$104,703 of $100,000 goal
The heart behind Peace on Earth is to bring supplies and love to refugees in need.
There are now 3.4 million displaced people in Iraq after fleeing the violence of ISIS and their war torn villages. Bethel Music has partnered with Sean Feucht and The Burn 24-7's long-term "Light a Candle Project" to raise $100k worth of food, blankets, heaters, mattresses, shoes and more for the people of Northern Iraq.
Sean and his team have been on the ground in Iraq for over 10 years, and we’re honored to come alongside their mission. This is the worst refugee crisis of our lifetime, and it is time for us to rise with healing and hope to bring His love to the refugees of Iraq.
Below are some of their stories.Burn 24/7 Light a Candle Project
Diana was born in Baghdad, but grew up in Mosul her whole life. Her parents had many problems in their marriage and got divorced when she was very young, so she, along with my sister and three brothers were raised by a single mother.
Growing up in Mosul was very difficult because she and her family were poorer from a lower caste and her mother had to work very hard to support them all. Diana was the first child to finish all of her studies after high school and enter into University. She’s currently studying medicine and pursuing a career as a doctor. To become a doctor is her mother’s biggest dream, so she’s doing this for her.
Three years ago, ISIS invaded where she lived in West Mosul. One evening, her and her family were in the house when they heard an explosion, and that ISIS was near. They quickly grabbed important documents, some clothes, and at midnight, they fled from town to town until they reached outside the city of Erbil. They hadn’t slept for two days by the time they arrived, but found a camp near the main checkpoint and settled there for two months. Not too long after, ISIS pushed forward, closer to the camp we were living, so the camp had to be evacuated and Diana and her family had to be moved once again. This time she arrived to another camp, where they stayed for one week until they got received permission to enter into the city center.
When her and her family arrived in the city, there were no tents or houses for them to stay in, so they ended up living on the streets for a week. Because the living conditions were so bad, Diana ended up getting a bad infection in her mouth and throat, so much so that she couldn’t talk for a week. After the hard week on the streets, they finally made it to the camp where they are currently living. They arrived in the camp on August 2014 and have been living in it for 3 years now. For Diana, life in the camp and in their caravan is good and safe. She’s thankful that she no longer has to escape, run for her life, be transferred from place to place or live on the streets. Two years after living in the camp, she got engaged to a man who she met and became friends with at the very first camp her and her family settled in after fleeing. They got separated shortly after meeting because him and his family were transferred out of the camp first. They worried about each other all the time but he would always call to see if she was ok. When she landed in the camp they live in now, they were reunited.
Not too long ago, after ISIS was run out of Mosul, Diana and her mother returned to see what was left of their home, but when she arrived didn’t like it anymore. Everything was destroyed; their home, the neighborhood, the university. There’s no work or salaries for anyone anymore. She lost family members and friends, and some people she knew aren’t the same as they used to be at all. Seeing everything she saw, Diana didn’t want to be there and was scared. Home wasn’t home anymore. She couldn’t see an end to all that was bad. Everything has to start over from the beginning there. Even though, she’s afraid and everything has changed, she feels it is still her town and still her home. Since she’s studying and will be going to university in a month, she needs to return. She knows she has to be strong for herself and for her studies because one day she wants to help a lot people as a doctor.
Zahara is a mother from Mosul doing her best to raise four children. One night ISIS fighters unexpectedly came into her home. They beat her, her husband, and her eldest son. She didn’t know why this was happening, but soon learned that they found out her husband had been sharing information with his brother in the Iraqi Army.
After they beat her they took her husband away and that ended up being the last time she saw him. They threatened her, saying that no matter where she went her family would not be safe. She knew she needed to escape the city for herself and for her children. The next day she fled to her family’s home which was closer to a liberated area, and then at three o’clock in the morning she took a risk and fled through enemy lines to a liberated area of the city. She’s still has no idea how they all made it through alive.
