Stories: A Joyful Homecoming | Hand of Hope - Joyce Meyer Ministries

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A Joyful Homecoming

A Joyful Homecoming

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Providing New Beginnings for Iraqi Refugees

Overnight, Yasin’s life was turned upside down. In August 2014, ISIS overran his hometown of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq, forcing thousands from their homes.

Terrified and confused, Yasin* somehow managed to escape with his wife, children and extended family as soldiers looted their home and set it on fire.

Leaving all of their possessions behind, they fled with only the clothes on their backs, wondering if they would ever see their hometown again.

The Long Journey

Like most residents in Qaraqosh, Yasin’s family are Christians, a definite minority in Iraq. They had trusted God through many highs and lows, but they never experienced anything quite like this.

With nowhere else to go, they made the long, grueling trip to Jordan, where they stayed with a friend. Legally unable to work in Jordan, they spent countless hours and all of their money applying for asylum visas so they could travel west. Months turned into years as they waited in limbo.

When all hope was lost, after more than three years in Jordan, they suddenly received unexpected news: ISIS had lost control of Qaraqosh, and it was safe to return.

Yasin’s family left Jordan immediately and weeks later arrived in Qaraqosh to finding it in ruins. Their family home was still standing, but the damage rendered it unlivable. It seemed they were back to square one—refugees in their own hometown.

“You gave us back our dignity”

This is where you come in. Unbeknownst to Yasin, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions reached out to the mayor of Qaraqosh, inquiring how we could help families in this dire situation.

Several days later, we gave Yasin the good news: “Hand of Hope is going to fully fund the renovation of your family home.”

In the spring of 2019, roughly five years since they fled for their lives, Yasin and his entire family walked through the front door of their beautiful, newly renovated home. As if in a dream, they cried, laughed and praised God for His love and mercy.

“Thank you so much for your help,” Yasin said. “You gave us back our dignity and hope. Now, we are having hope that all of the Christians will come back and rebuild our community.”

This past year, you have been an answer to prayer for this city. Yasin’s home is one of four that you have completely rebuilt for families returning to Qaraqosh.

For refugees who feared for their lives and endured the unthinkable, you have provided the greatest gift they could imagine—a place to call home.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

Hand of Hope