Category Archives: Iraq

Northern Iraq – Update from Displaced Iraqis and Syrians

FROM R.K.’S CORNER

Ulrichs 11-14In the October 2014 Bridge Report, we featured The Bridge’s first participation in helping ease the suffering of the destitute Iraqis and Syrians displaced by the brutal takeover of the region by ISIS — http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2014/10! Our friend and mission partner brought with them the Bridge relief funds we had received from our donors up till then! (Due to security reasons, we do not disclose the names of our partner or his organization).  Our partner did a Fall trip in which we did not participate, but during his latest trip this Spring, we sent the balance in the relief account with him, from which he wrote us this month’s report. The fact that he is Arab, thus easily blending into the local population, enables him to touch the lives of those who suffer the most—the 200,000 out of the 1 mill refugees who live outside the camps, most of them being Yazidis and Christians.  So far we have sent close to $20,000 into the field — with no overhead deducted, it means that 100% of the funds you give, directly serve the needy!  Thank you for your generosity!  THE NEED IS GREAT— PLEASE KEEP ON GIVING!

JUNE TRIP TO NORTHERN IRAQ BY OUR ARAB FRIEND AND HIS TEAM

Displaced Yazidis in Northern Iraq

Displaced Yazidis in Northern Iraq

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We thank God for you as you have continued to give generously and helped provide food, clothing, medicine, heat, and transportation to the displaced people from Syria and Iraq and enabled us to keep sharing the Good News with those who are suffering and without Hope. During these trips, we have been giving new information and methods which are influencing the believers’ ability to reach across cultural barriers and share the message that we have been commissioned to share in a way the locals are able to  hear and receive the Good News of the Kingdom.

Life goes on - baby born in diaspora

Life goes on – Iraqi baby born in the camp

Entering Iraq this time, we found that ISIS had made new gains. What had appeared to be a “hands  down” victory in Northern Iraq by the Kurds, had turned into a fresh infusion of troops and money from ISIS. We were present as ISIS took Ramadi.  This was heartbreaking for us. We also experienced firsthand a renewed campaign of suicide bombs in the region’s capitol of Erbil.  This made it an interesting visit, as everyone was a suspect of the Kurdish guards along the roads. We saw several “plumes” that were the evidence of the efforts by ISIS to penetrate into the heart of Kurdish territory.

Despite the efforts of ISIS, the King of Glory has been working in the hearts of men. We met several of the new Kurdish, Yazidi believers and had opportunity to encourage them and spend good quality time with them. We actively listened to their stories and learned as much as possible, so we could help them contextualize “the message”, for the purpose of reaching as many Yazidis as possible.  My wife and I visited one of the main ancient Yazidi temples to learn about their history, traditions and ceremonies to enable to better help the Yazidi believers continue the movement that God has clearly started.

A Yazidi’s Testimony

N and A sharing their lives with us in the camp.

N and A sharing their lives with us in the camp.

We met with one new believer whom I’ll call N for security sake, who shared his story. The following is his account:

“When the attacks began we had to leave to the mountain (Shingal). My wife was with my family, while I went ahead to the top of the mountain.  Before my wife could join me she was bitten by a poisonous snake on her left leg which was swollen up to her thigh. I was the only young man in my family so I had to walk more than five kilometers every day to bring water to them. There are more than 84 people in my family, so I drank less than a cup of water each day which was not enough. We had no food for 18 days. My wife was getting weaker since we had no medicineand her leg was turning black and blue from the poison.

I had to make a decision as to whether I would stay with my family or try to take my wife to get help. My family was ok, except for their necessary to walk to get water. Because my wife could not walk, I had to carry her every day.  I made the decision to leave my family to save her life. I carried her on my back, and  many times she told me, ‘just leave me on the ground’, but I could not. I was dehydrated from carrying her and I asked a woman for water but she would not give it to me. My feet were bleeding, I still had not eaten, but I felt like someone was pushing me to go forward. I did not know who it was but I knew there was someone behind me telling me that there was a plan for my life and I must continue. Finally someone gave my wife a ride to Dohuq.  I was able to get there later and she recovered fully.

