Unraveling the Mystery of Iraqi Girl’s Trauma

Unraveling the Mystery of Iraqi Girl’s Trauma

At a school in Jordan run by a native ministry, an 8-year-old girl from Mosul, Iraq became terrified every time her father took her to class.

School workers were used to seeing refugees traumatized from Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities in Iraq, but they were baffled at Miriam’s shrieks of fear every time her father brought her to school. Miriam’s mother had her hands full with a younger child and a baby, but she had to bring Miriam to school, as it was the only way the girl could arrive calm enough to learn.

Except that she didn’t learn. Fearing that something would happen to her parents and she would be left alone, Miriam refused to stay at school unless her mother stayed with her.

The indigenous missionary serving as the school principal visited the family, which identified with a nominally Christian denomination that discouraged them from reading the Bible. He learned that Miriam had been very close to her grandfather, and that before the family fled Mosul, there was a shooting at a store. Her father was wounded; her grandfather was killed.

Fearing that something would happen to her parents and she would be left alone, Miriam refused to stay at school unless her mother stayed with her.

“Miriam was very close to her grandfather and was devastated,” the director of the native ministry said. “In her child’s mind, somehow Miriam construed that her dad had taken her grandfather to the store to intentionally have him killed. Miriam became very angry with her father, blaming him for her grandfather’s death.”

The principal helped the family learn how to show love to Miriam and encourage her that they would never leave her.

“We taught the family how to tell Miriam how special and unique she was in the eyes of God, and she slowly began to believe that her family, especially her dad, wanted the best for her,” the director said. “Eventually the parents were able to leave Miriam at our school, and she began to love coming to school. She is now thriving, and it is exciting to see her talents of writing, dancing and especially drawing emerge.”

The school is just one of the ministry’s multifaceted services. Its native missionaries visit some 300 Syrian and 100 Iraqi refugee homes each month, inviting Muslim families to learn the Bible. They distribute 18,000 packages to thousands of Muslims driving home at dusk to break their Ramadan fasts. They give out 150 backpacks with school supplies to poor Jordanian children, and they distribute 3,000 children’s Bibles to Syrian and Iraqi Muslim and Christian refugee families.

“We demonstrated Christian compassion by providing basic dental care to several thousand Christian and Muslim refugees for a nominal fee,” the director said. “We are having an impact beyond what we know.”

Native missionaries provide such community services to refugees and other impoverished people throughout Jordan. Please consider a gift today to help them bring Christ’s compassion and salvation to the suffering.

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