|Photo image courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, who is providing tents for families fleeing from Islamic militants.|
I know we are setting our sights on the topic of school a great deal this month, but we need to pause for something serious that cannot wait. It is a situation that has worldwide impact...
But for the grace of God, it could be any one of us. It could be your family. It could be mine. None of us choose where we will be born, and most of us raise our families near to our birthplace. Given different circumstances, we could be raised as Christians in Northern Iraq.
Lest you have missed the horrific news, a Muslim extremist group, ISIS, has filled a power vacuum left when American troops withdrew from Iraq. The members of this group have made it their mission to create jihad and brutally murder minorities, including Christians. In towns of Northern Iraq, Christian homes are being marked with the Arabic letter ن (n), standing for word for Christian, “Nasrani” or Nazarene. These families are told that they must convert to Islam or be killed.
The stories coming out of Iraq are beyond the wildest imagination of human depravity. Despite some converting, they are still brutally murdered. Women, including young female children, are forced into slavery while being amde to chant, "Allahu Akbar" or "(the Muslim god) is great". Crucifixion and beheading, even of children is taking place. Some have fled to a mountain top with only the clothes on their backs, left to either die of starvation and thirst above, or descend the mountain to face brutal murder.
While this is horrific, one might ask, what does this have to do with a devotional blog for parents raising children with special needs? Friends, of all people, we know what it is like to be marginalized, outcast. Yet, for all our children may suffer, we are not viciously pursued by those wishing to cruelly terrorize and control us. Can you imagine being one of THESE parents raising a child with special needs? Statistically speaking, surely there are some like us in their midst. And if they did not have special needs prior to this, the trauma of what they are experiencing will surely leave a permanent mark on many of these precious people.
If parents raising children with special needs won't stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ at a time like this, who will?
- Please join us in relentlessly praying for not only these persecuted Christians, but for other ethnic minorities who are being executed along with them.
- Build awareness along with others by making the the Arabic letter ن (n) your profile picture on special media, and by telling others about these atrocities.
- And give any amount you can to worthy organizations like our friends at Samaritan's Purse who are on the front lines of this crisis, providing shelter and food to the refugees who are fortunate enough to escape the brutality with their lives.
If we don't hold back this evil by crying out to our Savior at a time like this, what will prevent it from infecting other areas of the world, including our own nation?
PRAY: Lord Jesus, God of the impossible situation, rescue our brothers and sisters who are being so brutally executed for their faith in You. Help us to be brave in the face of such cruelty, standing up for what is right in Your eyes. Grant us discernment in knowing what to do next to help. Thank You that none of this happens apart from Your just and watchful eyes. Deliver us from this evil, oh Lord! Amen.
~ Barb Dittrich