html/”]Sign here to stop the genocide of Christians now![/su_button]

Iraq 101: Christians and Other Religious Minorities

The latest in Clarion’s series explaining the situation in Iraq. This time a look at the religious groupings with a focus on the Christians.

The Diapers for Refugees program is preparing for the first diaper delivery of 2017 in March. The aim of the Diapers for Refugees program is to provide 160,000 disposable diapers every three months to displaced Christian families living in refugee camps.

These families have little-to-no access to soap and warm water to clean cloth diapers. Because of this, diseases spread quickly and families across these camps are dying from diaper rash and they need our help.

To find out more about the Diapers for Refugees program, click here.

Gearing Up For Our First Delivery of 2017

The Diapers for Refugees program is preparing for the first diaper delivery of 2017 in March. The aim of the Diapers for Refugees program is to provide 160,000 disposable diapers every three months to displaced Christian families living in refugee camps.

These families have little-to-no access to soap and warm water to clean cloth diapers. Because of this, diseases spread quickly and families across these camps are dying from diaper rash and they need our help.

Diaper shipments are distributed by large truckloads to refugee camps across northern Iraq. The cost of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000- $20,000, roughly, 11 cents per diaper. Each shipment helps over 300 Christian refugee families in Iraq.

In 2017, with your help, the Diapers for Refugee program plans to delivers 640,000 diapers to our Christian brothers and sisters suffering in the Middle East.

Until March, any donation made to the Diapers for Refugees program will receive a Nazerene pin as a free gift.

On this pin is the Arabic letter pronounced “nun,” and it is this letter that the genocidal Muslims of the Islamic State (ISIL) use to mark Christian homes, businesses, and properties for destruction or confiscation  – much like the Nazis used a yellow Star of David to mark the Jews.

“Nun” is the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of the letter N in our Roman alphabet), and is the first letter of the word Nasara (Nazarenes), which is what Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the seventh century. Christians under Muslim rule have never called themselves Nasara, since the intent of Muslims using this term was to portray Christians as a contemptible and disobedient sect.

For centuries Muslims have used the “nun” letter to mark Christians and their property, just as is done today by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Christians must no longer be singled out by the terrorists of Mohammed! By wearing this symbol, you are helping to express outrage and demanding that this madness be stopped!

To radical Muslims, this “nun” symbol means Christian genocide, but to us, it symbolizes hope for the future and a call to remember those who are suffering unjustly.

For Christians in the United States, this Arabic letter which is used to mark Christian homes and business must become a symbol of solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians who by the hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes to escape Islamic terror.

Learn how you can help.

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