Later, I met a man who introduced me to “A” (our partner) and he told me about Jesus and then brought me to meet a local pastor.  Then I knew it was Jesus who gave me the strength to go on and that he does have a plan for me to tell my people about Him and give my people hope.”  

The Situation on the Ground

Liaison - Outhouse June 2015Liaison - Camp Toilet-Wash Area June 2015In addition to the work being done among the unreached Yazidi people, we also continued to deliver aid to the Persecuted Christians. The situation among the Christians look very bleak at the present as there appears to be no plan by the Government of Iraq, the Kurds or anyone else to go retake the City of Mosul which is the ancient homeland of so many traditional Christians in Iraq. The feeling was very hopeless for those who had lost homes, businesses and land owned by their families for generations. Most of the Christians wanted to simply leave Iraq saying they could never trust the government or the situation again.  They are still living on bare subsistence and in need of fruit, vegetables, meat and medical assistance.

We and several of our partner organizations have been pounding this drum for almost a year now,  and while the situation has much improved from the first visit and there are no longer people living on the streets, it is far from resolved.  (The two pictures above demonstrate the deplorable situation in the camps.  They show the inside and outside of an outhouse, serving as toilet and washroom for between 50 – 140 people at any given time)!

Our Relief Aid Outreach

Delivery of Relief Aid

Delivery of Relief Aid

With our partners, we have been working tirelessly to provide the basic needs to help restore hope to those feeling the sting of displacement.  In addition to locally buying food and medical supplies for distribution, we have also sent two large containers from the United States. While there, one of them arrived, so we went to the Turkish Border and checked it through and had it delivered to the warehouse where it was being sorted, inventoried and prepared for delivery.

After almost a year of wondering and waiting, the uncertainty is not  less, but we have been able to ease the suffering and provide a message of comfort to those mourning and grieving.

Liaison - Distrd food 2 June 2015Some of the greatest needs we are presently facing is grief counseling, PTSD counseling and medical care. If you have experience in any of these areas and are feeling called by God to reach out to your brothers and sisters in need, please contact us.

As much as I would like to tell you the situation is 100% safe; the truth is,  the condition on the ground is not stable.  Nevertheless — when God speaks to us to go, we need to trust and obey.  While we do this charity work in obedience to Christ and His commands to “love one another”, it is not the only reason we go. We are also focused on sharing the message of the Good News with all who need to hear the Gospel message. That includes Yazidis, Muslims and Traditional Christians who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There are MANY of those in Northern Iraq.

Teaching and Training

Handing out groceries to the persecuted Christians in Iraq.

Handing out groceries to the persecuted Christians in Iraq.

One of the main reasons I went to Iraq on this trip was to work with a group of  people who have a heart for the lost and have been strategically placed by God Himself in this area.The last time we went, I began teaching on Crisis Discipleship.  I touched on “cross-cultural” subjects. The concepts we shared were completely new to this group. They listened to a small portion of the teaching, which convinced them we should return and bring them more training.

Most of the workers in this group are Christians, three are from Muslim, and one from Yazidi backgrounds. As I shared, I saw God stretch them all into new areas of faith. They  realized the old way has been failing. Now they are open to new ways of thinking and new ways of working.  It is a real pleasure to work together and watch God open their eyes. We met together for four hours a night while we were there. The response was almost overwhelming. The brothers all asked us to come back every three months for more training. I was not only honored, but felt that the Lord had divinely opened this door and the good seed was being broadcast onto good ground. I fully expect this to bring forth a harvest, and for the Kingdom to be manifest in Northern Iraq.

How You Can Help

Please also keep our team there in your prayers as different groups have been working in a way that is unwise.  Now, the security police have questioned “A” regarding some literature that has appeared in unsolicited ways and is causing a bad situation for the workers on the ground.

It is obvious to us that the Lord has called us to work in Iraq for such a time as this, but we can’t do it alone. We feel the fervent prayers from those of you who have prayed.  You have also given generously to help us provide for the people of Iraq. Please continue to do so, that the work we have been called to can continue!

Thank you for all your love, prayers and support!  Together we ARE making a difference!  Because He Lives!  T. D. *

     United Nations Investigators Accuse ISIS of Genocide Over Attacks on Yazidis            (Excerpts from @The New York Times 3-15-2015)

Liaison - Yazidi Camp 2 June 2015

The tent cities, full to overflowing, seem more like prison camps rather than temporary shelter for displaced people.

