When so-called Islamic State (IS) invaded northern Iraq, Iraqi Christians who fled had to leave everything behind. For Faraydoun and Bashar, that meant abandoning the factories they owned. It meant changing from thriving business owners to unemployed refugees. It was heart-breaking.
“When IS entered in, they left us with nothing, no relatives, no houses - they took everything and kicked us out,” Faryadoun says. He and his family ended up in Turkey, as refugees.
Faraydoun had gone from being a successful businessman to an outsider who didn’t speak the language and couldn’t find work. When he eventually returned home, his house was in disarray and everything had gone. “Honestly, I cried. Looking at my children was difficult. When I remember that day, it is painful.”
Bashar faced very similar circumstances. He owned a factory in Mosul, working with his brothers. Things were going well until IS came. Soon he and his family were facing threats and harassment; some of his relatives were even killed.
“We left our houses, factories and everything. All we could take were our clothes.”
God kept Bashar and his family strong. “I teach my children that we must trust God in everything,” he says. “I can trust God in all times, whether good or bad.”
Thanks to your prayers and donations, the lives of Faraydoun and Bashar and their families have been transformed through microloans provided by Open Doors partners.
Faraydoun developed a fish farm with his loan and the income means his family can survive. Bashar was able to open and expand a shop. Escalating living expenses and rents in Iraq meant he couldn’t have done this without the help of Open Doors supporters, and he is grateful: “I’m very thankful to the supporters: they don’t know me, but they trust me,” says Bashar.
The microloans provided by Open Doors partners have been the difference between destitution and employment for these family men. Their loans are just two of 60 that have already been given in Iraq, bringing hope to many believers.