12 things God has shown us while at the Emergency Field Hospital in Iraq
The Emergency Field Hospital arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day 2016 to treat those injured as a result of the fighting in Mosul. Samaritan’s Purse is caring for critically injured children and adults at our emergency field hospital on the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq as the conflict between coalition/Iraqi security forces and ISIS terrorists continues.
- We were reminded that when Canadian Christ-followers hear God’s call upon their lives, they answer. It was Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s goal to recruit and deploy 50 medical and non-medical Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members by June 2017, and we are on target to achieve that goal.
- We learned Sajid’s name. And we will not soon forget it. Meet Sajid.
- God showed us His great love by bringing more than 1,300 patients into our field hospital and providing us with about 300 medical staff members from around the world to staff it. We served our 1,000th patient in March.
- God showed us the power of His spirit at work in the heart of a medical doctor who loves Jesus more than his own life. Kent Brantly, who contracted the Ebola virus while working to save lives with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia in 2014 was recently featured in the Facing Darkness film which premiered across the continent in 2017. Dr. Brantly once again showed us what it looks like when a Jesus follower refuses to stop going to the most difficult places when he travelled to Iraq to serve in our field hospital there.
- God reminded us that He is so much bigger than black ribbons, broken bones and bullet wounds. He heals even when it seems impossible. Nurses and doctors returned from Iraq to come and share during out chapel times at Samaritan’s Purse Canada about how incredibly difficult it was to tie black ribbons, used to identify the mortally wounded, around the wrists of women and children when there was nothing further to be done medically. Staff were encouraged when they would pray over someone who seemed to have no hope of surviving, and yet the next morning, they would have the privilege of untying those black ribbons as patients were healed.
- God showed His great love for us by blessing our staff as they united in worship to sing Amazing Grace as bombs fell kilometers away shaking the ground beneath their feet. Tim, an emergency room doctor who served at the field hospital in March, visited our chapel at Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s head office in Calgary, where he shared about the peace and joy that surpasses all understanding blessed them as they worshiped and sang.
- We learned that medical professionals who returned from the field hospital to state-of-the-art Canadian hospitals were often brought to their knees in gratitude.
We were reminded that love is not self-seeking (1 Cor 13:5) when a wife and mother of two suggested her husband take a leave from his family to serve in Iraq. He did that and is now safely home.
- We were reminded that in humility we value others above ourselves. Franklin Graham chose to spend his Easter Sunday preaching to a small but exceedingly faithful group of Christ followers in a humble little church.
- Medical staff quickly learned that the majority of the time they would not be treating combatants but rather the most vulnerable of victims—babies, children and mothers and fathers swept up in violence that they do not condone and did not create.
- We learned there is great joy to be had in loving one’s enemies.
- We are reminded that the battle to help our brothers and sisters in Iraq return to their homes is going to be fought on our knees in prayer.
Who are “we”? We are the men and women who have staffed the hospital. We are the families, churches and believers around the world who have prayed for the hospital. We are the many generous Canadians who donated to the hospital. We are the staff and volunteers of Samaritan’s Purse Canada.
Thank you to all who have helped make the Emergency Field Hospital a place of unprecedented love, healing and light. A tent that stands as a testament to the goodness, trustworthiness and faithfulness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.