The investigators reported that the pattern of attacks against the Yazidis, a religious minority living mostly in northern Iraq, pointed to the intention of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, “to destroy the Yazidi as a group.” In their advance across Iraq last year, Islamic State fighters rounded up hundreds of Yazidi men over the age of 14, led them to nearby ditches and summarily executed them”, the United Nations said. The report included the testimony of men who had survived massacres by shielding themselves behind the bodies of other victims. It was quite clear the attacks against them were not just spontaneous or happened out of the blue; “they were clearly orchestrated,” said Suki Nagra, who led a team of investigators that compiled the report.

Yazidi women and girls were abducted and sold or given into sexual slavery as spoils of war, said witnesses who also cited the rape by extremist fighters of two girls, ages six and nine. A pregnant married woman, 19, told investigators that she was raped repeatedly over two and a half months by an Islamic State militant claiming to be a doctor, and that he had deliberately sat on her stomach, telling her, “This baby should die because it is an infidel.”

Yazidi boys as young as 8 were forced to convert to Islam, to undergo training in the use of weapons and to watch videos of beheadings, children who escaped captivity told the United Nations team. “There are reports of hundreds, if not thousands, of these young boys who were forcibly taken,” Ms. Nagra said.

Evidence provided by witnesses also suggested that “a huge number of foreign fighters were involved” and that they had come from at least 10 countries, including from the West, Ms. Nagra said.

North Iraq – Relief Aid for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees

FROM R.K.’S CORNER

RK Ulrich 2012There is no such element as “darkness”.  In fact — darkness does not exist, it is simply the absence of light!  When light shines, darkness disappears. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. “For in You is the Fountain of Life.  In Your Light we see Light!”  Psalm 36:9

The above statement depicts the significance of our Arab friend/partner (we have withheld his name due to security reasons) and his wife’s September trip to the Kurdish part of Northern Iraq with relief aid to some of the two million Iraqi and Syrian refugees who are displaced by the terror advances of ISIS.  They are overcoming  darkness with LIGHT!!

Here is an uplifting trip report from our friends who are making a difference — they are Light-bearers in every sense of the word!  I learned about their planned trip only a couple of weeks in advance, so in a hurry, we were able to collect $2,800.00 which we sent with them — 100% of the funds were used toward aid for the refugees!  For those of you who donated — THANK YOU!

In November, our friends will again visit the people mentioned in their report, and we will continue to raise funds  for the refugees  they  serve.  I urge you to be generous — this  is  an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus in very tangible ways!  Please donate on our website either via  debit or credit card or your PayPal account, or send us a check in the mail!  Please mark your gift: Relief Aid—Refugees in Iraq.  Blessings!

TRIP REPORT FROM IRAQLiaison - Iraq 7

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus and in the name of the most Holy, our Father and Almighty God.  I pray this letter finds you in the best of health and in the perfect graces of our majestic King.

We recently traveled to Northern Iraq where the Islamic State has attacked and displaced close to two million people. The purpose of our trip was to deliver relief and assistance and to recon the situation to see how we could mobilize the church in America to come to the aid of our brethren and to reach out to the unreached people groups living in the Mosul plain and Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq.

We traveled through Turkey, stayed one night in Istanbul and continued on to Erbil where we met with Ashty Alisha the founder of Zalal Life (Zalal meaning “pure”) which is an NGO operating out of Dohuk, Kurdistan.  We asked Ashty to bring us to visit the Christian refugees in an effort to hear their stories and respond with the gifts of God’s people here in America.

Tarps hung across ropes tied to trees stretched for miles along the highways - the only shelter for tens of thousands.

Tarps hung across ropes tied to trees stretched for miles along the highways – the only shelter for tens of thousands.

Although the refugees were literally everywhere, we visited three refugee communities.  Our observation was that the Christian refugees lived outside the city in outlying areas, while the Muslims and Yazidis congregated in the center of the city. Dohuk is a city with a population of one million; approximately 500,000 live in the city center, the other half live outside the city proper. The population of Northern Iraq is around five million and is approximately 96% Muslim, 3% Christian and 1% Yazidi and other religions.

