From: Chris Seiple
To: Friends of The Cradle Fund (TCF)
Subject: "You Can Cut Our Throats but Our God is Stronger than the Sword:"
Trip Report, Northern Iraq, 7-11 February 2015
"And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God."—Revelation 4:20
Backdrop: "You Can Cut Our Throats but Our God is Stronger than the Sword." These words were uttered to ISIS by one Christian father on behalf of his family, whom we met in Diyana (in Northeast Iraqi Kurdistan, near the Iranian border). Incredibly, ISIS let this family go.
The same unswerving belief was true of the 21 Christians martyred this weekend in Libya. But ISIS chose to kill them; because they were "people of the Cross." I wonder if I could ever be so brave. Sadness saturates the soul.
As you consider the below summary & actions items, please consider how they might relate to the whole. Please consider how what is being revealed through The Cradle Fund might further reveal the strategy, structure, and staffing needed by Christians to take on this global threat—loving God, neighbor, and enemy as they do—while working with others of good will.
Summary: We are making a difference, serving the most marginalized, especially Christians and other minorities, and Muslims as well, who are not in the UN camps. To date, through our Christian partners,1 we have served 57,000 people—providing such things as food, blankets, clothing, kerosene, heaters, and winter-proofing materials for abandoned buildings (e.g., glassless windows)—expecting, we estimate, to serve at least another 31,000.
1 TCF’s public partners include: Assyrian Aid, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, Mosul’s Archbishop Mouche, the Preemptive Love Coalition, and the International Orthodox Christian Charities serving in Iraq; Canon Andrew White’s Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East serving in Iraq and Jordan; and, Heart for Lebanon serving in Lebanon.
As spring approaches, The Cradle Fund is preparing to move beyond the "Recue" phase of our strategy to the "Restore" and "Return" phases, building on the trust that has been developed during the "Rescue" phase.
The bottom line: The situation remains complexly dire: from life as a persecuted refugee with no hope, to the continuing threat of ISIS, to the geo-politics, to the general absence of leadership on all fronts. The best solution—to which all agree—is to return the persecuted to their homes. It will take a global citizenry mobilized, beginning with the global Church.
Until then, we provide hope in the context of history, through help that is trusted, and tangible.