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IRAQ: Abducted Girl Reunited with Her Parents

IRAQ: Abducted Girl Reunited with Her Parents

After almost three years in captivity, an Iraqi Christian girl abducted by the Islamic State in August 2014 has finally been reunited with her parents.

Christina Abada, who is about to celebrate her sixth birthday, was welcomed home last week. Locals say she was released by the Iraqi Special Forces.

“It is a very happy moment; everybody is dancing and clapping and singing,” one Christian woman told a World Watch Monitor contact from the Ashti refugee camp, near Erbil, where her parents have lived for the past two years.

“She looks OK, quite healthy. I believe she must have been in the house of a family who took good care of her. She was even wearing gold earrings, so it must have been a wealthy family,” she added.

But there was one note of caution. “Although everybody was very happy, it was also sad to see that Christina herself is in shock about all the people around her,” the woman said. “Everybody is asking questions and speaking to her, but she does not say anything back, really. She also seems to be overwhelmed by the huge crowd of people welcoming her.”

Christina was abducted in August 2014, when IS overran Iraq’s second city, Mosul, and then swept into the Christian city of Qaraqosh in the Nineveh Plains, where the Abada family lived. Prior to IS’s occupation, it was the largest Christian city in Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians and other minorities had already fled the northern region. Christina’s family, however, stayed behind because the father, Khader, is blind. Other Christians too old or frail to flee also stayed, hoping for a measure of mercy from the invaders – a hope which was misplaced.

On 22 August, militants rounded up the Christians, saying they would receive medical check-ups. Several times, Ayda said, IS fighters pointed at her, with Christina in her lap.

Someone gave an order to take out any gold or valuables. The IS militants took it all. As the Christians were bundled into a bus a jihadist walked up to Ayda. He took her little girl from her arms and just walked away.

Ayda pleaded for her daughter, but the man waved Ayda away. At gunpoint, she was forced back onto the bus.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Rejoice with Christina’s family and community as they celebrate this marvelous answer to prayer.
  • Pray for wisdom for Christina’s parents as they help this little girl overcome past fears and help her adjust to family life.
  • Pray for the nation of Iraq, may the Lord bless the people with an outpouring of His Spirit. Commit to the Lord those who are bringing the light of the Gospel to the people.
MIDDLE EAST: TERRORIST TURNS TO JESUS

MIDDLE EAST: TERRORIST TURNS TO JESUS

The woman sought “Samuel” out. Samuel’s team came to the area a couple of times every month to distribute food aid to the thousands of Syrian refugees spread out across Lebanon’s countryside. The refugees live in very rough conditions with little opportunity for work or school. Over the years, Samuel’s team developed many friendships with the mostly Muslim refugees, giving the team many opportunities to share Jesus’ love with them.

“Hanan” heard about the Christians through friends and invited the team to come to her house. A widow in her 40s, Hanan lived with her mother and other older female relatives in one of the Lebanese fields where Syria refugees have made their homes in makeshift buildings. Her adult children had gone to Turkey early in the conflict, but Hanan and the older female relatives stayed. When the daily bombings in their village finally destroyed their home, they fled to the Lebanese fields.

During their first meeting with Hanan and the women, the team showed them the JESUS film. “I talked with them about God’s love and presented the Gospel,” Samuel said. After the film, Hanan’s mother, a woman in her 80s, and the other older women began to cry. “They had never heard anything about the Gospel and Jesus Christ,” said Samuel.

With tears in their eyes, the family prayed with the team, and Samuel and the others began to visit them twice a month. Samuel felt a special bond with the family, because they came from the same province as his father’s family. Every other week, they studied the Bible together, and Samuel taught them how Bible stories could change their lives. He gave Hanan a New Testament, and she began reading it consistently.

PRAY

  • That God will raise up more people like Samuel who are willing to reach out and share the Gospel of God’s love to a people suffering from the effects of war
  • May those who have committed their lives to Jesus, pray they will remain strong in their faith
  • Ask God to use Muslim Background Believers to share the knowledge of who He is with others

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA