Visiting Iraq…in an ISIS Summer
Sami Hassan became an MBB (Muslim Background Believer) when he and his family came as Kurdish refugees from Northern Iraq to America over 15 years ago, heard the gospel, and committed their lives to Jesus Christ. They moved from Houston to Portland and have been enthusiastic promoters of Mission ConneXion from its inception up to the present time, especially through their involvement with Muslim ConneXion*. We caught up with him for a brief interview after he and his family recently returned from spending the summer in Iraq.
1. Why did you travel to Iraq this summer – at the height of the ISIS turmoil?
“I went to Kirkuk, Iraq, and Erbil. I went to visit family but also to go to churches to share, but the situation didn’t let us go to church or Mosul”.
2. What kind of challenges did you witness the people having to endure because of the situation there?
“The people there are all running. The churches were all refugee-filled. We heard stories about kidnapping, and terrible situations the women were going through, and it hurt to see sisters and brothers in The Lord hurting”.
3. We heard a lot about the persecution of the 40,000 Yazidis and Christians up on that mountain. Did you see any of that terrible ordeal? How did you experience hope in the midst of suffering there?
“The Yazidis families were all from the town of Shingar. They were staying at the towns of Dahukand Zakho. The girls were being sold in Mosul for $150 each. They hope until today that their girls will be returned. The churches there were helping everyone no matter what religion, and that helped people see how Christians really are. Right up to this day they are feeding people and giving shelter. It helped us appreciate our safety in religion here [in the USA]”.
4. Would you return? How can we pray for you and/or help you?
“A couple of pastors in the Portland metro area and I are trying to raise money to go back and we would like some prayer for that…” For those who would like to help, please contact Pastor Mitch Lamotte at Southwest Hills Baptist (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: (503)475-0722). Checks can also be made out to Southwest Hills Baptist Church and in the Memo line write: Iraqi Relief. Thank you so much for all your help and support. You cannot believe how much this is helping us. We just contacted the church in Erbil and they said around $155 can feed a family for a month. I cannot say enough but “God’s in charge!” Thank you, and may God bless you all”.
*If you would like to learn more about how to reach out to Muslims with the love of Christ, plan now to attend Muslim ConneXion next March 6-7, 2015.