Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mosul - Report by boots on the ground not reported in the States


MI DEAST UPDATE 7/20/ 2017

This week’s update is in two parts, the second part being a story that comes directly from people in Mosul who are experiencing the reality of the civil war battleground that is both Iraq and Syria today. This story will be sent to you in a couple days. Many people hear little or no news about what is actually happening in the Middle East. These updates share what  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX are facing on a daily basis.

As many of you may know, the battle for the city of Mosul in northern Iraq began in mid-October 2016. The photos included in this update will give you an idea of the stark reality of what has happened there, although the full scope is impossible to convey with two or three photos. The photo above is a before and after photo. It is not pretty! This great city had a population of 2 million in 2004, undoubtedly much higher ten years later. On June 10, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) violently took control of the city. Because no help arrived from anywhere, at least 500,000 people fled the city by car or on foot in the first two days of the conflict. What happened after that was quite literally “hell on earth” for those who remained in the city.

I will resist the urge to go into detail regarding the horrid long weeks and months that followed the attacks of June 10, 2014, but we in the West can probably not even imagine what three years under the absolute control of the so-called Islamic State militants was really like. The updates on this email since that time detail the approximate numbers reached as well as the numbers of Christian deaths in the communities all over the Middle East. The “numbers” represent individual people. They are people who had families, husbands, wives, children, and grandchildren. If the actual details were shared in this update, it would read like a horror story. Yet, the gates of hell have not prevailed against the true Church in the Middle East.

It has been my task to paint a picture that I’m afraid only a few really see. These stories tell of people who were faced with the worst that the enemy of our souls could throw at them. But, in the midst of all the chaos, the misery, the pain, the carnage and death, various workers chose to stay embedded in the catastrophe that millions of other human souls were trying to flee. They chose to stay because they felt the eternal lives of the masses of dying and lost souls around them were more important than their own lives. Isn’t that the call of God on all His true Church? I believe it is! Jesus put it this way:

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends…”

The city of Mosul (the approximate location of the ancient city of Ninevah where God sent the prophet Jonah) is now mostly rubble. At least one million of the former residents are now gone. Those on the ground say that the reported statistics of the dead are highly underestimated

But, this is the case all over the Mideast since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011. Mosul is also not the only city in the Middle East that has been nearly totally destroyed. Cities all over the area look much like the city of Mosul looks today, post ISIS, including Fallujah, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Homs, Raqqa, and many more. The city of Mosul would require many billions of dollars to rebuild, but that is not the concern now of most people who have survived. They would just like to…survive!

NOTE: Photos from the Middle East inserted in these updates are not necessarily following the narrative in the update, but are from my photo files and used as examples of the true circumstances on the ground.

The non-muslim community in Mosul has been decimated. They took the worst of the attacks, but the general population also has had to face the horror of the twisted demonic theology of ISIS. In the middle of it all are the special volunteer workers who believe if they could only reach ONE, they will have succeeded in fulfilling the special mission they (we) are each called to do. 

After ISIS finally lost control of the Old City in Mosul, the volunteer workers leaders set out to find any surviving workers of those who had been trapped there. They knew they were taking the chance of losing their own lives in the process because not all of the ISIS militants were gone. They reported finding mutilated bodies everywhere, left unburied for days and weeks, now exposed to animals, rodents, and even snakes. 

During the heat of the summer, one cannot even imagine the unbearable stench.  These leaders, while searching among the bodies for fellow workers, were alerted that a group of 12 ISIS jihadists were looking for survivors to finish off. They laid as if dead, not moving for nearly 7 hours in spite of the terrible smell. When the area seemed clear of jihadists, they attempted to leave and either the militants had completely left the area or God simply blinded them to these two leaders as they walked away from the area. 

Sadly, none of the female volunteer workers that had been used as human shields there in Mosul, survived. The leaders of these volunteer workers were able to identify only four or five of these brave women, and that only by the clothing they were wearing. Understandably, this was a very hard experience for these two brothers!

This community in Mosul experienced a great loss, also losing at least 320 of the newer ones to join in the final week of the battle for the Old City of Mosul. Yet, during the same period of time, at least 200 new ones were reached who joined the community. 

It seems that the terrorists are never completely rooted out in any area. In Fallujah, the volunteer leader and those working with him were able to reach and comfort about 60 new people but, sadly, two more volunteer workers were murdered because of their faith.

