Back in October, I told you about a team of American Christian veterans who have been going to the Middle East to aid Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State. They were home at the time, but now have regrouped and built the up their team and will be heading back next week, and they need your prayers and support.
Jeremiah, a US Marine veteran and the team leader of Operation Do Something, took time to speak with me this week and his news was pretty exciting.
This time Jeremiah’s team will actually be composed of two teams and they will be working with the peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) in continuing to train them in how to care for their wounded. Jeremiah told us that they will be living in a house near Kurdistan and have some new things they will be able to offer the fighters as they battle to get women and children, who have been taken captive as slaves by the Islamic State, released and returned to their families.
Jeremiah did communicate that though a large percentage of the people they are working with claim to be Muslim, he said that they appear to be those who have grown up in families that are Muslims in name only and don’t really even understand the teachings of the Koran, as opposed to those who read the Koran, understand it and have joined with the Islamic State.
“From what I’ve seen, those who read the Koran and believe it, those are the ones that turn into ISIS,” he told me. “The people we are helping are largely ignorant of what Islam actually teaches.”
He went on to tell of how one man they were working with was once aligned with ISIS, but had become a Christian convert.
“He was on the political wing of ISIS and he converted to Christianity about a year and a half or two years ago,” Jeremiah said. “He told us that the ones who do actually study and read the Koran and believe it are the true Islamists.”
Though the man referenced was converted before Jeremiah and his team arrived the first time, he did tell us that they saw seventeen converts to Jesus Christ during their last visit to the area. In once particular instance, Jeremiah told me that he was witness to a healing. A young man had a club foot that he was completely unable to walk on. So the team prayed for him and upon returning the following week, they were overwhelmed to see the young man running around and the father rejoicing and saying, “This is amazing!”
“I don’t know why the Lord chose to do it that way,” said Jeremiah.
The two teams that will be working in Kurdistan will have two different, but complimentary functions. Jeremiah will be leading a team, which is composed of all military veterans, which will continue training the peshmerga. Jeremiah’s team is composed of four Marines, one Navy corpsman and one National Guard weapons receptor. He also informed us that other teams come and help out as well. Some of those that make up those teams are among Navy SEALs and Army Rangers as well as other veterans of America’s military.
Jeremiah’s wife will lead another team that will set up a house to care for the women and children rescued. They will offer counseling and prayer, as well as medical attention and free food.
“Our main purpose for going over, that we really wanna take part in the rehabilitation of a lot of these women and children who have been captured by ISIS,” said Jeremiah. “They have been in sex trafficking and whatnot. Sometimes they are able to escape on their own and sometimes all it takes is for someone driving a vehicle close enough to a dangerous enough place and they run out into the desert and find a safe zone. So, we’re pursuing all avenues to help in rehabilitation.”
Keep in mind that all of these people are volunteers. They are not going at the command of the US government, but because they are willing to go and minister the gospel to these people. As a result, they are always in need of your support. With that in mind, the team has two basic accounts: One to help take care of the refugees they help and one that is to support their team directly (travel and living expenses). Currently, Jeremiah tells me that the refugee account is well funded, but they are lacking in the team support. So, those that are interested in supporting their efforts can designate what they want those funds to go to and Jeremiah seeks to honor that request.
Check out a short pamphlet of what the teams do and see pictures. Follow what Jeremiah and his team are doing here and if you are led to help support them you can click here to make a donation. Additionally, Jeremiah is always looking for Christian volunteers, who meet a very strict standard, to join in their mission. If you believe this is something you should involve yourself in, click here to contact Jeremiah.