When ISIS Invades

Imagine being 15 years old, just on the cusp of adolescence, and watching a radical Islamic group invade your beloved hometown. You grew up roaming these streets, perusing these shops, and visiting these homes.  

But everything you’ve ever known has suddenly vanished and been replaced with a nightmare. 

You are not a Muslim—your family is Yazidi, a long-persecuted minority and religious group. This Islamic group is hunting you down alongside Christians. Your father is a well-known leader in the faith, and you worry they’ll come for him.  

To your horror, they do.  

You watch in shock as your father, your baba, is dragged from your home. Suddenly, your mother and siblings are running around you, packing bags and wrapping themselves in winter clothing. Your father is nowhere in sight. You must make a run for it before they return… 

Displaced and Seeking 

This is the beginning of Veeda’s story—a story marked by unfathomable suffering. A story that has ultimately led her to the feet of Jesus. 

When her father was kidnapped, Veeda’s family ran for the mountains. They hid, huddled together for warmth until military forces rescued them. They were then brought to a camp for Iraqis displaced by ISIS’s path of destruction. 

Veeda constantly wondered where her father was…if he was even still alive. The trauma she experienced led to insomnia. She spent those sleepless nights praying that the Yazidi god would help her family, somehow miraculously reuniting them. 

Things were difficult in the camp. Food stores were limited, and illness was almost constant with such tight living quarters. When her mother got sick, a Christian pastor—our trusted church partner—came to visit. He prayed over her in the name of Jesus, and she was immediately and miraculously healed! 

They began attending church, exploring who this Jesus was.  

Dreams of Jesus in a Prisoner Camp 

Hundreds of miles away, Veeda’s father stirred restlessly in his prison cell, wincing in pain from recently inflicted wounds. He thought of his wife, of Veeda, and the rest of the children. 

Did they make it out alive? Would he ever see them again?  

When he finally sunk into sleep, he dreamed of a man in pure white clothing. His face appeared to be glowing. The look in his eyes was tender and kind.  

He didn’t know who the man was, but he just couldn’t get him off his mind. 

Prayers Answered 

Months later, Veeda received the news she had been waiting for—her father was alive, being held for ransom at an ISIS prisoner camp. They sold everything and took out considerable loans to free him, but it didn’t matter. He was alive and coming back to them. 

Ever since the pastor’s visit, Veeda had been praying for her father in the name of Jesus…those prayers had been answered! 

They were displaced and penniless, but they were together. And they were just about to receive a pearl of great price as a family. Once reunited, Veeda’s father attended church with his family for the first time. 

He heard the words of Jesus and knew that this was the man from his dream. He led his family in renouncing their Yazidi beliefs to collectively place their trust in Jesus Christ!  

A New Persecution 

It wasn’t long before the surrounding Yazidi community heard the news. 

Now a nurse, Veeda is the sole provider for her family. Her parents are unable to find work after being ostracized for their Christian faith. On top of the crippling debt from her father’s ransom, Veeda struggles to put food on the table and cover education costs for her young siblings. 

She wearily shared her struggles with Rema, our Field Ministry Team member in Iraq. Together, they prayed that every need would be met in God’s way and timing. Once again, He answered Veeda’s prayers…this time through Help The Persecuted

We came alongside this bold family of faith, paying tuition fees for Veeda’s younger siblings and helping with day-to-day living expenses. She shared with Rema: 

“I cannot believe that the Lord loves us this much. I am forever thankful for you and your support. You made me believe that the Lord loves me personally.” 

With a deeper experience of the Lord’s love through tangible provision, Veeda and her family can continue being lights for Christ in a place long characterized by darkness and suffering.