Middle East Crisis - 080627 International Crisis Response

Canadian doctors, nurses, saving lives in battle-scarred Iraq

In the middle of what some might call hell on earth, the goal of Samaritan’s Purse’s emergency field hospital, near the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul, has been to save lives—no matter who needs help.

Regardless of whether the patients are victims of violence or perpetrators of violence, regardless of their religion, Samaritan’s Purse staff are treating them at our portable hospital. The reason is simple: “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16, ESV).

“The patients are women and children—and just a few meters away, the patients are murderers,” says Dr. Karas, a Canadian physician who just returned home after treating ISIS victims and ISIS terrorists during a three-week Samaritan’s Purse deployment to Iraq.

“This hospital has been a lighthouse for many people,” he says. “It was an honor for me to serve God in that place. I saw Jesus there; I felt His presence among the staff.”

As the Iraqi army fights ISIS for control of Mosul, which is the terrorist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq, tens of thousands of people are fleeing the city to avoid being caught in the cross-fire. Many are being badly injured by ISIS booby traps, land mines, and indiscriminate attacks. Our hospital—airlifted to Iraq in late 2016, and operated in partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Health—is the only one there.

Samaritan’s Purse president Franklin Graham, who officially opened the hospital in early January, said its Christian staff members are providing expert medical care at the state-of-the-art facility, while also showing the love and compassion to patients who desperately need it.

“[They] pray for them, talk to them, hold their hands, and smile,” Graham said. “For most of these people, it might be the only glimpse of Jesus Christ they will ever see, and I want them to leave here with that impression.”

Why is Samaritan’s Purse operating on the edge of a battle field, when survival instincts tell us to get as far away as possible? Because the Iraqi government and World Health Organization asked for our help.

“A man was beaten and robbed and left to die on the side of the road,” said Graham, quoting from Luke 10 during the hospital’s opening. “And so it was a Samaritan who came by and showed compassion and took care of his wounds. Here at Samaritan’s Purse, we want to show God’s love to everyone.”

Please pray for the hospital patients and their families—asking God to preserve their lives, help them recover, and touch their hearts. Pray also for Him to sustain the medical staff serving in Jesus’ name.

The hospital is just one of the ways Samaritan’s Purse is addressing the physical and spiritual needs of the more than 130,000 Iraqis forced from Mosul since the nation’s security forces and others began a military offensive to retake the ancient city on the plains of Nineveh from ISIS control in October 2016.

In partnership with the World Food Programme, we have distributed more than 1,800 metric tons of food to evacuees in camps as well as in surrounding villages now free from ISIS control.

We are also distributing non-food items ranging from cook stoves and hygiene kits to blankets and pieces of tarpaulin to help the displaced survive the winter.

Middle East Crisis - 080627 International Crisis Response

Help families in the Middle East who have been displaced as a result of violent conflict and religious persecution receive the physical and spiritual aid they so desperately need to cope with the resulting poverty and trauma.