Assyrian Christians Found to be "Strong, Full of Hope" Despite Major Difficulties

Monday, March 10, 2003

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

DOHUK, NORTHERN IRAQ (ANS) -- "Prayer is everything! God brought us safely from Baghdad to Mosul/Dohuk and the many small Assyrian Christian villages in the north of Iraq," writes Ken Joseph of a recent visit to northern Iraq.

"We have been able to go to each Assyrian Christian Village, meet with the Church, the people, encourage them, bring them supplies when needed, (and a) satellite telephone to make calls to let their families know they are OK, pray with them, help them with any needs with the US Authorities," Joseph told ASSIST News Service (ANS).

"Just this morning nine-year-old Dinkah gave his life to the Lord to become a minister of the Gospel! A major victory for the future of Iraq and the Assyrian people!"

Commenting on the Iraqi people he has met, Joseph said: "They are strong, full of hope and much in need of our prayers. All this prayed! Thank you in Jesus name!"

Joseph asked for continued prayer for the Iraqi people.

"Please pray as we continue to go to each Assyrian Christian village to meet with the Church and help them.

"In recent days three Assyrian Christian girls were kidnapped, eight men kidnapped, seven factories destroyed and daily there is harassment. The Islamic organization has put in the houses a paper that reads if you do not immediately cover yourself and subscribe to the Islamic code we will either kill you, kidnap you or burn or bomb your house!

"Please pray for the Assyrian Christians as they are very fearful and us as we negotiate with the US Authorities for protection for them. Pray specifically for negotiations to stop the five times daily loudspeaker intimidations, constitutional changes, return of land, freedom of belief, security, revival of the Church, in particular Mar Dinkha and Mar Gewargis that they will have vision, strength and power and for psychological and spiritual renewal for a people that find it hard to adjust to freedom.

"Please pray also for the safety of our team and for much needed finances to cove the massive expenses of the current operation in four teams -- relief, communication, medical, daily needs. Pray too for our many obligations in Japan as we have been gone for nearly three months!"

Joseph has a website at: where those interested in his work may contribute to his ministry finances.