#StandWithThem

 This is an extended family catching their collective breath on the outskirts of Mosul today after escaping ISIS. The white flag they take turns holding high in the air? A plea to not be shot. Fathers holding this flag over their infants and wives, over their nieces and small sons: please do not kill us. Partners, our feet on the ground in Mosul, came across them in this dry and weary land, and gave them a few bottles of water they had in the car, and some food. At this small kindness, grown men broke down and wept and our team felt their bone-cold despair.

This is an extended family catching their collective breath on the outskirts of Mosul today after escaping ISIS. The white flag they take turns holding high in the air? A plea to not be shot. Fathers holding this flag over their infants and wives, over their nieces and small sons: please do not kill us. Partners, our feet on the ground in Mosul, came across them in this dry and weary land, and gave them a few bottles of water they had in the car, and some food. At this small kindness, grown men broke down and wept and our team felt their bone-cold despair.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to pour into these areas through Partners Relief & Development and we believe this is totally achievable with your help. We are seeking 100 donations of $100. We understand that this may be prohibitive for some people so our challenge to you is this, do you have 3 friends who could join you in donating $25 each or what about 9 other people who would be willing to donate $10?  Can you imagine, turning your $10 into $10,000?! If you can't donate but your heart is moved by the desperate conditions in Mosul and Syria, please help us by sharing the need and spreading the word.

Mosul/Syria Emergency Relief Initiative

$10,000 Challenge

 

Bringing Hope in the Middle East

A brutal civil war in Syria and ongoing violence and instability across Iraq has displaced millions of people. Over half of them are children. Where violence has brought suffering and despair, your love is bringing hope.

Partners Relief & Development is on the ground in both Syria and Mosul.   The heart of Partners work has always been a desire to go to the hard to reach places where few organizations are working. While focusing on providing immediate help to children suffering as a result of war and oppression, their vision is also to invest long-term in developing solutions to support these communities.

“I’m not sure how to tell her story. She spoke, I listened. Periods of silence, followed by tears. Memories unpacked and peeled back. An open unhealed wound exposed. It had been just fifteen days since $23,500 was exchanged for her and her 4-year-old daughter. After two years and six months, they walked away from their ISIS captors for the last time. She heard we had come to provide food for her Yazidi community. She wanted to meet us. She wanted us to know about her captivity. She said it was important for us to hear. She said the world needed to know. She wanted to tell it for all the Yazidi women and young girls who couldn’t. She invited us inside where a kerosene heater warmed us from the bitter wind and snow outside. For the next several hours, over hot tea turned cold, I listened completely paralyzed for words as she spoke of rape and unspeakable abuse. This brave 32-year-old mother recounted with resolute determination the events which forever tore her life apart in ways none of us could possibly imagine.” – Partners Relief Team - February 2017. 

For the children and their families who have been living under the almost indescribable desolation and despair of ISIS captivity (also known as Daesh), stories like this are sadly all too common. As cities and villages are liberated from ISIS control, thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and Yadzidi families require urgent help for food, warmth and help to get back on their feet after years of oppression. An estimated 750,000 Iraqis remain trapped inside Mosul City alone and are on the brink of starvation. Half of these are children. Already the UN has suggested that 4,000 people are fleeing Mosul each day and we expect this number to significantly increase this month as ISIS continues to lose its foothold. To respond to these escalating needs, a Partners relief team is on the ground in Mosul and the surrounding area to provide food, care and hope to these displaced families. 

 

While we sip coffee and scroll through the internet, families in Iraq are walking through the desert with nothing but what they can carry. Families are walking away from their homes and tables they have gathered around and their cozy beds and everything their children have ever known; walking away from all that toward no heat and scarce food and not enough water.

Partners Relief & Development is urgently seeking $200,000 for critical food and essential supplies to be delivered in March 2017 to children and families in Iraq who have fled their homes to escape ISIS. We are embarking on our largest project to date in an effort to help them in providing aid on the front lines.

