Sunday, March 18, 2018

Heartbreak and Healing in Iraq

A nurse cares for 7-year-old Anmar* who lost his feet when a mortar blast hit the soccer field where he was playing.

Seven-year-old Anmar* lost his feet when a mortar blast hit the soccer field where he was playing.

Reflections from our emergency field hospital outside of Mosul.

Medical staff have treated more than 1,500 patients since the Emergency Field Hospital opened in January just outside of war-ravaged Mosul. Traumatic injuries, life-saving care, and major surgeries mark the days. It’s hard to wrap your head and heart around so many patients with violent injuries due to gunfire, land mines, mortar rounds, and other explosives.

Our medical team works in Jesus' Name.

Our medical team demonstrates God’s love as they care for the critically injured.

When I reflect on my time in Iraq, I don’t think as much about the mass numbers that came in and out of the door as I do about the eyes wide with fear, the faces etched in pain, and the tears shed.

I think of Sonia,* a young mom who was holding her 5-month-old baby when she stepped on a landmine. She lost her leg, but she thought it was a small price to pay for her freedom. Sonia gave me a glimpse into the torture she endured every day in west Mosul when she said, “I may have lost my leg, but now I am living.”

I think of Anmar,* a 7-year-old boy whose life was forever altered while playing what should have been a fun game of soccer. He lost both his feet when a mortar landed in the soccer field, and his best friend is now paralyzed from the waist down.

I think of Nadia,* a 12-year-old girl hospitalized with her mom after shrapnel and debris from an airstrike caused deep lacerations. Nadia sat on her bed methodically looping brightly colored rubber bands together to create stretchy bracelets. It was as if busying her hands gave her a voice.

About 40 percent of patients treated at the Emergency Field Hospital are women and children.

About half of patients treated at the emergency field hospital are women and children.

She kept repeating, “We used to be so happy. Before ISIS, we were so happy.” She stared blankly across the hospital room, and my heart broke when I tried to imagine the evil her eyes have witnessed.

I think of Nadia’s mom, Elean, who was 31 weeks pregnant. Her wounds miraculously stop right above her belly, protecting the life forming inside her. I think of this child being born into a world of chaos and unknowns.

When I think of these precious people—the families ripped apart by explosions and separated by war—I still see hope. Inside the tents of the Emergency Field Hospital, things are shifting. Heartbreak is giving way to hope and healing. The darkest evil is being mended by the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

I remember their thankful hearts and resilient spirits, and I know that God is at work.

*Names changed for security.

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "Heartbreak and Healing in Iraq"

newest oldest most voted
Tammy Davis

We are so thankful for your work in Mosul. My ladies group has been specifically praying for your work at that hospital.

Randy Moore

Thanks SP for caring about those in need who can’t escape. God Bless You….


Thank you for all you do to bring physical healing but most importantly, sharing and showing the love of Jesus to bring spiritual healing! God bless

susan parminter

bless you all for the work tou are doing, i would like to volunteer but dont know how to go about it, also could only do the odd jobs and assistant nursing,

Elaine M

I’m so glad that Samaritan’s Purse is there, reaching out in love to touch lives so altered by hate.


Thank you so much for your caring and passionate service to these people who struggle just to survive.

Andrew Hamann

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21King James
Thank you Samaritan’s Purse!