Posts in Iraq 2019
Iraq #6: Return to Mosul

by Marilyn Borst

Mosul. The name does not immediately conjure up frightening images for me as it does for most.

Yes, I am well aware of its recent history: of its gradual takeover by fundamentalists when the U.S.-led war in 2003 destabilized Iraq, of the subsequent terror wrought by ISIS upon Christians and moderate Muslims who had called it “home” and the of the “battle for Mosul” which defeated ISIS there but decimated a large part of the historic Old City.

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Iraq #5: Churches with a Mission

by Mike Kuhn

Can you name any of the earliest missionaries to China or India? Hudson Taylor? William Carey?

Aside from the Apostle Thomas, who is thought to have taken the gospel to India, the first missionaries to these areas went from Iraq. The monasteries of the ancient Church of the East spread along the silk road until they reached India and China.

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Iraq #4: Iraq is Holy Ground

by Tony Lorenz

“Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”  Exodus 3:5

Iraq is holy ground. I realize this more and more each hour, each day, each trip. My first trip to Iraq was a year ago, a whirlwind of visits and flights punctuated by prayers, tears and amazing meals.

This visit has been no less a whirlwind but with fewer flights. Sunday morning did, however, find us on a big yellow bus headed from Erbil to Kirkuk in order to visit and worship with our brothers and sisters in the Presbyterian church.

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Iraq #3: Our Partner Churches

by Chris Weichman

When we talk about institutions, the church or places like the United States or the Middle East often we paint pictures with broad strokes; as if every church or every area in a country is the same. One of the realizations of this trip is that the church in the Middle East is as diverse as one could imagine. The great blessing of our time together is hearing from the leaders in our partner churches.

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Iraq #2: We Are Here

by Mark Mueller

What does the church in the Middle East have to teach Christians in the United States, in any land for that matter? It is a question that I have wrestled with as I have stepped into a complex land with many layers of joy, struggle, despair and hope. Even as this consultation begins today, the Turkish army bombs northeast Syria and moves its troops into some of the towns and villages of people attending the conference. I was wondering today how one attends a conference with war in your neighborhood and news texted from loved ones and friends of an occupying force driving its tanks down Main Street. But we are HERE. We are HERE to look at the many layers of life in the Middle East and learn from the faithful remnant of Christians who have not migrated to safer lands but have endured Saddam, ISIS, invasion and sanction all the while remaining the faithful church to spread the Gospel in these parts.

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Iraq #1: Friends in the Middle East

by Jack Baca

A bit less than four years ago I came on my first Outreach Foundation trip into the Middle East. This makes trip number five. I could hardly be more excited. Why?

There are lots of things to love about this region of the world. The history here is, of course, amazing. For folks of faith like me that goes without saying. How could you not be eager to get back to the land of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Paul? But there’s also so much great art, and archaeology, and the story of the beginning of human civilization. The food is great, too, and there are hauntingly beautiful vistas often magnified by ethereal sunsets.

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