Three generations from one family with a 93 year old grandmother — all displaced!

Three generations from one family with a 93 year old grandmother — all displaced!

The Christian population consists mainly of traditional Armenian, Chaldean, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches.  The evangelical church is small,  but very active and vibrant. The believers endure a significant amount of persecution from the traditional churches.  The people of the traditional churches are very much in love with Jesus and willing to die for their faith, but know very little about their faith and put a great deal of stock in what the priests teach. Reading the Bible is looked upon as something only the priest does. Evangelicals are regarded as a cult, therefore not the true church.

The Kurds are very nationalistic.  In most cases in Kurdistan, being a Kurd, trumps religious preference. There are exceptions, but the majority of  Muslim Kurds are fighting the Islamic State.

Refugees from Mosul living in a hallway in the village of Howrysk.

Refugees from Mosul living in a hallway in the village of Howrysk.

The Province of Kurdistan is oil rich and becoming increasingly very modern; it bears all the earmarks of a developing nation. Left to grow, the state of Kurdistan could become a very wealthy, progressive state in a strategic location.

As we visited the Dohuk and Erbil regions we saw very limited evidence of aid reaching the people. We did see UN food trucks, but, contrary to media reports, there were no tent cities. The photographs included here are examples of the living conditions we witnessed.

Refugees living in unfinished buildings without walls with no water, bathrooms, or cooking facilities.

Refugees living in unfinished buildings without walls with no water, bathrooms, or cooking facilities.

Many of the Christians are living in schools and unfinished buildings.  Several unrelated families are sleeping in the same room with one bathroom. Unsanitary conditions are already causing health problems. There is no privacy for husband and wife. Children are at risk. This situation has no immediate solution.

Even if ISIS left tomorrow, the cities are littered with land mines.  Very similar to Afghanistan it will take years to clear the mines.  This means that there will be a large resettlement in certain areas for the Christians; this segregation will need to be addressed.

38 people from different families living in four small rooms.

38 people from different families living in four small rooms.

In November, we will be bringing in a team of medical doctors to minister to the overwhelming medical needs in these villages. We will also be gathering the local pastors and leaders to do grief-counseling training and crisis management training to help the local leadership deal with the trauma their people have experienced.

The government has agreed to give land to the refugees.  We can build basic block homes with one bathroom, a kitchen, and sleeping area for app. $3,000.00 The homes are small, but will keep the people warm in the winter,  cool in the summer, provide privacy, and helping with sanitation. These homes can be erected in less than 30 days.

Two small cook-tops used in the preparing of food for 360 refugees living in a hallway.

Two small cook-tops used in the preparing of food for 360 refugees living in a hallway.

While these conditions can be said to be horrible by human standards, we see Gods hand all over this situation.  Every day there are Muslims and Yazidis affected by this crisis, who are coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  This Diaspora of Christians has awakened the church to be the church in a place where it has been traditionally very challenging to share faith. The Evangelical believers who are on the ground have become emboldened to share in ways they never  did in the past.  There is a harvest taking place that is greater than the harvest of the Gulf war which is reaching people that were previously unreachable.

Liaison - Iraq 10What I see happening, is not only a trial for Northern Iraq, but a testing for the church in the west. I believe that if we do not respond properly, the  apathy and neglect we show towards  the church in the Middle East, will bring judgment upon us in the West. 

Liaison - Iraq 9Our prayers, our gifts and our actions are tantamount to the grace we will receive in the coming days. This crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate the grace of the Father which we, in the western church, are commanded to manifest.  The displaced people need everything. Some expressed that the children were so traumatized, it would help them if they had something to play with.  So we went out and bought soccer balls, dolls, and other toys.  The families were deeply grateful to see a smile on their children’s faces.

Our brethren have asked the church in America not to forget them. We told them we would tell their story. We need your help in ministering to the hurting, the lost, and the destitute.

Liaison - Iraq 11Liaison - Iraq 8Our plan is to make several trips into Northern Iraq this next year, not only to deliver funds, but to oversee the work the Lord has placed before us. We will make sure the gifts of God’s people get to their intended destination.  We will come alongside of our brothers who are laboring on the forefront in this harvest the Lord has prepared.

