More than 200 Displaced Iraqi Families Return Home

December 29, 2017 • Iraq
Another home completed in Iraq for a Christian family displaced by ISIS.
Another home completed in Iraq for a Christian family displaced by ISIS.

Samaritan’s Purse helps rebuild homes destroyed by ISIS on the Nineveh Plains.

Northern Iraq Projects

This past Christmas, 218 Christian families in Iraq enjoyed being home for the holiday for the first time in years. They honored Christ’s birth and joined with family and other believers in their own newly restored homes, which once had been decimated by ISIS.

Iraqi family returns home after ISIS

This family has returned home. “We thank your organization for helping us rebuild our home. You are encouraging people to come back home to Qaraqosh.”

When the Islamic militants took over their entire city of Qaraqosh in 2014, thousands of Christians fled for their lives as ISIS wreaked havoc. But in mid-October 2017, Samaritan’s Purse began welcoming residents back by rebuilding their homes. Working with local vendors and thereby helping the economy, we completed the 218th home on December 22. This was our final one for 2017—but we plan to restore many more in 2018.

“It is an unexpected Christmas gift for the whole town,” said Yousif*, our Iraqi rebuild program manager whose own home still lies in ruins. “If you drive in the main market, you can see that life is in the town again.”

Even though 60 percent of the city’s 50,000 people have yet to return, a new pulse can be found in the streets since these hundreds of homes have been rebuilt.

God Is at Work Here

One mother and her two daughters returned to sleep in their old home even before it had been renovated. Samaritan’s Purse staff soon visited them to help rebuild their walls, restore their electricity, and replace their broken doors and windows.

On a second visit, the family asked our staff to pray for their husband and father. He had stayed behind in Qaraqosh after ISIS took over and was captured. The mother and daughters had no idea where he was or if he was alive. The staff prayed asking God to reunite this family even as they were restoring their home. A little over two weeks later, the staff returned to hear about a special phone call from Syria—the husband and father was found safe and alive!

One of the daughters said, “We are having two parties now—our house is fixed and God is bringing our dad back!”

Yousif is encouraged by interactions with families like these whose homes have been rebuilt. “They feel the hand of God is working in the town again.” The hatred and destruction associated with ISIS will not have the last word.

“Among all this sadness, God is still bringing hope, the light shines for people at the end of a dark tunnel,” Yousif said.

“God is still bringing hope, the light shines.”

Please pray for Christians in Iraq, for all families returning to areas destroyed by ISIS, and for Samaritan’s Purse staff members as we continue rebuilding homes on the Nineveh Plains.

*Name changed for security.

Northern Iraq
Northern Iraq Projects Samaritan's Purse continues to help meet the long-term physical and spiritual needs of those displaced by ISIS. Among our projects, we are offering a variety of livelihoods programs to assist the Yazidi people, and we have set up child-friendly spaces for boys and girls to learn and grow while staying in camps as well. We are also facilitating the return of Christian families to their homes and churches in the Plains of Nineveh. They need our help to repair damage, replace doors, windows, and fixtures, and paint over ISIS graffiti as they reclaim their towns in the Name of Jesus.

Northern Iraq Projects 013929