“How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1 Those words kept running through my mind our first night in Kirkuk. As their children laughed and played, we sat in the church yard with members of three families including Nashwan, whose brother had been killed in Mosul by ISIS, and Zena and their two children, who still live here at the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Kirkuk. We listened as they told us about what had happened four years ago when ISIS attacked the Nineveh Plain, home to a number of historically Christian villages including Qaraqosh, where these families had lived. We heard them speak about leaving their homes with only a few moment’s notice and fleeing, first to Erbil and then to Kirkuk. We cried as they told us about knocking on the doors of the Presbyterian Church, hoping to find a place of safety and refuge.
In the months and years that have followed, these faithful Christians, most from the Syriac Catholic Church, have found not only safety and refuge but also a warm welcome and genuine community at the Presbyterian Church.Read More