 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.’”   Matt 25: 34-40

Thank you for you for your love, prayers and generous gifts. May the Lord richly bless you for your obedience to Him! 

Your Brother and Sister in Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iraq and Syria – Genocide!

RK Ulrich 2012FROM R. K.’S CORNER: The airwaves are full of gruesome images from the Middle East and West Africa of Christians being hunted down en masse by Muslims, then tortured and killed in the most despicable ways: by crucifixions, burials, beheading, being slashed in half and organs removed — all done while the victims are alive. The terrorist offshoot of Al Qaeda, ISIS, is in the process of carrying out a carefully crafted plan to eradicate all Christians in the areas  they conquer; so far, they are making good on their promises. Ten years ago, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq.  Today, there are less than 400,000.  A large portion of them have now lost everything and are now on the run to save their lives.  In Syria, the situation is not any better.  In Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram is leveling and burning whole villages, often while the villagers are trapped inside their homes, being burned alive.

WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHY? In this issue, two of our partners. Sargon Daniali, an Assyrian born and raised in Iran, who ministers among Afghans, Iranians, Turks, and the peoples of Kazakhstan where he has lived for two decades (I visited him and his family there in May), and Paul Booher, the head of our Bridge online intercessory  prayer team, are giving their perspectives on the current situation.  Their answer is unified and clear: Freedom of the Gospel

Having ministered the Gospel among Muslim nations all his adult life, Sargon Daniali knows first hand Sharia Law’s effect on people subject to it. Below, he gives his perspective on the horrific genocide presently taking place in the Iraq , Syria, and other Muslim dominated parts of the world, and what our response as Christians should be.

Kazakhstan - Sargon with family

 MY PERSPECTIVE ON THE GENOCIDE TAKING PLACE IN THE REGION   by Sargon Daniali  

  • God is unmasking Islam and revealing its true nature by the brutal, deadly rampage of ISIS and like groups directed against Christians and other religious groups in Syria and Iraq. The deception that Islam is a religion of peace is being shattered before the eyes of the world, as these terrorists are racing to establish an Islamic State by instituting absolute obedience to Muhammad’s 7th century’s edicts from Allah, as written in the Qur’an:
  • In Islam, there are two houses, THE HOUSE OF WAR and THE HOUSE OF PEACE.  The latter, which includes all true Muslims, must wage war against all non-Muslims (“Infidels”) and give them the choice of submitting to SHARIA LAW (Islam’s Constitution) or face certain death.  JIHAD is the “Holy War” which is unleashed and will endure till those who refuse to submit  are eliminated and a world-wide CALIPHATE (Islamic State) is established under Sharia Law, run by a supreme CALIPH — a successor to Muhammad.
  • ISIS is performing specially brutal forms of violence against women and children. It is part of Islam’s roots and core values.  While Muhammad controlled Medina, he established a Bazaar (marketplace) called SABAYA, where women and children were auctioned off and sold into slavery.
  • ANTI-SEMITISM is at the core of Islam, originating from Muhammad’s anger toward the Jewish merchants in Medina.  They rejected his belief system, with the result that he and his followers beheaded between eight and nine hundred of them, and gave their women and children to his fellow Muslim victors.  Anti-Semitism is the demonic underlying force fueling  the present conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The Response to the Genocide of the Muslims in the Region

  • The young people live in an atmosphere of deep hopelessness, considering Islam  bankrupt as religion.  They resent the brutality with which their leaders enforce the strict, outdated laws of conduct.  They are torn between modern life and long to join the global community of freedom and liberty, but are forced to live in a society that demands a 7th Century lifestyle.  They must live in a kind of schizophrenic society.   Disenfranchised, with no future, and a sense of life having little or no value, they are easy targets for those waging Jihad and enlisting them into the ranks of suicide bombers. But deep inside, these young people are seeking for spiritual reality.  They need something worth living and dying for!  They are ready for the Gospel.

