Enjoy the following report from a training trip Ananias House conducted in Iraq, with statistics and updates kindly provided by one of our trip leaders.
TRAINING TRIP REPORT: IRAQ
Who: 18 refugees (6 couples and 6 men) now living in Iraq; also present:
- missionary couple from Egypt who oversee the fellowship of refugees at the church
- 2 translators from Iraq (and one of their families)
- 2 women, a mother and daughter, who cared for the children (also refugees)
- 12 children
- missionary couple from New Zealand/U.S. who live and work with the fellowship of refugees
What: training in Church Dynamics with an emphasis on godly character qualities
Scripture Memory: Philippians 2:1-2
Summary of Training:
This was the third training for this group. (February 2016 was the first training in Biblical Foundations with 12 people in attendance. May 2017 was the second training in Galatians with 11 people in attendance.) This training included 4 people from a previous training and 14 new people; almost all are Muslim-background believers. As in past years, while evangelism and multiplication are happening, the nature of the refugee population results in much turnover as people move on to other places looking for work and a new place to call home.
In addition, some from previous trainings have not persevered to follow Jesus and, sadly, there has been some division among the fellowship of refugees. All of these factors have contributed to the rather small number of returning attendees. Adir* (the leader of this group) continues to evangelize and disciple among the refugee population; he wants to identify believers who are planning to stay on so that the Ananias House trainings can be used to establish and grow these new believers in their faith, and identify leaders, which will then help facilitate multiplication and the building of God’s kingdom.
From our observation, it does seem that the refugee population is beginning to settle more (finding jobs, homes, etc.) and there is not as much talk of moving on as there has been in past years. That said, several of the people attending the training (as well as families we met after the training) are still living in refugee camps, which is not a long-term solution for them. Adir shared with us that the fellowship of refugees is very much in need of sound biblical, expositional, doctrinal teaching.
Please continue to pray with us as we conduct these trainings. Also, pray for the leaders and missionaries in Iraq that they will be able to share the gospel and train these followers to become disciples, living intimately with Jesus Christ.
*Names and places have been changed for security reasons.