Halla sits on an old sofa covered with a faded rug in a small room of an unfinished block of flats in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region in north eastern Iraq.
She clutches her Bible in her hands as she recalls the horrendous journey that she and her late mother were forced to take from their home in Mosul to Erbil.
‘It makes me so sad to think about it. I have lost my dear mother and my home. I lost my neighbours and my friends.’
Halla. Photo: Andrew Boyd
Halla and her mother fled Mosul before ISIS entered the city in June 2014. They had heard horrifying stories of women and girls being kidnapped, raped and killed and feared they might suffer the same atrocities.
Soon after they left Mosul Halla’s mother died of a broken heart.
Scared and alone, Halla fled to Qaraqosh. Then she heard that ISIS forces were coming there too and someone said to her: ‘You have to leave. Go now.’
She fled to Erbil, where she heard that she’d left Qaraqosh just in time: ISIS attacked and took the town three days after she left it.
When Halla arrived in Erbil she faced new challenges: uncertainty, hunger, homelessness and a lack of money and basic supplies.
All she could do was to put her trust in Jesus – so she prayed, with all her heart.
And, God answered her prayers through caring friends like you and Release’s partners in Kurdistan who have helped thousands of displaced people like Halla.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, our ministry partners in Kurdistan, Lebanon and elsewhere are distributing food parcels, clothes, medicines and Bibles to refugees and internally displaced people.
A few months ago, I travelled to Erbil to meet Christians like Halla who had fled for their lives. I was truly moved by their persevering faith, courage and determination.
They have forgiven those who have caused them so much pain and suffering. Yet many of them are struggling to survive, and they need your help.
Release CEO Paul Robinson helping to distribute supplies to Christian refugees in Lebanon
Will you be an answer to a Christian’s prayers by donating to Release?
Anything you give today can help a displaced believer like Halla or a Christian refugee to restart their lives in a place of safety.
Many of these Christians who have lost everything are looking to God to provide for their needs. I believe that God is calling each of us to hear their cry and respond by being the hands and feet of Jesus in places where our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering the most.
Halla’s story of loss and suffering is a deeply tragic one, but with your support, she and many other persecuted Christians like her can make a fresh start.
By sending a gift of £25, £50, £100 or £250 to Release today you can help them in their hour of need.
Here are some of the things your generosity could make possible:
Please send your gift today by clicking the Donate Now button to give securely online.
In spite of the terrible violence and persecution they have experienced, Christians like Halla know that God is with them. So, let’s do all we can to share God’s love and hope with them.
Together we can comfort those who are experiencing affliction and give them opportunities to experience God’s love and provision through our generosity and sacrifice.
Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry of serving those who are suffering for Jesus.
With much gratitude,
CEO, Release International
Watch Halla's Story below:
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Lord, we lift to You all our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee, simply because they love You.
Father, continue to uphold all of the displaced believers who have left their homes, their work, their friends and their land through fear of those who seek to kill them because they call You their Lord and Master.
In so many countries our family is in flight. The list of countries seems to grow each day and we pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria, in Iran, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in North Korea, in Nigeria and for our partners who seek to help them adjust to living in a new place when they arrive without so many of the bare essentials which we take for granted.
Father, help us to help them. As they trust in You – so do we, and we ask now that our gifts will be used wisely and to great effect by those who receive them; that none of us will lose our faith in You; and that Your kingdom will continue to grow on Earth despite the opposition it faces in so many places around the world.
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