In spite of the drastic conditions in Iraq, there are amazing ministries of hope for many residents in that beleaguered land.

The Presbyterian Church USA, even in the midst of a crisis in our own country, partners with the Assembly of Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Iraq. Included were 52 incarcerated women and 15 children in the Kirkuk women’s jail. The majority of them were widows of suspected ISIS terrorists. Also, housing was restored for Muslim and Christian families displaced from their home in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, and the providing of clean drinkable water, as will be explained below.

One woman said she had never seen people who wanted to plant peace and who exemplified the love of God as much as these churches are doing. The National Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Kirkuk pray that these women might know the Lord Jesus Christ as the God of peace and mercy.

The Presbyterian Church in Basra responded to the drastic need for water, supported by their Presbyterian friends in Kirkuk and Baghdad, who were sending shipments of bottled water for them to distribute to those suffering in drought ridden areas.

The Church in Basra began to research desalinizing equipment so they could process larger quantities of water for those in need. The project cost nearly $16,000. Through Presbyterian World Mission, the Iraq Partnership Network and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the funds were provided to meet this need.

“With the funds received from Presbyterian World Mission and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, we were able to purchase the desalinizing unit at a 10% discount, two water tanks (holding 3 and 5 metric tons of water respectively), two electrical pumps, all the necessary electrical supplies and the materials needed to install a concrete pad and sun-shield shed,” said Dr. Zuhair Fathallah, an elder at the church. “The desalinizing equipment requires monthly filter changes and continuing maintenance, which costs a little more than $1,000 a year, a continuing funding need.”

“After the installation of this equipment, we have now been able to provide the children of the kindergarten and the nursery schools (over 250 children, 98% of whom are from non-Christian families) with clean potable water while they are at school with us, and to the schools’ staff and the children’s families. Members of the congregation can use this water supply, along with anybody from the community who is in need, for no cost to the beneficiaries,” said elder Fathallah.

Thanks be to God for new hope and waters of life in Iraq!

Last Sunday was a dramatic example of the good news of Christ’s resurrection of life over death.

David Tritenbach is a retired Presbyterian minister.

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