Rev. Bob Armstrong
on a recent "The Good Life" on
the Christian Television Network
with Bob and Jane D'Andrea.




 

Love-Link Ministries’ SPECIAL…       Summer, 2016

MIDEAST REPORT

DANGEROUS MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

       In Erbil, the capital city of Kurdistan, I met with Mahir, the head of numerous ministry efforts, especially all of the Campus Crusade for Christ projects.  We spent some personal time together.  We also discussed the upcoming December Christmas for Refugees efforts that he coordinates locally.


       We drove to a refugee camp.  This is one of eight “Christian” (rather, non-United Nations’) camps where there is approx. 5,000.  In the middle of the camp is a soccer field where we plan to expand the Christmas for Refugee program in December.


       Mahir also coordinates the “Diapers for Refugees” program where two 40-foot containers of diapers have been delivered.  Yes, believe it or not, refugee women want diapers for their children more than food!  Due to the unsafe water, they cannot sterilize the cloth diapers and boil them.  Their babies develop exceptionally severe rashes (some have even died) without clean diapers.  I finally understand the severity of the true need.




        
       I became close friends with the General Manager and part owner of a hotel in Erbil, which is directly across the street from St. Elia’s Catholic Church which during the severe refugee crisis in the summer of 2014, they had over 100 tent families living in their compound that they ministered to.  Next time I am to spend time with Father Douglas of St. Elia, thanks to my new friend.


        In Dohuk, where some of the safe houses are, I spent time with the local pastor, Pastor K and his family.  I had the opportunity to speak and minister three times at his various church meetings.  Some of these are “baby” Christians and needed great encouragement.  Many were raised Yazidi and needed some instruction in the Christian walk of faith.

               We visited several homes of new Believers and had a tremendous and productive time of ministry and prayer.  His family is great, too.  The 112-degree weather was quite a challenge.  I look forward to visiting him again, soon!


         

Within 10-15 minutes from ISIS-held territory, I ministered to those in need.  I heard horrific stories from Yazidi young people who escaped ISIS.  They were part of the thousands who were trapped on top of Mt. Sinjar by ISIS for months.  They recalled friends begging for food and water from them, due to the severe shortages caused by ISIS.  Many died.  Over 5,000 men, women and children were slaughtered by ISIS.  They were fortunate to escape; or to still be alive when the Kurdistan troops finally reached them on the mountaintop.


          There are no jobs available, to speak of.  There are extremely poor conditions that remain even today.  Their existence is meager, at best.  But these new Believers have strong hearts and strong wills.  Even though the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul, is only ten miles from there, they are also believing with me and my Kurdistan military insiders, that ISIS will be removed from Mosul by force before Christmas.


          It was a humbling honor to lay hands on them and pray for their families and their future! 
Judging by the tears, the Holy Spirit helped me and Pastor K to strike a God-ordained chord with them!


         
The rescuing of women, and now families, from ISIS continues.  In a compound at the Khanke United Nations’ refugee camp outside Dohuk, I had the extreme honor to meet with a Yazidi Sheik and his extended family.  Negotiating with _______, I paid money to assist in rescue efforts from ISIS; as well as the ongoing sustaining of those rescued.  Pastor K accompanied me (since I do not speak their language!) and had the opportunity to witness to these Yazidi families in leadership, while we went to personally visit and pray for rescued women (and families, for that matter).


         God really moved.  This family head could not understand why I wanted to lay hands on him and pray for his blood clots.  He was touched by God when I prayed with him.


         One of the purposes of my ministry trip was to help insure that the monies supplied genuinely go to where they are intended: to help rescued people.  So I researched and learned many new situations on this trip.  The price in the ISIS market place for a women has quite a range, from very old lady (cheaper) to a pretty, sexually-active young girl (more expensive).


         Dear God.  It’s the law of “supply and demand.”  The “average” for woman in December was $1,300 - $1,500.  Now the “average” is $10,000 U.S. Dollars!  WOW!  Corporations, organizations, countries are willing to pay the higher prices.  ISIS is hurting a little financially (They have lost 12% of their area just this year!).  Their oil fields that they once controlled have been over-run somewhat.  Fallujah and a couple of other cities have fallen. So ISIS needs money and will charge more; and if someone or some organization is willing to pay that price, they will receive that outrageous price. 


         I am re-thinking about rescuing “individual” women (still 3,000 enslaved), as that price is too unrealistic to ask of any donor or friend.  So, I will continue efforts to “assist rescue efforts”.  More on this later.  Plus, I must be more discreet in giving names and photos of women.  ISIS monitors this!  Thank you for your continued prayers in these efforts.


         I have made additional contacts on rescue efforts that I cannot divulge at this moment, for security concerns.  Entire families are being rescued!!



         I also prayed for older man for healing. He is an ISIS survivor.


         Then I spent three days in Amman, Jordan with the main Christian leader there, Isam Ghattas.  He has been on the forefront of Christian ministry in Jordan for several decades. His innovative strategy includes the refurbishing of 40-foot containers, making them into a livable two bedroom “home” to include a kitchenette and bathroom.  Fabulous!


         
Many years ago, God gave him a vision for Camp Gilead, where several thousands of Christian kids come every year to experience their time with Jesus.  The camp overlooks the Gilead Valley or Jordan Valley, where on the other side is Israel.  It was really great to spend time with kids in Jordan who loved the Lord! I was so close to Israel, my cell phone twice “Welcomed me to Israel!”



          Bill Murray, of the Religious Freedom Coalition, Washington, DC, and I were in Jordan together to plan and strategize for future mission endeavors to be more productive.  He heads up the Christmas for Refugees and Diapers for Refugees programs.

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