She arrived at the camp her brother’s family was living in but they wouldn’t take her in even though she had no one else to turn to. They wanted nothing to do with her. Even though her son tried to get close to his uncle, he kept pushing him away.
Living in the camp away from all of her family she wanted to die, and felt completely hopeless until one day she was sharing her story with a team that came into the camp. As she did, a girl asked her if she could wash her feet. As she bent over her eyes began to swell and she started to cry. Zahara wondered why the girl washing her feet was crying and she explained to her that she was so grieved that she had to face everything she went thought. After this, the team member shared about Jesus and Zahara wanted to know more. In an instant God’s presence came into the home where they were living in the camp and she came to know Jesus that day.
Salaar is the leader of a small village just north of Mosul. He is a part of a minority people group that many look down upon because of what they believe. Three years ago when he heard that ISIS was coming he had to quickly leave everything behind and flee.
He feels blessed that no one was taken or killed during that time but it meant they spent a few years living in a different city they didn’t enjoy. The city was Christian and they were welcomed, but Salaar missed the village life. He was the first to return to his village after it was liberated earlier this year. As he returned he saw that almost all of his village’s homes were destroyed by airstrikes and what little that would have been left was stolen by ISIS.
When the people of his village started to return home, they realized that ISIS had set booby traps in some of the homes and landmines in the farm fields. People would push a door entering a room of their house or open their washing machine and bombs would go off. They would go back to their farms and walk through the fields and step on a mine. They lost several people because of this, but there wasn’t even a place to gather together for the funeral because of the destruction.
Most of the mines have been removed now, but still many homes are just ruble. In order to have money to start their lives at home again, many people had to rent their farmland to large corporations and work for them only getting paid minimum wage. He asked the Iraqi government for help but they told him “you’re not our people and not our problem.” He asked the Kurdish government for help and they told him the same thing. Since their village is small, they are often neglected by larger aid organizations and they only pass through helping a little. It’s a long road for Salaar’s village to return to life as it used to be.
Julia is a mother of four. Her and her family are from Mt. Sinjar, a mountain village in Northern Iraq close to Syria. She lived a normal life with her relatives and friends, until the birth of her last child. Her son Johan was born with brain damage, and their lives were forever changed with an unexpected challenge and joy. Due to minimal care available for children with special needs in her country, she is left on her own to raise her son.
In 2014, ISIS went out of their way to attack Julia’s mountain village because they wanted to try and put an end to her people the Yazidis. Many people were killed and taken that day. They not only destroyed homes but also cut down their orchards and poured gasoline on the roots so they would never grow back. Julia and her family fled to a distant Kurdish city to seek refuge. Everything seemed foreign in comparison to her village life, especially since she is a Yazidi and considered an outcast to many people. Her family survived and had each other which mattered the most. They found an abandoned animal coop and took shelter there with a few other relatives and their families. This animal coop has become her home for the past three years. Her husband found work at a nearby gas station, and her children have received a partial education at a center for displaced families, but the center will be closing soon and Julia doesn’t know where she will send them for school next. Her son Johan is 7 years old now and stays home with her all day. He's unable to receive any help in his development and she fears often for his future. Her and her family’s lives have been put on hold, and they are trying to make the most out of every day.
A Night of Worship & Stories
On November 4th, we’re setting aside a time of worship, prayer and storytelling in Redding, CA. Come join us in raising $100k to meet the tangible physical needs of these people, as well as spreading the love and hope of Jesus. He never leaves the one behind. Featuring Sean Feucht, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Pat Barrett, Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger, Kristene DiMarco, Josh Baldwin, Paul & Hannah McClure + more.
Change Lives Forever
What we need to make the biggest impact
Where the money is going
The refugees feel forgotten and alone.
They are dying daily from lack of food, water and basic necessities. The situation is as dire as it’s ever been. But the eyes of the Lord are STILL on these beautiful people and their land. He has not forgotten them, and has called peace-bringers with hope in their eyes, love in their hearts and support in their arms to be His hands and His feet. Donate now.Donate