top of page

Mud and a Mix Kid

Today’s update is one that I will share with vulnerability from my heart. There are many really excellent things going on, which can be seen, to a small extent on social media. We have begun the painting of the small Yezidi school at Dakha which will roll into next week. This is about providing an attractive atmosphere for education, but it goes way beyond ( a subject in itself ) and extends into the very preservation of the heart and soul of Yezidi village and its land. It is about education and also about legacy.  We have exceptional encounters virtually every day where we feel that the heavens roll back in order to allow us to see small miracles.  

But we also have to wade through mud. The last weeks have been muddy.


We all know that FB and IG are far from the whole story, so today I would like to peel back behind the scenes a little and show you some of our mud. As some wise man once said, “When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too.”


It is the season of snakes and scorpions here. Having planted barley for our horses and given them hours of grazing time, as the heat rises we need to cut back the grain as it is the hiding place for these life threatening creatures. We have a sackful of snakes that we have managed to find "in time" and kill before their sting would destroy us. 

I often notice how that which is happening in the physical, tangible world, indeed has a spiritual parallel. We have been dealing with snakes and scorpions in our midst, those whose life path, life values have changed, those who once carried joy and life,  but are now hell bent on their own destruction.  Those who have had the clear choice for life and blessing but have chosen the wide path of destruction. The narrow path is not for all. The narrow path involves sacrifice and cost, something which many will not pay.


“The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back on the day of battle.  They did not keep the covenant of God, they refused to walk in his law and forgot his works and wonders that he had shown them.”

Psalm 78: 9-11


We sadly had to release three of our key musician teachers, young men whom Natik has raised since they were teenagers. Young men for whom he has fought, he has taught the difference from right and wrong, from good and evil. He taught them how to make wise choices, how to be “separate” and to keep themselves pure. In order to keep them from working in the potato fields to bring in the additional money their families needed, we provided them with food, produce, all that we had at our disposal.


They are excellent musicians, but like an ancient musician that was found in Eden, the Garden of God, they became proud, filled with unrighteousness and fixated on their own splendour. We had to release them, with the hope and prayer that for their sake, for the sake of their future and destiny, they will turn and find the way back.


We have appointed three new teachers from our students who will step into their new roles from the middle of this month, namely guitar, percussion and flute. Three that grew up alongside those whom we released, but distanced themselves from them a few months ago. Those who rejected nightlife, gambling, casinos, alcohol and all that accompanies these things. Those who have remained humble and grateful. Those whose hearts and spirits are pure and not lifted up. We still need one additional music teacher for the saz ( similar to an oud ) but we will bide our time until one with our DNA is found. 

New teacher Tahsin with Natik, Director.

New teacher Adnan, flute and percussio


“When she trod on mud, the mud was beautiful …when she picked up a toad - she had the unchanciest love for all manner of brutes - the toad became beautiful.” 

C.S Lewis. Till We Have Faces

The coming week will bring additional hard decisions which weigh heavily on me. When a key, valued staff member comes to me and tells me of his hatred for one of his team members and demands that I fire him, my heart breaks. It breaks because I can see beyond. Because I see that this young man who spent so many years as a leader in ISIS is treating his team members as he would foot soldiers in the army of the caliphate. One can not blame him. That is how he learned leadership, under conditions of survival… "either these guys do what I command, when I command and how I command or else I will not survive."


I have sat for hours upon hours listening to him pour his heart out, a heart that is writhing like a snake with deception. One for whom the darkness is crouching at the door, ready to pounce, ready to drag him back into the abyss. I am hoping that in this week ahead, there will be a breakthrough that will bring deep healing from the past and enable him to enter into a place of rest, and even love for his fellow team members.


Psalm 23 has been so much on my mind this week, in particular connection with him. There is both a rod and a staff that guides. He has known only the rod used by the wicked to beat. A good king, a good shepherd knows how to wield both from a place of love, care and protection of his flock.


If he can break through now, it will be a victory, it will be a moment of triumph where one of his final and strongest, most binding, mental and spiritual entanglements with ISIS would be destroyed. He would be free and as a leader would be able to bring others into that freedom. The toad will be beautiful. 


There has been a vision of multiplication in my heart for a while, one which layers of mud will not splatter.


Allow me to jump into the deep end. My eyes have been on the UAE for over a year, for reasons of banking, ease of international access as a global hub amongst a few.


Several months ago I had a vivid night dream which was long and detailed. To narrow this down, a baby was born in the UAE. I was the one who gave birth. There appeared to be no pregnancy indicating that this baby was born fast. As I was giving birth I was totally astonished, remarking to the good people present at the delivery that I was way too old to deliver and raise a child. We were unprepared. The baby was coming, there were no diapers, no baby milk powder. I was trying to feed and of course there was no breast milk. I would look at my friends with an “I told you so!!”


This baby grew fast, it appeared to be one minute a newborn, and the next, too heavy for me to carry. All the time, I was not alone raising this baby.


Those who saw the baby were in awe, commenting, "There is no baby like this in the world" I remember when my first biological child came into the world, he was the produce of a mixed marriage which in that culture, in that time period was rare, a Moroccan background father and myself British. His hair was fair, his skin olive, and his eyes almond brown. Strangers passing in the street would stop and comment on this Mix Kid.


This baby in the dream was a Mix Kid. It was the combination of two nations, of two peoples. The Yezidis who had been in the captivity of ISIS, and Israelis who had been in the captivity of Hamas. This was the new kid, the rare kid, the subject of my dream which continued into great detail regarding its raising, its protection and its location.


Meanwhile as we are wading through Kurdish mud the question must be asked!! Where do we go with this dream? A dream a few months old that will not die or take a place on the back burner. Cautiously I will share the ponderings of my heart, known to both our USA and local Directorates. What is so clear is that if this is from heaven, it will need the help of heaven to happen. All that has happened here and all that will continue to happen here has never been "by might nor by power." It has been by "the spirit of God." Neither Dr Saeed or I could have dreamed this into being, established this work of a decade now or maintained it.


We have no ability, no resources to bring this Mix Kid into the world. We sense that there will be land in the UAE where a healing centre for the region could be established, which will include Gazans and others suffering in this region of conflict. The launching of this additional project will be through a two day multi disciplinary event with art, and music, hosted by us in the UAE next springtime for Yezidis and Israelis, and trusted guests.


We are currently walking slowly, spending time in the UAE also, building relationships, examining and taking great care as we lay foundations. We will need resources that we have never known in our decade of service plus caution, wisdom, discernment, connections and great grace to bring this Mix Kid into the seething world of the Middle East and Gulf Regions.


We would especially value your thoughts, prayers and encouragement at this time as we both wade through the mud that faces us and tries, as is the nature of mud, to bog us down, yet lifting our eyes to that which may well lie ahead with the possibility of bringing healing to many in the region.


Or as Lawrence Anthony wrote in his exceptional book, Babylon’s Ark, “We might be mad or stupid, but at least we were serious.” 



Can you help?

In the highs and the lows, in the established and in the new, we need your help. Will you join with us?


Every donation makes a huge difference.


bottom of page