Iraqi ‘Christian soldiers’

Iraqi 'Christian soldiers'

Iraqi 'Christian soldiers' - prepared to provide real liberation for the people of Iraq

Although the Gulf War of 1991 was tragic in many respects,
the Lord used it to bring the gospel to thousands of people who might otherwise
never have heard. More than one million refugees of all nationalities and
religious backgrounds have passed through Jordan since that war. Hundreds of
refugees, their hearts softened by the crisis, gave their lives to Christ. Some
were baptized and proceeded to their home countries within the Arab world and
elsewhere. Approximately 350,000 Iraqi refugees have remained stranded in
Jordan. Many have come to Christ. A good number of converts have gone on with
the Lord and graduated from seminary or Bible school. Having had time to mature
in the Lord, they may now be the "first fruits" of an even greater harvest
as Iraq opens up after this war and they are allowed to return to their homeland
with a message of peace and hope.

Christian churches and para-church organizations working
together to provide relief for Iraqis

More than a dozen evangelical churches and para-church
organizations in Jordan are working together as part of a coalition known as
JECRaD
-Jordan Evangelical Committee for Relief and Development. Together
they are now coordinating relief and development efforts for those caught in the
current war. Member organizations include: Arabs for the Arabs, the Alliance
Church, the Amman International Church, the Assemblies of God, the Baptist
Church, the Baptist Convention, the Bible Society, Campus Crusade for Christ, Do
Not Forget, the  Evangelical Free Church of Jordan, Heart of Mercy, Manara
Ministries, and the Nazarene Church.

At a high-level meeting of the Red Cross and the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees over a month ago, it was concluded that an
estimated 600,000, mainly Iraqis, would be displaced.  The Jordanian
government refuses to let any of them into Jordan. Plans are in place to
accommodate them in tents or shelters at the border areas between Iraq and
Jordan. JECRaD will be working through the appropriate agencies to
provide direct humanitarian relief to the refugees.

JECRaD came into being during the last Gulf War to meet
the needs of Iraqi refugees in Jordan. For years, many refugees have been unable
to return to Iraq or gain emigration papers to go to other countries. They
cannot legally work for Jordanian companies. JECRaD, therefore, has been
providing food and shelter to these refugees, and has helped initiate
micro-business enterprises to provide long-term solutions to their serious
financial problems.

Iraq, with a population of close to 25 million, has been
devastated economically these past 20 years as a result of Saddam's brutal
policies toward his own people, the first Gulf War, and the subsequent
sanctions. Prior to this current conflict, an estimated one million children
suffered from chronic malnutrition.

        Although
Christians have not suffered persecution under Saddam Hussein as much as in
other Middle East countries, they have still been discriminated against. Prior
to this war, Saddam understood that the Christians did not have a political
agenda. He was much more intolerant of radical Muslim fanatics within the
country who, he figured, posed more of a threat. In the days and weeks before
this current conflict, however, Saddam reportedly has had a growing suspicion
that Christians may provide intelligence information to Western forces, which
has led him to threaten them with  retaliation. He has even issued orders
to all people throughout Iraq, Christians and non-Christians alike, that anyone
attempting to flee the country will be shot.

Immediate Needs: The most immediate need is to
help the Iraqi refugees. For many years, we have had good relationships with
leaders from several organizations that make up JECRaD. We have
confidence in their ability to wisely administer any resources that are directed
their way to help in the work among the Iraqi refugees. Specific needs: (In US
dollars)

2 good blankets  $15
Medicine package $25
5-days of food supply $50
(for one family)
Tent per family $125
Bibles, Christian books $10

Future Needs:  Teams of Iraqi missionaries are
waiting to return to their homeland with the gospel of Jesus Christ when the war
ends. They will need your support.

Should the Lord place it on your heart to help those in
Iraq, your gifts can be sent to:

International Resource Network
P.O Box 8928, Christchurch
NEW ZEALAND

Designate your gifts for: Iraq - These will be forwarded on
to JECRaD