"There are still tens of thousands of people in the liberated areas and hundreds of thousands of people under ISIS control right now who are still living in their homes, and they are calling for us as the aid community to reach into the conflict so that we can serve them where they are," Jeremy Courtney, CEO of the Preemptive Love Coalition, told ABC News in a voice recording.

The group delivered food to about 12,000 people in western Mosul on Wednesday.

Residents told the organization that Wednesday’s delivery was the first aid they had received. Some children cheered and said “We got it! We got it!” when they saw their father receive a package of food, the group said..

“We’ve got airstrikes and gunshots and helicopters overhead,” Courtney said in a video clip from inside west Mosul during the aid distribution as gunfire and explosions could be heard in the background.

Courtney described the aid distribution as “chaotic” and "representative of the chaos of the neighborhood and the difficulty of reaching people in those places.” People had to haggle with their neighbors to make sure that everyone got the food that they needed, he said.

“No aid has reached any of these people,” he said in the video, adding that thousands of people were fleeing, but that thousands were also choosing to stay in their homes.

The residents who received aid on Wednesday had been living under ISIS control for years until just a few days ago, Courtney said. Some had not had food for about a month while water has been shut off for three months, he said.

We want to start more than a conversation, we want to start a movement. We want to shout to the world that we will not ignore the hurt, that Jesus through us, in love and mercy, will prevail. Ann VosKamp said it best, I have saved and gone back to these words many, many times...

"We aren’t where we are, to just peripherally care about the people on the margins as some superfluous gesture or token nicety. The exact reason why you are where you are — is to risk everything for those being oppressed out there.

You are where you are — to help others where they are. The reason your hands are where they are in this world — is to give other people in this world a hand.

Caring isn’t a Christian’s sideline hobby. Caring is a Christian’s complete career. We don’t just care about people — caring about people is our job — the job every single one of us get up to do every single day. That’s it. Caring is our job, our point, our purpose. We’re here to care like a boss.

The world needs people who defy cynical indifference by making a critical difference — and that could be us.

Every single one of us can start changing headlines when we start reaching out our hands."

Please consider partnering with us as we #StandWithThem.

Who is Partners Relief & Development?

War and oppression have devastating consequences on the freedom and well-being of innocent children caught in the crossfire. Partners Relief & Development are at work in communities touched by conflict to ensure these children are protected and have all they need to reach their full potential.

One of the many services Partners Relief & Development provide are emergency and short-term provision of food, shelter materials, and basic survival necessities for children, their families, and communities during times of acute crisis. Emergency relief is essential when war or social breakdown occurs leaving children vulnerable to suffering and exploitation. As well as providing critical relief items, their team is always focused on the long-term, looking for sustainable solutions to move beyond handouts and empower the people themselves to be part of the solution.

By starting development projects that strengthen families and rebuild infrastructure to meet children’s primary needs like healthcare and education, you invest in a future for these children where they have the opportunity to live free, full lives. It’s for this reason that, together with you, we go to these places to show God’s love.

 

Where Partners is Helping In The Middle East

Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

In 2016, with support of people like you, Partners began providing assistance in war-torn regions of the Middle East and already the generosity is having impact. They have brought practical help to thousands of displaced and trapped families who have almost no other outside assistance. But most importantly, your act of love has reminded them they haven’t been forgotten. (See the details below)

In these areas in 2016...

Chickens Supplied - 250 People Helped

Your support enabled 505 egg-laying chickens to be delivered to families displaced by ISIS in northern Iraq, bringing an ongoing source of nutrition and a smile and to their weary faces.

Food Parcels - 28,800 People Helped

Thanks to you, local partners delivered 4,650 parcels containing enough food, candles and hygiene supplies for one month to desperate families in the Aleppo countryside, Syria.

Sleeping Bags - 2000 People Helped

One of the challenges facing children who have fled the violence in Syria is the bitter cold, but you have responded by providing 2000 sleeping bags to make sure they stay warm at night.

Clean Water - 8,000 People Helped

Access to clean water continues to be limited in areas liberated from ISIS control in Iraq, which is why the thousands of bottles of drinking water you have sent to these communities is so important.