In northern Syria, the work continues in spite of the conflict that never really ceases.  The volunteer leaders are continuously reaching out to dozens of wounded and hurting people. This last week they encountered up to 30 who are being healed of their terrible injuries and are now part of the community. God is good!

One of the men that one of the leaders treated had a very sad story to tell, like so many others in this brutal part of the world today. During one of the bombings, this man was outside the house where his wife and five children were when it was hit by artillery. He ran inside to find that they were all dead. Coming back out of the house, ISIS militants saw him and he ran for his life. He was, however, shot at and one of the bullets hit him. He managed to slip out of sight and, unable to move from where he was for fear of being seen, he tore a piece of cloth to use as a way of slowing the bleeding until the militants gave up looking for him. When he came out of hiding, he searched for the leader of the volunteers and the volunteer women whom he had heard about. When he found the leader of the women volunteers, she removed the bullet and cauterized the wound as she has been doing for several years since God imparted this gift to her. The man is also now one of the new members of the refugee community in the northern part of Syria. This is just one story of so many.

In spite of the many that were reached in northern Syria this last week, still another 11 of the new members lost their lives. They have joined the ranks of the many others who became martyrs in this war against them by the forces of darkness. 

The services this last week slowed down some due to battles in various areas, but still many hundreds in some areas, and smaller groups in others, gathered for fellowship, sharing their experiences, and proferring encouragement to help others still hurting and in need. 

In the metropolitan area of Damascus, volunteer workers were able to reach at least 1,500 of the new refugees during Ramadan this year. They are doing all they can with the limited supplies available, by adding mass copies of teaching materials that they have been using, and believing God to meet the needs as only He can. There has been much loss of life among the volunteers, so they are following through on their intensive training so as to replenish the ranks of the volunteer workers.  

Among the many miracles is the life of a woman volunteer who continues sharing love and comfort with people that have experienced the very worst, like the man in the story from northern Syria above. As she shares her own experiences, the people in large numbers decide to join the community.

Other teams of these volunteer workers are scattered all over the Mideast. Reports coming in from Kurdistan and Iran tell of those joining the communities there as well. New volunteer leaders are being trained and joining the communities to help and to encourage the ravaged people.  All of the volunteer workers try to have some Bibles on hand, some medicine, food if possible (mainly sacks of wheat for bread), and some copies of encouragement teachings to share. Food is almost non-existent in many areas, as is clean water.  Many people also have no place to shelter. One can imagine that in a city like Mosul, little infrastructure is left. The volunteer workers help as best they can but most times the best they can do is to share love and encouragement.  This offers a hope they have never experienced.

The leaders of the volunteer workers have been taken to groups of refugees all around the southern Damascus area and have had the opportunity to encourage and bless them. Just this last week, they were able to reach over 4,000 refugees. The size of the community in the Middle East truly is amazing.

In closing we ask for those who would pray for the volunteer workers safety and provision, and for those they are helping and those yet to be found.  Time is running out. We are at the end of the age. We are very near the beginning of the end days.  Whatever we are going to do in these last moments, we need to do it now. The door is about to close. The times of the Gentiles is coming to an end.

Thank you to all who have been supporting and praying. God has answered prayer and will continue to do so. He is good!



Anonymous said...

God bless those workers and to be sure , the time of his second coming is drawing near !

Anonymous said...

Fighting there has been continuous, fierce and deadly. The US military and media are not reporting the vast numbers of Christians that have not received any protection or help, and there are thousands if not millions who have been slaughtered by the 'peaceful' muslims/ISIS. Those who are still alive are barely, and the 'volunteers' are risking their own lives to be there among them while they all are still being hunted down like hogs and rats. Pray for the protection of the volunteers and the survivors. AND, realize the enemy is working diligently to turn the states in to another Middle East killing zone like Mosul, etc.

790 can be harsh,,, said...

Such a waste of human life. This planet is pure evil,,, Worried about going to hell? You are living in hell, it's a little blue planet called Earth,,,

Anonymous said...

where are the pictures????? they aren't showing up

Olive Oyl said...

Sorry about that - they show up beautifully on my computer - that's when I decide all is OK and I post the article. Will look up the pictures and post again.

Olive Oyl said...

ANON 4:10 am - Reposted the pics. Still look good to me! Let me know if they still are not showing up. Thx.