September 13, 2019


September Newsletter- Part 2:
Kurdistan and Pakistan

As promised, here is the 2nd part of our update!  There's just so much going on that no one letter can contain it all. :)  I'm glad that you're able to join us again!  I think you'll be blown away at all of the open doors and opportunities to shine the Light of the Gospel into places that were once incredibly restricted.  The 'game' is changing!  Be encouraged and check it out!
If you missed Part 1, you can find it and all of our other updates posted on our website, at under the News tab.

Here's what's in this newsletter:
Part 1 (last week)
  • Rwandan Church Closures
  • Sponsorship Life-Change Story
Part 2
  • Kurdistan Iraq Partners:
    • Syrian Refugee Relief and the Kurdish Miracle School
  • Pakistani Church Impact
 Kurdistan- Semi Autonomous Region of 
Northern Iraq 
We have a couple of really amazing partners in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.  If you've never heard of this place, just know that it flies in the face of everything that you think you know about the Middle East.  

This region is governed by a people group known as the Kurds.  They are an independent, freedom-loving, gun toting, fierce fighting people, who love line dancing, sweet tea, and have oil.  So they're basically Texans, living in the Middle East. 

Some are Muslims, some are not.  But that's ok, because Kurdistan values religious freedom (more than her neighbors, anyway).  There are also many Christians, Yazidis, and Atheists.  People of all faiths and walks of life have fled to Kurdistan for safety during the long fight with ISIS across Iraq and Syria. 

Kurdistan is a supernatural place of refuge, surrounded by war zones and pending wars on all sides.  The majority of refugee camps in Iraq are located within its borders and therefore, most of the nonprofit work with refugees is focused here, too.
Syrian Refugee Relief
Meet BJ.  She's the founder and director of Ascension Center International (ACI) and works alongside other NGOs (non governmental organizations) to minister to the Syrian refugee population in Northern Iraq. 

LTU has been partnering with ACI since January of this year, when Reuben and I went to visit BJ and see the great work that she's doing there. 

Since then, LTU donors have been able to support BJs work of bringing the Good News to Syrians and local Kurds through monthly Women's Group Meetings, weekly Bible studies with new Christian families, and also regular home visits for 62 families in 2 different refugee settlements! 

These home visits provide unique access to BJ and her partners, allowing them to 'do life with' and be a blessings to these families that are in transition from their old life in Syria, to their new life in Kurdistan.  They pray with refugees and also meet their physical needs with groceries, relief supplies, and help with medical issues.
Here is one of the Monthly Women's Meetings!  The ladies meet, catch up on life, share some food together, and do a Bible study.  Then the team blesses the women with a gift that was relevant to a current need or the teaching in the lesson. 

Over 30 women attend these meetings.  BJ and her team are bringing hope and building community ties, in a place where these ladies have felt like strangers, abandoned in a foreign land.
Above are some more pictures of the Women's Meetings and below is one of the Home Visits, where BJ and her team got to pray over a sick man, with the help of a translator.
LTU helps this team put fuel in their cars, pay for translators, and to be able to serve meals during Bible studies, which culturally, is super important!  

Also, because of generous LTU donors, we've been able to ship them 60 Bibles in a unique Kurdish dialect, along with Gospels of John in another Kurdish langue, and some Gospel tracts in Arabic, for the local Christians in the area.

But now that we are 2 years out from the liberation from the occupation of ISIS in Iraq, funding is dwindling and there is such a need for the global Church to continue her great work in this country! Things are heating up geopolitically, but the Holy Spirit is just getting started with His work there!
The possibilities are truly amazing!  I believe that we have a window of opportunity here, in this region, that we haven't had since before the Muslim conquest of 632.  It's delicate, fragile, and always being threatened by one war or another, but it's there. 

It is a quiet move of the Holy Spirit in this ancient land, overshadowed in the news by ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iranian militias, Russian involvement in Syria, and Turkish posturing- but if we, the Church, will be wise, brave, and steward this movement well, we'll see things happening here in our lifetime that we never thought possible! 

This!  These pictures and testimonies- are already more than I had ever hoped for or expected!  God is doing great things here!  Thank you, to those who have poured in and become a part of it already!
Would you or your church like to be involved in this great mission?  Funding for projects in the Middle East is dwindling- due to compassion fatigue, post-war contracts ending, and lack of 'tent-building' opportunities for local missionaries!  BJ and her team need your help to keep going!

"Then he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. -Matthew 9:37, NIV

We've got a worker, but she needs to be sent!


