Saturday, March 24, 2018

Participating in God’s Work

Northern Iraq

Displaced children in Northern Iraq have fun at a playground in the camp with Alison.

An intern loves displaced people in Iraq

We bumped along the dirt road as I listened to the voices of my coworkers rise and fall with excitement. We had been waiting for this day. In just a few weeks, our new base had changed from a pile of dirt to an open space with three small trailers, two port-a-potties, and a gravel pathway. This day was special because it was the first day that we would sit face to face with community members and begin conversations about the future of this small plot of land.

I gazed out of the truck window as we passed by row after row of white tents, each holding families that had to flee from war. Some have seen people killed as they ran from their villages to escape the Islamic State group; others have seen their sisters, wives, or children held captive as slaves.  Each life has been changed by violence, and the white tents serve as an ever-present reminder that this is not home and that our world is still broken.

Northern Iraq

Empty trailers at the new Samaritan’s Purse site

Life is different for people in the camp. Many of them had quiet, independent lives before fleeing their homes. Now all of their decisions are made by outside organizations. Even the quality of education that their children receive is determined by spots available in the nearest school, teachers hired, and, ultimately, funding available. They are at the mercy of others.

For this reason, Samaritan’s Purse decided to designate this plot of land as a safe space that is defined by the community. In order to do this, staff members would need to sit, listen, and learn from the people living everyday life in the tents. What are their talents and gifts? What makes them happy and sad? What do they talk about most?

In taking the time to hold community discussions, Samaritan’s Purse can walk alongside the people displaced by war and better discern how to use the resources and talents that God has gifted the organization with.

Sitting in the car, I felt oddly privileged to be in Northern Iraq as an intern.  Somehow God had allowed me to participate in the work of these community discussions and to see tangible expressions of God’s love among a hurting people group.

The reality is that all believers have this odd privilege to participate in the work of Christ. God has called His people to shine like a light in the darkness. While the response may look different for each individual, the call is always the same. We are to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Northern Iraq

Children at the new site hang their art inside

During this time of injustice, violence, and political turmoil across the globe, the question must be asked: How is God inviting you and your community to participate in His work in your midst and across the globe? It doesn’t matter where you are—there is always an invitation to participate in God’s work.

Each and every day the world is filled with joy and misery, and each and every day God is filling hearts with love and peace to share in their proper place and time. For Samaritan’s Purse in Northern Iraq, loving others looks like hosting community discussions and building programs that seek to love and heal the people hurt by war and terror.

What does loving others look like for you today?

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7 Comments on "Participating in God’s Work"

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Sharron Callis

Is there any opportunities to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse in Iraq. I have volunteered three times in Iraq since 2014 and would really like to work with you. I have volunteered in the U.S. with Samaritan’s Purse in WV. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Jenish J

Great to see the work in these vulnerable places. Taking Gospel and using every chance that we got. How can I participate in this? I’m willing to work over here and do evangelism for our LORD JESUS. Can someone guide me and help me, please?

Sister Alison, let our GOD Protect you and keep you from all harm and HIS Blessings and provisions be upon you. Keep it up!

Jenish J

Candy Garcia
What a beautiful tribute to the call that God has placed on all of our lives. It is also a blessed reminder, in photos, of how important children are to God. These little ones are beautiful. The fact that the leaders of the community are called upon to make decisions for themselves, and their people, is a window into how Samaritan’s Purse conducts its work-empowering and proactive in the midst of the need for outside involvement. Thank you Alison for the challenge to be intentional about what loving others looks like in our own lives and communities. Keep up the… Read more »
Harry Mathis

Have been privileged to visit some of the SP sites in Northern Iraq. The work they are doing there is truly beautiful and amazing!


How great is our God!? Isn’t it amazing that He lets us take part in all this incredible work He is doing around the world? I’ll be praying for all that is taking place in Northern Iraq and look for ways to love others in Jesus’s name right where I’m at!