As The West Ponders Offensive Against ISIS, Iraqi Refugees Need Help Now
ERBIL, Iraq -- Backed by American air support, Iraqi government and Kurdish Peshmerga forces opened a corridor to the besieged city of Amerli.
Islamic State fighters had surrounded the city for nearly two months, cutting off electricity and preventing supplies from getting in. But now the ethnic Turkmen, mostly Shia Muslims, are free from ISIS.
The British and Australians did humanitarian airdrops, providing much needed food and water to the besieged city
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away from Amerli, in the Kurdish capital city of Erbil, tens of thousands of refugees are still in need. Unlike the people in Amerli, these refugees have shelter and enough food, but their challenges are great nonetheless.
Most of the refugees in Erbil and elsewhere in Kurdistan need better sanitation and healthcare. Few toilets are available in the makeshift camps, forcing some to relieve themselves wherever possible.
With few trash bags or refuse containers around, garbage is tossed everywhere.
The people also lack clean water. CBN Disaster Reliefdoubled the number of water containers for some 4,000 refugees living in the unfinished buildings in Zakho.
But when CBN learned that some of the children who had taken shelter in a church were getting sick, the organization provided a water filter system to bring them clean water.
"This is one of the necessities -- to have filtered water for a place like this -- because I think they are drinking the water directly from the tanks," volunteer Levon Sarkes, a Christian pharmacist, told CBN News. "Bad water can, dirty water can cause diarrhea a lot, especially for children. This is what they are facing."
CBN has partnered with Iraqi Christians to bring free medicine and other medical supplies to the refugees.
Having lost their homes and everything they owned, some of them say they're ready to give up. Christian medical workers are bringing them healthcare and hope.
"We have to deal with them, with their souls. They are crying," Sarkes explained. "We have to support them and we are encouraging them that the world doesn't end here because 'Jesus Christ has a plan for you and He loves you.'"
That was the message delivered to more than 100 children attending a Superbook party and show at an Erbil refugee camp.
The festivities began with some face painting, games, and a few snacks before the show. And then it was time for Gizmo, Joy and Chris -- CBN's Superbook characters.
One episode taught the children about creation and the fall of man and another about King David's courage and how by trusting God he defeated Goliath.
A Superbook team volunteer told us the showing was timely because these children are desperate for a little happiness and hope.
"Now the Christian children are not happy. They are all the time sad," Saif, one of the volunteers, said.
On this early September evening, the children forgot the terror that drove them from their homes. They clapped and laughed and were reminded of God's love.
"It's so good and this film is so nice," Saif said. "Watching the film, yes we are happy. And Jesus is with the children all the time."
Like David, these young Iraqi refugees are learning to rely on God to help them overcome the giants in their lives.