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Stronger Together

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During the past several months, Alliance individuals and churches have responded generously to financially support the development of three critical ministries overseas. The following stories are great examples of how the Alliance family is stronger together. Lives are being transformed from darkness to light, and Christ is being proclaimed among the nations. Thank you!

A Humanitarian and Spiritual Crisis in Northern Iraq

Dohuk is one of the main cities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where thousands of Yazidi refugees and other internally displaced peoples (IDPs)—Turkmen, Shabaks, Kurds, and Chaldean Christians—fled for their lives when ISIS invaded northwestern Iraq in 2014-16. The UN called the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS a genocide. The families able to escape the terror lost everything they owned, including their homes and any money they had in the bank.

Seeing this heart-wrenching crisis unfold before them, the Dohuk Alliance Church congregation has been reaching out in practical ways to assist the IDPs who live in refugee camps and small villages in the hills and valleys surrounding Dohuk. With support from CAMA Services—the relief and development arm of the U.S. Alliance—the church continues to distribute hundreds of food packages each month to IDPs in 12 encampments outside the city.

Critical needs identified

After a survey trip to Iraq in December 2018, Alliance leaders met with the staff of the Dohuk congregation to assess ways in which the U.S. Alliance could come alongside to help them serve the IDPs in Dohuk in deeper, more meaningful ways. Three critical areas were identified:

Stock a mobile pharmacy with a wide range of pharmaceuticals;

Provide emergency medical treatments/surgeries for IDPs; and

Offer compassionate trauma counseling for Yazidi and Iraqi girls and women.

The urgency of these needs compelled Alliance leaders to put together a two-year project to help cover the costs of these services on a short-term basis until a longer-term solution can be found.

In a mailing that was sent to Alliance supporters this past March, the U.S. Alliance family responded generously to these heartrending physical and spiritual needs of the displaced Iraqi people. Nearly $150,000 has been received to help provide needed medical interventions and counseling services. Praise the Lord!

The Only Treasure That Really Matters

Many of our readers may recall that in 2014 a conflict arose between Russia and Ukraine, which forced thousands of innocent Ukrainian families to flee from the eastern part of their country. Thousands of these IDPs ended up in the capital city of Kiev.

But what man meant for harm (i.e., the Russia-Ukraine conflict), God has transformed into something beautiful. One IDP woman who had to leave all of her possessions behind said to our Alliance worker: “I had a lovely two-room apartment in Donetsk [in eastern Ukraine] with everything that I would ever need, and I thought I had lost it all. But now that I have found Jesus, I have gained the only Treasure that really matters.” How did this amazing turnaround come about?

A vision to change the nation

When the IDPs began pouring into Kiev, Alliance leaders assigned an experienced international couple to work with a Ukrainian pastor and his wife (who had previously planted 19 churches in Russia) to open an IDP friendship center to offer help and hope to the desperate refugee families in the name of Jesus. Your monetary gifts made it possible to set up this center in a rented facility. More than 2,500 IDP families have registered to receive assistance.

Although the initial goal of the center was to provide food packets, clothing, housing, and job assistance to the displaced, the ministry at the IDP Center gave birth to the first-ever Alliance church in Kiev: the Light for Ukraine Alliance Church. That church family has grown to some 100 people (many of them IDPs), and in June 2018, 17 people were baptized.

But the vision for Kiev doesn’t stop with this one established fellowship. The Light for Ukraine Church has already started two more church plants in other regions of Kiev. The goal of the Alliance team in Kiev is to create a network of reproducing churches that will change the heart of the nation of Ukraine—and beyond.

These are the kind of churches The Alliance loves to start . . . and your support has played an integral role in getting this exciting ministry off the ground!

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