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”.

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.

Diapers for Refugees: One million more diapers this year!

 

Diapers for Refugees: One million more diapers this year!

Good news: I have sent the $35,000 to Iraq needed to purchase 500,000 diapers for distribution in September.

We distribute six sizes of diapers to displaced Christian families. The small blue package is women’s sanitary pads. Not pictured are adult diapers for special needs individuals.

Bad news: We still need $35,000 for the December distribution at the same time we are preparing for the Christmas for Refugees program expansion.

It will be difficult to raise the $35,000 needed for the diapers at the same time we are raising funds for the Christmas for Refugees program which will be serving refugee children and their families in four, and hopefully five, different nations.
Please help Christian refugee children

We are currently buying 500,000 diapers at a time which greatly reduces the cost.  Each diaper shipment supplies diapers for about 2,000 infants and toddlers over a three-month period.  Since we buy in this quantity, we can buy them direct from the factory in Turkey for just 3.7 cents each.  Over a three-month period, around 300 diapers are distributed per child. The actual number for each child depends upon age. Packages contain from 24 to 44 diapers depending on the age.  

Diapers for Refugees will distribute 888 of these packages of adult diapers in September to those in the most need

The Diapers for Refugees program began in 2016 when I learned of the horrors caused by a lack of clean diapers.  Some babies were scarred for life from extreme diaper rash that became infected.  Cloth diapers could not be washed properly as there was no hot water and so many people were sharing the limited bathroom facilities that there were outbreaks of disease.

As Christian families move back to their looted and burned out homes in the Nineveh Plain, the situation has not improved.  The well water has the same content of salt as sea water and can’t be used to wash cloth diapers.  Drinking and cooking water must be trucked in for perhaps another year, until lines are repaired to bring in fresh water from elsewhere.

Adult diapers are a separate issue.  We are buying 888 packages of special needs adult diapers for distribution in September.  These are very high quality manufactured in Turkey.  There is a great need for these among very elderly Christians who did not receive critical medical care earlier.

Please pray with me that all the funds needed for the Diapers for Refugees program for the rest of the year will be raised well before the beginning of the Christmas season.  There is a critical need.

I do not want to be forced to choose between funding the Diaper program in December or cutting back on the number of children and their families we can help celebrate the Lord’s birth at Christmas for Refugees events.

Many of these Christians have seen loved ones die in horrible, violent ways and at the very least all of them have lost their homes and possessions.  Let’s do what we can to help them! Help Christian Refugee children today

 

 

 

 

 

 

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