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The Time That is Given Us

Having just landed in a very different Middle East from the one I left almost a month ago, this update will be brief. By next week, God willing, I will be able to share with you the wonderful things that are happening in the Land between the Two Rivers. Thank you to everyone who took the time and the emotional energy to attend meetings, to meet with me one on one, and to embrace the larger picture, that of the coming Isaiah Highway, the day when much of the Middle East will be connected in peace. As I met new friends in the US and took time to share hearts and spirits I received great clarification and the template for 2024 began to take place, one which we are already working on and I will share in due course. With God's help and guidance we move ahead. I am reminded of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings.


“I wish it had not happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I ,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide, All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


I recall thinking of that quote, back in 2014, when the voices and pictures of the unmasked face of evil were coming out of Shingal. I recall it again now, nine years later when evil has somehow grown and become even more barbaric and confident. Humanity is being tested by fire but we hold on to our faith, to our determination to uphold humanity, that which is good, that which is pure and righteous, to see it as something precious that we have been entrusted with, to help encourage the flickers of faith and to see this as a precious time where we can encourage the survivors of ISIS 2014, to be our strong example of hope for the surrounding nations and people groups. Therefore, as a tribe out here on the plains of Nineveh, we have decided what to do with our time, and it is to maintain our ground whilst moving forward. We grieve. We mourn but we press into a new and very different season, of peace within a season of war.


Kids 4 Hope

Springs of Hope Foundation is our second home. It is a place where miracles happen for the orphans. We, the staff, see the marked change in their faces and their behavior. They talk about the Hope Centre and the stables with such passion. In fact it is their main subject of conversation. Joining art classes, play therapy, football is a massive inspiration to them all. When they return from school they change out of their uniforms and sit waiting for your driver to come and collect them. They are always ready early and always impatient. They are ready to walk to the center to save time!! Until you came into our lives, the children had never interacted with children outside the orphanage, their only contact is with those who live with them so getting out and making friends is so amazing from them. We watch the way they are making friends and connecting with the staff. We have given them a safe place to live. But you have brought miracles into their life. - N. Orphanage Caretaker.


Play Therapy graduation was held this week, on one of the mountains surrounding the village.


“The course was so good for me. The course gave me so much strength and hope. I became attached to the group and did not miss one class. I do not want the class to end.”

- Viyan



“Before the course I had only a few friends, those who live close to my tent. I have made so many new friends both in my class and in The Hope Centre, my life has changed and I have learned many lessons for life.” - Soleen



“This is my first time coming to SOHF. I am so happy to be a part of this organization. I love everything about it, about my class, my teacher and all my new friends. I love going to the stables and making friends with the horses.” - Norhan


The Hope Academy of Art. A glimpse of art from our Yezidi students who went on a day trip to paint the landscape.


Hope United Sports

Hope United Sports. This week we have been busy planning a football championship which will kick off this Saturday afternoon, to be opened with themed football music which will be played by some of our Hope Academy of Music students. Many of our staff are engaged as ushers, referees, photographers so excitement is mounting. We have a great girls' team but this one is for the guys as guest teams will be coming and we expect some wildness, although the captains have been well briefed as to behavior, language, discipline etc. We will let you know, meanwhile, a few photos of our briefings.



We don’t take many photos or good quality photos of the girls who were rescued, having been mass raped and sold endlessly by ISIS, particularly when we take them to the gym. That’s their private time, the time when they re-engage with their body, bodies badly abused and often mutilated. Bodies where babies were torn alive from their womb. Going to the gym has taken years, it is part of each girl’s individual timeline, and process of healing which we honor. As do we honor their bravery and courage.


We close with the musical video of The Blessing which we made a few years ago, by reaching out to global friends who participated long distance in order to sing these ancient words over our Yezidi tribe. We repost it today to release its sound where you are and once again over our regional airwaves.


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Thank you for walking with us as we grieve, we mourn but we keep moving forward in 'this time that is given to us..."

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