 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?" - Romans 10:13-15, NIV

Be A Sender! Click HERE to sign-up for monthly support of this work!
You can also send a check, with 'Iraq Support' in the memo line, to our office:
Lift Them Up International
1107 Buffalo Ct.
Midland, TX 79705
The need is an additional $800 a month to this project.  That's only 16 individuals giving $50 a month or a few church or social groups.  We can totally make this happen!
The Kurdish Miracle School
This is our other partner in Kurdistan.  We'll call him "Jeff".  Jeff is an amazing, Godly man.  He opened a school in his own home, to help vulnerable street children get an education. He gives tirelessly of his own time and treasure to pour into these kiddos, because he believes that God is calling them to greater things than being recruited as militants to some next generation terror cell.

Some of these kids are refugees, some have parents who are genocide survivors, others have parents who were genocide perpetrators under Saddam Hussein. These are boys and girls; Arabs and Kurds; Muslims and Christians, all doing school and life together in this beautiful, unusual scenario!

Jeff has been harassed recently, by pro-Iranian forces, who are operating within the Kurdish borders.  They don't want to see forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity among Arabs and Kurds, which might bring about a free and independent Kurdistan.  They also are suspicious of anyone associated with Western influences, like us.

But the school is still going.  It has been for almost 1 year.  LTU met Jeff and heard about what he was doing last January and has been working with him ever since!
Through generous donations, we've been able to partner with this Miracle School to hire a cook and serve hundreds of meals to these vulnerable children.  Because of this school, these kids get a nutritious, hot meal when they come. 

Giving these kids an education and meeting their physical needs are two of the ways that we can help them to avoid being recruited into a violent gang out of desperation.  If they are taught how to read English, they can be exposed to a variety of thoughts and opinions that can inspire independent thinking, creative ideas, and open doors for them that otherwise would not have been available.

Meals are also shared with impoverished families who live nearby.  Each meal, several Arab and Kurdish families are also blessed.  One man confessed over dinner one night, that he hadn't had meat in 5 months!  This shows the desperate situation that these families are in.  God bless them.

As AMAZING as it is, the Miracle School is in danger of being closed

Not because of harassment, but for lack of funding.  This blessing of a place needs $650 a month to keep it running and we had nothing to send them this month.  To keep the doors open to these vulnerable kids, they need:

  • $400 for food and cooking fuel
  • $150 to hire a cook
  • $100 for teachers

If you would like to be a part of this peace building and education project, you can sow a gift to the Kurdish Miracle School by clicking this link!

Donate to the Miracle School!
On our website, under 'Funds & Causes', there is also a 1-time giving option.  And as always, checks may be mailed to our office.  
Pakistan- Undisclosed Location
The Church is alive and well in Pakistan!  The Lord is doing some amazing things there and we're so excited to get to be a part of it.  Our partners in-country are truly amazing!  They are passionate and fearless lions for Jesus, God bless them. 

Our partner church is one, well-structured church with five locations, across various towns and Christian villages.  Help from LTU allows their pastors, teachers, and volunteers travel from village to village each month, teaching Sunday School lessons to the children in the churches and serving them hot meals.

They also host monthly prayer meetings and evangelism events, with new believers coming to the Lord regularly.  These are just some of the things that God is doing in this country that, within just one generation can change the entire spiritual landscape of Pakistan.
This church ministers to children in 5 different villages and they've asked for help getting Bibles for their kids.  They need 200 Bibles and have the ability to purchase them in a city nearby, which aligns with LTU's preference to 'Buy Local' and stimulate local economies.  Buying locally will also be logistically easier than trying to ship them in from the US, because navigating customs there can be tricky still.
Like this one!
If you have a passion to spread the Gospel around the world, this is an amazing opportunity to do just that!  As with all of our projects, 100% of your gift will go directly to buying these Children's Bibles in Urdu!  

$2000 is needed to see this through.  This would be a wonderful thing for a Youth Group or Bible Study Group to raise funds for!  If you'd like more information or would like me to come and speak with your group, you can email me at  I have a TON of great pictures and stories that I'd love to share.

Or you can follow this link below!
Click Here to Purchase Children's Bibles in Urdu
Wow... that was a lot!  But don't let it overwhelm you.  The needs of the world will always be more than any one person can handle.  That's why God put us in community with one another and that's why He put different passions and desires on our hearts.

What speaks to one person's soul may not speak to another's.  We're wired differently so that we compliment each other and fill in each other's gaps... and together, we're the Church!  Together, we can change the world.  

If you feel the Lord asking you to help with any of the things mentioned in this newsletter, I bless you with the courage to see it through.  If not, no worries!  But please pray for us as we navigate these adventurous waters in these miraculous times.

Kendra Willard