God Loves You

by Rob Weingartner

Kirkuk cross

Kirkuk cross

When our board met recently in Houston, we were blessed with the presence of one of our dear mission partners, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Kirkuk, Iraq.

He told the story of how, for seven years, his wife and a group of women have carried on a ministry to women in a nearby prison. Most of the women are in prison for prostitution or theft. Their families don’t help them, and they won’t even mention them because of the shame they feel.

The Presbyterian visitors take toiletries, undergarments and feminine products to the women, and they take them towels. The towels have been embroidered with two words that don’t appear in the Koran. Two words they’ll never hear at the mosque. In Arabic “God loves you” is two words. 

During one visit the Presbyterians noticed that one of the prisoners had taken empty cigarette packs and stuck them to the wall of her cell in the shape of a cross. They said, “What is this?” The prisoner replied, “You come to us and talk to us about God’s love and about your hope in Jesus. You explained to us that the cross is the source of mercy. We want to have that hope!”


Rob Weingartner
Executive Director

The Outreach Foundation