Sister Hatune reports about her latest trip to the Middle East - Turkey, Syria, Iraq.
I just came back from my lastest trip to the Middle East. It was an intensive journey, that made me very sad, but also gave me great confidence in the work we are doing for all the suffering people down there; that we keep some of them literally alive.
First, I went to Istanbul. With the help of our partner association, we dispensed medicine, clothing and money to the needy, most of them are Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria.
PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS, REFUGEES IN TURKEY
But I also met four Pakistani Christians, three of them brothers. They had fled to Turkey months ago, because their lives had become impossible in their homeland. Not by any measure from the government. But because normal people, sometimes even their neighbors, had repeatedly attacked them. Because they are Christians. Headed by Islamists, the attackers came with knives and pitchforks, burned down their houses. These attacks happened mainly on Fridays, instigated after attending a raging sermon in a mosque. The government ignores this and lets it happen. The Pakistanis showed me their wounds, two of them hardly escaped death. Now they hope for a better future, maybe in Europe.
Then it started, with two of our members, I went to Aleppo. Everything was planned, that we would only stay for one day and that carrying a camera or mobile phone would be strictly forbidden. Via Antakya, we crossed the border into Syria. On the way to Aleppo, a distance of about 30 miles, we were controlled seven times. Each time, we had to give some baksheesh, to move on. The area is controlled by the Free Syrian Army. Parts of that are cooperating with Islamist groups, like Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra. We were in good hope to arrive, but we knew, our fate was in God’s hands.
In Aleppo, we visited three places on the fringe of the Christian district. The district itself is destroyed and still under permanent air strikes. So, the people live in basements. What I saw there, made me very sad. In each basement, there were 20 to 30 people, mostly children. Children on the verge of death, without food and water for weeks, totally emaciated and dehydrated. The adults told us, that they had to take away dead children already.
We gave them medicine and money for foodstuff, and the children looked at me with big eyes and said: “but money cannot be eaten.” We tried to organize the purchasing of food and water, by finding someone to trust, and who would reliably bring the stuff. Now they understood, and some hope returned into the children’s eyes. They were incredibly thankful.
EIGHT HELPERS OF FORMERLY 72 ARE STILL THERE
Of the former 72 members of our association in Aleppo, eight are still there. They are doing their best, fighting with the lack of everything. In one of the basements, I met four of them. When they saw me, they fell into my arms and cried. Ten days ago, they had been attacked by their Muslim neighbors, with knives and clubs. Even when they laid on the floor, in their own blood, the neighbors did not stop beating them, cursing them hatefully. “Our neighbors have shown their true faces”, they said. Not till some soldiers of the Assad army came along, they desisted. The soldiers treated them medically, they saved their lives.
But I also heard hopeful things: the friends told me, how I have taught them never to give up and help. Because of that, they still would be here. They were seeking shelter for their families, brought them to Europe, but will stay in Syria themselves.
At five in the afternoon, as arranged, we left Aleppo and passed the border into Turkey again.
After that, I visited two big refugee camps in north-west Iraq. There, I dispensed medicine, clothing and money. I had therapeutic sessions with maltreated girls and women until late at night. Via Dohuk and Istanbul, I went back home.
WHY DO YOU LET THE ISLAMISTS INTO EUROPE?
This was my trip. Interesting was, that everywhere I came to, I was asked the same question: Why do you let the Islamists into Europe? People notice, what’s happening in Europe, and are shaking their heads about the ignorance and willful blindness of the politicians. I couldn’t give a proper answer to these people. But in view of those, who – without possibility for escape, without money, without help, without hope for a better future – are suffering so terribly, a thought I had before was very clear to me, again: We have let in the wolves, and the sheep are still abroad!
Dear friends, please help us to keep the sheep alive. If possible, with a donation. For that, please go to: http://hatunefoundation.com/international/
God’s blessing may be with You all,
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