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Leaving Everything Behind: Mary

Iraqi refugee child

“My life in Iraq was beautiful,” said 8-year-old Mary. “I went to school and had friends and could play anytime. I lived in Mosul with my mom and dad and sister.”

Mary’s family is Christian. Things changed for them when ISIS, a radical Muslim group, began attacking their city. “Mosul was full of ISIS,” Mary said. “The war started and they damaged all of Iraq.

“I felt sad and worried and afraid for my dad. I was shouting all the time for my dad not to leave the house for work. He worked doing something with electricity.

“We were there with ISIS a very long time. No more school. No more playing with friends. Sometimes I wet my bed at night because I was so afraid.”

Mary’s family escaped to Jordan where they were safer. “My life is nice now,” Mary said in Jordan. Here we are strong. We are not afraid, and I sleep well.

“I spend all my time here at school with friends. My sister also comes to the school. I like school the best. I can do all my homework at home. I like to sing and dance all the time in my home.”

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian families like Mary’s in Jordan. Watch a video clip about Iraqi refugees here and here .


Leaving Everything Behind: Anthony

Iraqi refugee child

Many Christians have been driven from their homes and cities in Iraq by fighters who belong to ISIS, a group of radical Muslims. Christian families have to leave behind most of their belongings and everything that is familiar to them.

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs visit Christians who have moved to Jordan to escape the fighting. VOM helps the children go to a Christian school.

Five-year-old Anthony told a Christian adult what his life was like in Iraq and Jordan.

“In Iraq, I lived with my parents and brothers and sisters,” Anthony began. “I remember the toys, the football [soccer], and my swing. I didn’t go to school there. I was only 3.

“The enemy came to Iraq — they came to our door one time. They wanted to kill my dad because they knew he was a Christian. After that my family went to another house. We stayed inside for nine days in one room. My sister kept me covered with a blanket and gave me food. My mother told her to make sure I wasn’t scared.

“Then my dad decided we would come to Jordan. We all left together and came by plane. I brought toys.

“I feel very good here in Jordan. I like school and I never want to be absent. I like reading stories.

“I have Iraqi kids as friends — no Jordanian friends. My family doesn’t trust the Muslims in Iraq or Jordan.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

To Talk About
In your opinion, what is the hardest thing Anthony has had to deal with? Can you pray today for children who are going through the same struggles that Anthony told about?


Iraq: Christina is Home!

Three-year-old Christina lived with her Christian family in Iraq. One day, radical ISIS Muslim terrorists in the area took Christina from her mother and kidnapped her. (The photo shows Christina before she was kidnapped.)

For three years, her family — and Christians around the world — prayed for Christina and her family. On June 9th of this year, Christina was reunited with her family!

After her kidnapping and return, Christina is confused about who her family is. Pray that Christina’s heavenly Father will comfort her and her family while she is getting used to living with her family again.


More About Myriam

Myriam (left) and her sister

Myriam, a Christian refugee from Iraq, told Christian visitors what  happened to her and her family after they were driven from their homes by ISIS. You can read her story and watch a video about her here.

Myriam’s father is a veterinarian. She has a 10-year-old sister, Zomorod. After the girls and their parents fled Qaraqoush, their hometown, they lived in a mall with other refugees. Then the family moved into a small mobile home. The home had two bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, and a bathroom. One bedroom was also used as a living room.

A Christian Broadcasting Network reporter interviewed Myriam and provided The Voice of the Martyrs with his questions and Myriam’s answers. You can read them below. (Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

Myriam’s Interview

Question: Why do you forgive ISIS?

Myriam’s answer: In the Bible Jesus said to us, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am with you.’ And also, he said forgive others no matter who they are. You have to forgive them.

Q: I can tell you love Jesus very much. Why do you love Jesus so much?

A: Jesus is my Father, and He is my creator. I have no one else better than Him. When ISIS drove us out of our home, His hand was on us and He saved us.

Q: And what is your hope for the future?

A: I want to go back home, rejoin my school and friends.

Q: And when you pray, what do you pray for?

A: When I pray, I pray that God might help us to go back home. And also that the peace of God might come all over Iraq and also, may God forgive ISIS.

Q: When you read the Bible, do you have a favorite Bible story or scripture verse you’d like to tell us about?

A: The story of the resurrection of Christ Jesus the Lord because through that story, we can have hope.

Q: And there are many boys and girls in America who maybe their faith in Jesus isn’t as strong. What would you like to say to them?

A: I’d like to encourage the children in the United States to love God and share their faith with their friends everywhere. They don’t need to be frightened. When things happen in their lives, they should learn from us and our lives. This is not … to get glory for ourselves…. It is for the sake of God because God lives and we want to do everything for the glory of God and also for exalting God in our lives.


Jesus Has a Big Net

 

A pastor in Iraq told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs, “Jesus Christ has a big net to catch fish, and ISIS is pushing Muslims toward this net.” (ISIS is a radical Muslim group whose members are attacking people in the Middle East.)

(Source: VOMRadio.net)

Read about a Muslim seeking the truth in this post.

To Talk About
•    What did the pastor mean when he said, “Jesus Christ has a big net to catch fish”? (Hint: Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” See Matthew 4:19.)
•    Why do you think some Muslims are drawn to Jesus?