The State of the Church in the Middle East

  • The tens of thousands Yazidis languishing on top of one of the mountains in North-Western Iraq, some of whom are being airlifted to safety by the U.S., are a religious minority group whose faith is a mixture of an old Mesopotamian religion, Catholicism and Islam. In Mosul, the 60,000 Christians have been forced out of their homes and run out of the city by ISIS  who demanded, “Leave, convert, or die” are Chaldeans and Roman Catholics, ancient churches who have had presence in Iraq for 2000 years. It is estimated that perhaps another 50,000 Chaldean/Catholic Christians have died, many at the hands of ISIS, others while fleeing from heat, lack of food, and water.
  • Traditionally, these churches have been spiritual enclaves and have preserved the Christian presence in the Middle East, but they did not evangelize Muslims.  I have just finished reading about the seven churches in Revelation.  The Lord judged the churches because they had failed to share the Good News and had lost their first love, Jesus.  Twenty two years ago, I visited Northern Iraq with a suitcase full of Bibles to be distributed to the people to help them reach others for Christ, but the Priest forbade me to distribute them.  He was not happy about his congregation evangelizing!  The Middle Eastern church has been more concerned about preserving status quo than reaching out to the Muslims in their community.  God is calling the church to repentance for being lukewarm! From the rubble, He will raise up a victorious church worthy of the words in Revelation 12:11, ”…and they have conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death”.

Our Response and Responsibility as Western Christians

  • Pray for the believers in the region, that their eyes will be focused on the Lord, that they will look to Him for supernatural deliverance and provision!
  • Pray that they will be strong, courageous, and stand firm in their faith in face of persecution and death, not succumb to the pressure of conversion to Islam!
  • Share your finances and help resource the missionaries who labor in the region (Kurdistan can be reached from abroad).  Donate to Christian relief agencies who are doing effective, low cost  humanitarian aid!

CHRISTIAN’S GREATEST WEAPON: PRAYER, PRAISE, AND WORSHIP by Paul Booher

??????????????????????????????? The horrific tragedies being played out in the Islamic world are being widely broadcast in the news media, so most Christians in America and around the world should by now be aware to some degree of the genocide of their fellow believers.  We have been hearing about militant Islamist attacks on Christians in the Middle East and villages in Northern Nigeria, in Libya, in Syria, Iran, and Iraq.  Hardly a day goes by unless  we learn about groups of Christians being attacked and martyred for their faith; but what we have seen up to this point, pales by comparison to what is right now unfolding before our very eyes in the towns and villages of Northern Iraq.  ISIS, a newly formed and incredibly vicious and unmerciful group of terrorists have unleashed a brutal wave of murders, beheadings and other things so terrible  against women and small children which I cannot describe  in  detail for fear of traumatizing the reader.  When I first became aware of what was happening, my immediate reaction was to cry out to God for His divine intervention on behalf of these people.  But at the same time I was overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness in being able to do anything to help them myself.  Knowing I am so far away and have so few resources that can reach them in time to help, what can I do?

Yesterday (Sunday, August 10th), while attending our morning service at church, we were engaged in the most intense and moving period of worship and praise that I have experienced in many years.  In the middle of the worship time, our pastor took the microphone and announced that he had been led by the Lord to have us intercede on behalf of the thousands of people who had been pushed out of their homes and had fled to the top of a mountain in a desperate attempt to flee for their lives.  We began a period of united prayer so intense, people were crying out to God all throughout the congregation and weeping uncontrollably on behalf of  our brothers and sisters in Iraq. 

During this time, as our pastor was leading in prayer, God gave me a vision based on the story of the Prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 6.  The King of Syria had come with his army to capture Elisha. When Elisha’s servant woke up in the morning, he saw this mighty  enemy camped all around them.  2. King 6:15b—17: “The servant said, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ Elisha said, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them’.  And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”   God enabled Elisha and his servants to see His heavenly Hosts fighting for them! God told me to pray this prayer for the multitude stranded on the mountains, that He would open their eyes to see that God is their deliverer, He is their mighty fortress, so when they see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, their faith will break forth into praise and worship which is their most mighty weapons against their enemies.

As I have reflected on that vision and prayer, I have come to understand what God wanted to teach me in answer to my deep feelings of helplessness.  United in prayer, praise and worship we have access to the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare available to man. God has already given us, as Christians, access to His throne and His power through the Mighty Holy Spirit who lives within us.  I am hearing a call from the Spirit of God for Christians to unite in prayer, praise and worship all over the world against this outpouring of evil and present darkness.  Isaiah 59:19 is our call to arms as intercessors: “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in,  like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”