See email below from Samaritan’s Purse Country Director Matt Nowery to Reverend Franklin Graham about the dire situation in Iraq. Matt spoke with Sister Diana, an Iraqi Christian nun (on the right in the photo above). Her tale is heartbreaking.
I had the opportunity to sit with Sister Diana and interview her yesterday. This is a relationship that was established through Pastor Sami.
Pastor Sami had our entire team working in a park when Sister Diana approached him and asked if he could help other refugees that were falling through the cracks and in calamitous need. Pastor Sami agreed to visit the families and we have since provided relief items for them.
For brevity, I will bullet point my interview with Diana.
- Born in Qaraqosh in 1981
- On Thursday, August 7th at 11:35pm her Priest informed her that she had 10 minutes to leave the city
- “Deep down I knew if I left I may never return.”
- Cars and lorry trucks were packed with people evacuating the city
- The Daash (ISIS) were disguised as medics and drove ambulances throughout the city. They were shooting at people.
- My sister (Nun) witnessed the Daash shoot a 28 year old boy in the head. They killed him.
- Qaraqosh to Erbil is a 1 hour drive on a normal day
- They left Qaraqosh at 11:45pm on Thursday night and did not reach the checkpoint to enter into Erbil until 8:45am on Friday morning.
- They had no food or water
- The entire city was in a panic and were running down the streets to escape ISIS
- Women were begging us (Nuns) to take their children so they wouldn’t be killed by ISIS
- Many families from Qaraqosh are still living on the streets in Erbil
- “It’s a nightmare. Within hours people are left homeless against their will.”
- I only escaped with the clothes on my back
At this point in our interview she paused so I took the opportunity to ask her what she would like to say to the American people. Here are her responses:
- “I lived in the US for 7 years. Americans are beautiful people. What is shocking me so much is why are they so silent in the face of our genocide?”
- “Please, as you care for your pets – care for your Christian brothers and sisters that are suffering.”
- “Please raise your voice and stand up for us.”
- “Jesus has called us to be makers of peace.”
- “We were given 3 choices by ISIS. 1) Pay a tax to them 2) Convert to Islam or 3) Die by the sword and these options are non-negotiable for us.”
- “Our children are dying”
- “We need more clean water and better sanitation”
- “People of good will have been helping us but the US Government is silent and this makes us feel abandoned.”
- “If this situation continues, lots will lose their lives and some will lose their faith. Many are asking where is God?”
- “I think it’s time for the US to take action.”
- “Most want to leave Iraq because they don’t feel welcome here.”
Sister Diana is the Nun on the right in the attached photo. She has given her blessing to use this information in hopes that it will stir action within the American people but even more importantly the US Government.