How can you not love this nation? I see so many people who are ready for the love of the Father as you walk into the camps, homes, the local bread shop, or even your favorite corner store. As you begin to see them not in the lens of the media or introduced by a person who hasn't met them. You can see them as God's children longing and wanting the love of the Father. They all seem to be searching for something more. Whether it is more food, more job opportunity, more love, or a better future. The search for something more has been placed in their hearts. It is something I don't think that they placed on their own, but something the Lord has positioned inside each of them. With politics, war, loss, and fleeing from their homes, this search has started in their hearts. This is one of the biggest invitations to share the more of God. The searching in their hearts can only be satisfied by Him. 

The Lord is paving a way in Iraq for His message to go forth. To answer the searching heart in the Middle East. No longer will the enemy take hold of this nation. God is lighting candles throughout all of Iraq and revealing himself in the midst of chaos. I could only image growing up in one of these camps hoping that there is more. Not knowing if I would see it? Being apart of Light A Candle organization I have been able to share the more with the children and families here. Sometimes it looked like sharing chai tea, letting children tackle you, praying over a boy in a wheel chair, taking pictures with locals, playing games, prayer for 100 hours, and listening to their stories. 

In my time here we visited Yazidi families weekly. We were able to stories with them about Jesus, play games, teach English and build relationship with them. There is a young boy who has a hormone deficiency that makes him look very young. He is in his late teens although you couldn't guess. He is one of the kindest young man that I have been able to meet. As we share stories about Jesus this young man is so attentive you can tell that there is something that resonates within him.This amazing young man has shown me the nearness of God. Even with struggles around him the message of hope and love in Jesus resounds inside him. My new friend is just one of the multitudes looking for more in this nation. A more that only God can offer. 

My time here has marked me.  I believe the Lord is raising up a generation of people in this nation who will seek his face. Iraq is not too far gone for the gospel but is ripe for the picking. I know there are those who are willing to come and share more of God.  

-Josh 

(Light A Candle- Short-Term Team Member)