The Chance To Hope Again

– Erbil, Iraq Kurdistan
Lowrka is just 25 years old, but has experienced more tragedy than most will ever experience in their lifetime. After fleeing Syria three months ago, she settled in the Karagask refugee camp.

“We had to leave. My story is horrible, but I ask you to share it,” she said. “Please do what you can,” was her simple cry for help.

Five months ago, her younger brother was kidnapped in Syria by a radical Islamic group. The group wanted to extract information from him about the Democratic Union Party, also known as the PYD, for which he was a soldier. When he refused to cooperate, they put him in prison.

“I hated seeing my baby brother in prison. If you are a sister to a younger brother, you know how I felt.” she explained.

Lowrka visited him and secretly took a picture to expose her brother’s situation. Her courage is a bold example of love. The night she posted the photo of him to appeal for his release, things spiraled out of control.

She vividly retells that night, “I didn’t know where he was, other than he had been released. Almost asleep, I was startled by the shot of a gun. It is such an awful sound, especially when you imagine what was in the line of sight. I had no idea it was my brother.”

Being a lab technician, she tried anything and everything to keep him alive while finding a ride to the hospital.

“I sat there with him in my arms waiting. There I sat on the road in my town in northern Syria with my little brother in my hands. Slowly he slipped away. His last heartbeat pulsed into my fingers.”

Time has yet to age her face, but tragedy has weighed down her heart. She went on, “And he wasn’t just any brother. He was the one that made life special for me. A week before this was my birthday. My brother got all my friends and surprised me. This picture is from that night.”

Lowrka’s desperate eyes told us that she needed more than just temporary provisions. She was searching for comfort, for healing, for hope. She may not have recognized it yet, but her heart was longing for the Comforter, the Healer, the Hope of the world. Provisions of food, necessities, and medical care alone just wouldn’t cut it.

This is why World Compassion’s work in Kurdistan is so important. We uncompromisingly preach the gospel and offer Bibles and The Story of Jesus booklets at every food distribution, because we know that the most desperate need lies much deeper than the need for shelter or food. In this way, we can provide through the Gospel what refugees like Lowrka are truly searching for – the chance to hope again.

Photo of Lowrka’s brother from her phone.

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Photo from the surprise party.

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New Hope

Lowrka is just one of hundreds of thousands who have lost those closest to them. We are working to bring them hope by meeting practical needs as well as the healing message of Jesus Christ. It only costs $25 to provide food and ministry to a refugee for a month.

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