Concerned Women for America (CWA) is extremely proud of one of our Young Women for America (YWA) Presidents who is working with women rescued from ISIS. Below is a blog that she sent to us from the field, please be in prayer for our her, her team, and for the women with whom they will be working.
“I didn’t used to have much interest in the Middle East. I viewed it as the land of Bible stories and modern political unrest. Middle East politics could be boiled down to a statement that the countries surrounding Israel want it destroyed, right? But then God brought me to Kurdistan.
Geographically, Kurdistan includes parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Although technically not a country, Kurdistan is a region with its own culture, its own language, its own people, and even its own army. Kurdistan is also the location of the front lines between ISIS and the rest of the world.
Over the last year people around the world heard the stories of the rise of ISIS. We heard of entire villages being destroyed, and people taken captive. ISIS murdered thousands of men, took women and girls as their sex slaves, and beheaded children. People were outraged, and ISIS was front page news. Faces were put to the stories, and the world realized that we were living in a time where history was being made. Although other stories have since taken over the headlines in America, ISIS is still a very real enemy, and the front lines are still in Kurdistan.
I am currently in Kurdistan working with women who have either been rescued, or have escaped ISIS captivity. This past week our team opened the first ever women’s safe home program in Kurdistan! We welcomed nine women and girls into the home, along with two children of one of the women. This first group of women and girls range in age from 11 to 55, but most are in their teens. I am blessed to be living with these girls, ministering to them 24/7 for the time they are here.
As the days go on, the women and girls become more comfortable sharing parts of their stories. They miss their families; they long to be loved, and they’re still trying to process everything they’ve been through. On top of the normal struggles that teenage girls go through, they are survivors of ISIS captivity. There are times when our translators cannot translate what is shared, because they do not have the emotional stamina to repeat it. The firsthand accounts of their time in captivity are horrific, beyond anything that you can imagine.
These girls are strong and brave. They are trying their hardest to not show any weakness. Many of the girls have shared that their families are still captives of ISIS or have been killed. One of the teenage girls received a phone call just days ago telling her to pay money for her family’s release, or they would all be killed. There is a heartbreaking realness when I look into their eyes and know what they have gone through, and continue to go through. I look at them at times, and it hits me that they are just kids.
At the same time, through all this heartbreak, there is an undeniable hope that is expressed by each girl in her own way. It may be a simple smile, a word, or action, but I can see the hope that each one has for the future. I know that God has placed all of us, including each of these girls, here, in this house, in this place, for such a time as this.
There is a program in place that will allow each of these girls to move to Germany and begin a new life once they leave our program. The German and Kurdish governments and our team are all working together to help these women transition to a place where they will able to move into the next chapter of their lives. Their time with us is a time of relaxation and refreshment, a time where they are loved unconditionally, and are showered with the joy of the Lord. We are also working to prepare them for the transition they will be making to Germany.
I am so blessed to be a part of this short season in their lives. I am blessed to play a small part in their story. And I’m blessed to know them, and to pray for them. I know that God has a plan for each of these women that He has brought here. It’s my desire that they see the love and peace of Christ radiating through my life and actions.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16”