For Janan Sabah, the word hope and the Name Jesus are all but synonymous.
Sabah was one of many people who fled Mosul, Iraq, after the Islamic State brought its brutality to bear on the region beginning in 2014. Most people who identified as ethnically Christian fled the country or left for the relative safety of Kurdish regions to the north and east. Today many, including Sabah, are living in the city of Erbil among Kurdish Muslims who are tolerant of them.
Sabah, though, is different than many of his friends and neighbors who escaped Mosul: He is an evangelical—and part of a small Samaritan’s Purse chaplain team working to bring the hope of the Gospel to nominal or what Sabah calls “traditional” Christians.
Many of those who fled Mosul do not know Jesus Christ, and they are desperate for hope after their violent displacement.
“We bring Jesus to people,” Sabah says. “This is our role. We’re already displaced, so we know what the people are suffering. … Each family has plenty of bad news.”
The Gospel, however, is great news, he says.
He recently led a man he knew from Mosul to faith in Christ. That man, Sabah said, had rejected the Gospel message back in Mosul but opened up after being displaced. He has since moved to France.
Sabah asks Christians in the West to pray that Iraqi believers will continue to have open doors to share the Gospel, and that members of the Islamic State would come to Christ much like the Apostle Paul did.
“We have people asking about God, seeking God. And we have the answers.”