By the grace of God, through the prayers and support of many churches and individuals, and the hard work by those on the team, I am thankful to say that we were able to distribute about 7,000 NT Bibles and children’s Bible books, 8,300 blankets, 1,000 cans of baby formula, and see somewhere around 700 patients throughout the whole time. We started with essentially $100 in the relief fund account when it was decided to embark on this endeavor, and were humbled to see God provide well over $100,000 for the relief goods in answer to prayer! I can honestly say it was not through fervent fundraising, but simply waiting upon Him and seeing Him work in the hearts of many to give them a desire to contribute to this effort once they knew about it.
The work in the Middle East is not over. If anything this is just the first of what we expect may be several relief trips to help the refugees. The door right now is open to minister among the refugees and provide for both physical as well as spiritual need and hunger. It will not stay open forever. With this in mind we are planning a second trip back in mid-December to deliver a 40ft shipping container filled with winter clothing. We are filling up the container at Grace Community Church in San Antonio, TX and from there it will ship to Irbil, Iraq. We saw that there was a pressing need for warm winter clothing among the refugees. With the price of goods on the market, and the relatively inexpensive cost to ship a container over (under 10K) we determined it would be more cost effective to have people from the USA donate used winter clothing for men, women and children to fill a container, than to buy an equivalent amount in Iraq. We are also purchasing 1,700 large fleece blankets with remaining funds to ship over to fill out our goal of 10,000 blankets for the refugees; we had enough resources to do this in the Middle East on the first trip and had anticipated giving that amount out in Turkey, but this was not possible due to the rioting. Winter is coming quickly to Iraq and in the northern regions where most of the refugees are staying, it does get quite cold, even into the 40s or lower at times, and can be a very difficult living situation for people trying to survive without adequate clothing in unwalled abandoned buildings, parks, fields or even unheated homes and apartments.
Many people receiving this newsletter don’t live anywhere near San Antonio, but if you happen to, or you have a means of sending any clothing down this way and have a bin or closet full of old winter clothes you’d like to donate, as long as you can get it to the address below prior to November 5th it can make it in the shipping container:
Grace Community Church
311 Hedges St.
San Antonio, TX, 78203
If you can’t send clothes but want to help in some other way, please let me know. Once the container is sealed and shipped, we will send a team over to Iraq around the time of it’s arrival to get it through customs, and then distribute the clothing to the refugee populations we previously made contact with. Clothing items we would be looking for are men’s long-sleeve tops and pants; women’s long-sleeve tops and skirts/dresses/pants; childrens tops/bottoms for all ages, baby clothes for all ages/stages; jackets, coats, hats, scarves and gloves for all ages/genders (note: clothing must be modest going to recipients in a Muslim country; neckline should be close to the neck, no sleeveless or short sleeve tops, no skinny fit/tight fit pants, definitely no shorts for any gender, etc…).
Prayer for this upcoming trip is greatly appreciated as well, we would be foolish to assume that just because all worked out the first time over, that we need less prayer and help from the Lord this next time!
More updates will come in the weeks ahead, thank you for praying and for the support on all ends, let’s pray God would do a great work in amidst the darkness of the Middle East in our generation!