Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 9, 2015

ISIS Will Never Understand

Amman, Jordan

The violent history of ISIS goes much deeper than the selected reports we hear on the evening news. For every person that these über-violent terrorists have publicly beheaded, thousands of others continue to suffer in silence — their lives forever damaged when ISIS came near. ISIS has shown the world the ultimate end of a worldview that has absolutely no regard for the sanctity of all human life. Their impoverished worldview has wreaked havoc and left a trail of wrecked lives.

Miriam and Janan
This afternoon my team and I visited an elderly widow named Miriam and her 45 year-old daughter, Janan. As ISIS approached their little home in Mosul, they were forced to flee along with thousands of other Christian families. This task was made even more difficult for Miriam because her daughter is blind and disabled and they had no one to help them. Miriam and her wheelchair-bound daughter soon found themselves alone on the streets of Mosul.

Miriam and Janan were beyond frightened. Thankfully, a man driving a big truck spotted them and offered to transport them to Erbil. He struggled to get the women into the back of his truck. “We felt like goats,” said Miriam with tears in her eyes, “but were thankful for a way out of Mosul.” When they arrived in Erbil, they could find no place to stay in this city made even more crowded by the influx of people from Mosul. Things looked hopeless.

Finally, the truck driver said he knew of only one remaining option — a shady brush arbor at the local cemetery. So, he drove the women there and dropped them off. Miriam and Janan would spend the next month living alone among the dead. Eventually a priest happened by the cemetery and arranged for the women to travel to Amman. Today, these two women live in a small flat with no source of income. Our local partners arranged to help them with their rent and groceries.

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Our time with Miriam and Janan was very emotional. They both wept the entire time we were with them. Miriam recently broke her foot trying to help her daughter to the toilet. Janan, who lost her eyesight at age 5, just cried and said all she wanted was to be able to see and to walk again. She understands how difficult it has become for her mother to care for her. And she knows her own future will become even more difficult should anything happen to her mother. The only thing that sustains them is their faith in God.

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One of my Jordanian friends has developed a strong bond with Miriam and Janan. He arranged for us to deliver a small refrigerator and food to their flat. This dear friend knows that their situation is more difficult than that of other refugees because neither of these women are capable of working. I told him that our missions ministry would pay the next six months of their rent to give him time to come up with some longer term solutions.

After praying with these women, we left their flat with heavy hearts. We had once again witnessed the destructive legacy of ISIS. As followers of Jesus, we are compelled to care for all who are in need regardless of their religious background. Earlier in the day we had provided for the needs of a Muslim couple still grieving the death of their 5 year-old daughter. We demonstrated the same love and concern for them as we had shown Miriam and Janan. Jesus would expect nothing less of us — something that ISIS will never understand.


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