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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Double the size of the Diaper program – Is it possible!

 by William J. Murray – Program Director 

Chairman William Murray traveled to Iraq to help with the diaper deliveries and distributions in June.

Our ministry partners in Iraq have pleaded with me to expand the diaper program. In December of 2017 they made an urgent request to increase the quarterly shipment of diapers from 160,000 to 180,000 and to increase the number of adult diapers and feminine sanitary pads.

I had closed our fundraising for the program in July of 2017 as I thought our goal for the year had been met. The increase in need presented a problem. By the grace of God, unsolicited donations to the Diapers for Refugees were received in December allowing the program to be expanded.

Double the program? During 2016 and 2017 diapers were being supplied to the families “most in need.” Many families in the refugee camps in Ankawa and Erbil we did not help with diapers were able to “get by.” Now, many of those families have moved back to their devastated towns including Qaraqosh where the only water available is bottled water for drinking. Washing cloth diapers is not possible and now the need for the disposable diapers we furnish has drastically increased.

The hard facts: The numbers in our diaper program sound big. But, the Diapers for Refugees program provides for just six diapers per day for 300 of the Christian families with infants and toddlers that are in the most need. As they return to the destroyed homes in their villages without access to other aid, the number of families needing help with diapers now exceeds 600. That is double the number our Diapers for Refugee program now assists.

To help those Christian families most in need the program must be doubled from 160,000 diapers per quarter to 320,000 diapers per quarter, YES – The number sounds high but it is just six diapers per day for three months per child. Younger infants receive more, toddlers less but the average is just six per day or 180 per month for each child in need.

In addition, our program must supply feminine pads for the mothers and adult diapers for some of the elderly.

Please add these families to your prayers. To double the program would be an enormous task. Please pray that the Lord will give guidance as to how to proceed with the diaper program.

If possible, please help us get a good start on the 2018 Diapers for Refugees program. The program must continue even if we are not able to expand. Pray the Lord will guide us. 

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Many Iraqi Christians Unable to Return Home for Christmas

Inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, Iraq, on 30 October 2016. The town of Qaraqosh was freed by NPU (Nineveh Plain Unit) after two years of ISIS occupation. (Photo by Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto) Posted with permission

Inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, Iraq, on 30 October 2016. The town of Qaraqosh was freed by NPU (Nineveh Plain Unit) after two years of ISIS occupation. (Photo by Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto) Posted with permission

Many Christian residents of towns surrounding Mosul that have been liberated from Islamic State’s control have started returning home only to find their homes booby-trapped, in ruins or uninhabitable.

In August of 2014, the Islamic State drove many religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis from their homes in order to establish their caliphate. Since then, these religious minorities have been subjected to persecution and genocide at the hands of ISIS.

Thus far, the villages of Bashiqa, Bartella, Karamles, Qaraqosh and Tellisqof have been recently liberated from the Islamic State but the Nineveh Plains Units, the Christian militia; and Iraqi Special Forces, but many of the villages were left completely destroyed.

According to FoxNews.com: “In some towns, most of the infrastructure has been reduced to rubble; in others, dangerous chemical compounds have been dumped, polluting the ground. But what all the places have in common is that they are unsafe and nearly impossible for those who fled to return anytime soon.”

One Assyrian from Bashiqa told FoxNews.com, “It’s a catastrophe. We are hearing that the situation at Bashiqa ia terrible… [ISIS] has destroyed it all…. We hope to return with everyone here. God willing, we will return soon.”

An Assyrian from the Village of Karamles said: “Everything is damaged… Houses have been burned by fire. There’s no water, no anything. People will only return if there is some sort of promise of protection.”

Many homes in these villages were either burnt to the ground or looted when Islamic State militants abandoned them.

William Murray next to entrance of one of the modified containers used as an office. In some cases these are used as homes for refugees. This is a 20-foot model that is near completion. A 40-foot model is also being prepared.

William Murray next to entrance of one of the modified containers used as an office. In some cases these are used as homes for refugees. This is a 20-foot model that is near completion. A 40-foot model is also being prepared.

Robert Nicholson, the executive director of the Philos Project, told FoxNews.com: “The damage to these villages is hard to overstate. In one last act of vengeance, ISIS made sure that returning Assyrian families would find their homes and business shot full of holes, rigged with mines and utterly demolished.”

Nicholson, and many others, believe rebuilding the Nineveh Plain will take years.

Christians face greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Baghdad north to the Nineveh Plain and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating. We are currently in the process of planning ways to expand our Christmas for Refugees program to incorporate other towns that have recently been liberated from the Islamic State’s control.

Religious Freedom Coalition sponsors two programs specifically for helping Christians facing persecution in the Middle East, specifically those who fled from the Nineveh Plain.

The Diapers for Refugees program aims to send 160,000 high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil every three months. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.

Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities. In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.

Please pray for the Christmas program this year and the safety of the children.

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