Standing with Those Who Go… Praying for a Second Revival in Nineveh

As he traveled the streets of the imposing city delivering God’s message, the prophet Jonah must have been intimately acquainted with fears, threats and dangers. Yet, he brought bold warning to a violent and bloodthirsty people–a warning of pending devastation from the Lord, but also proclaiming an almost unthinkable measure of hope for all those who would utterly surrender to God. Nothing short of capitulation to His righteous desires for their lives would suffice–only heartfelt repentance would stay the flood of judgment. Not giving in to whatever reasonable levels of fear he experienced, Jonah boldly proclaimed the truth of God’s Word to a people renowned for their cruelty and wickedness.

Today, the modern Iraqi city of Mosul (the Biblical Nineveh) hasn’t altered its reputation all that much. During the course of the last decade, it has become known as one of the most treacherous places in all of Iraq. Trapped somehow between the Arab government in Baghdad and the Kurdish controlled regions in the north, Mosul is home to many radical terrorist groups–workers of darkness that truly rival their ancient counterparts.

Ministry among the Radicals
For the past several years, The Joshua Fund has had the privilege of hosting and partnering in church leadership training efforts throughout Iraq.  One pastor who has attended several of our teaching conferences remains faithful in serving a small house church inside the city of Mosul.  Pastor “Saeed” (not his real name) shared with us that four Christians had been murdered in his hometown even while we gathered together during our last week-long equipping event.  Along with others from his church who were able to attend the meetings, we prayed fervently for those families whose lives have been tragically touched by these acts of hate and ignorance.

Another brother from Mosul, who was characterized by having ‘the boldness of Jonah’ because he shared the message of Jesus so openly even in the more extremely hostile areas of the city, was recently kidnapped and held hostage. This has unfortunately become a very common practice in Nineveh /Mosul, as extremists continue to demand that Believers leave their city. Their lives are directly threatened if they do not comply.

Our hearts broke as we recently read the following tragic email regarding this valiant evangelist:

“Update on my previous prayer request about our brother in Mosul. We heard the sad news this evening that his body was found. He had been killed with 9 gunshot wounds. They buried him today. He had a wife and 4 children.”

Journey of Jonah
The sobering reality of the harsh persecution currently faced by our brothers and sisters on a regular basis should drive us all to our knees in prayer for them, as we are urged by Paul to “weep with those who weep”. The Lord Himself is intimately acquainted with the pain and loss that accompanies the death of those who are proclaiming freedom and liberty to a lost world–just as His Son of hope was rejected and put to death, and just as Jonah was called to go to the fearsome foreign lands and preach to a lost people group, The Joshua Fund is firm in our commitment to advancing and sustaining the unyielding message of God’s love in this land.

We ask you to continue with us in prayerful support of the Iraqi Christians living and ministering in a country that continues to find itself in the strongholds of violence and destruction.  We are currently planning our next efforts to share and teach God’s Word to encourage those who face these dangers boldly as did the prophet Jonah.  Please pray that our hearts will remain faithful to blessing those who are following Christ and who go “ Nineveh, that great city and preach to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD.” Jonah 3:3-4.

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