Iraq

Rob’s 2014 Christmas Greeting -The Peace of Christ

Rob’s Blog | Peace and Good Will. Really???

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:13-14

Peace is always a theme of the Christmas season, sometimes in sermons, sometimes on doormats, often on greeting cards. There are wonderful accounts of literal Christmas-time manifestations of peace, like the famous one about World War I German and Allied combatants laying down their arms, exchanging cigarettes and rations, and singing carols together—only to resume their barbarous warfare on December 26.

I am not a blithe peacenik. Conflict is natural among human beings and will be until God institutes a new order in the universe. Wars will continue and physical violence will persist on every level of human relations. Still, this angelic pronouncement is not the wistful fantasy of a Pollyanna, but the express mandate of the Creator of all things, including of humankind, and it is a central tenet of the Gospel.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Christmas, Peace, Photo credit Kaitlynn Hendricks

How then do we reconcile the ideal of God’s intention for peace and man’s rejection of it? How does the prayer for peace on earth jibe with the horrors being perpetrated by ISIS, the death of a teen in Ferguson, a 12-year old in Cleveland, an asthmatic in Brooklyn? For that matter, the hammer-beating of a St. Louis man, or the looting and arson of stores in protest of “police brutality?” None of this comports with peace or the pursuit of peace.

When I contemplate these seemingly irreconcilable realities, my mind often goes back to a simple and very human story. It was the early 1960s. One of my early ministry heroes, Rev. David Wilkerson, had arrived in New York City as a naïve young preacher with an outlandish vision to win violent street gangs to Christ. His first convert was a knife-wielding punk named Nicky Cruz. After Nicky gave his life to Christ he assisted “Brother Dave” in his frequent evangelistic rallies. During one of those rallies, one of Nicky’s rival gang members, Israel Narvaez, was present. A brawl ensued and Nicky had Israel on the ground with a blade to his throat.

“Say ‘Praise God’ man,” Nicky threatened. “Or I’ll cut your throat!”

Israel complied, crying, “Praise God, man! Praise God!” Nicky relented, got himself back in order, and led his rival to the altar. Israel went on to become an evangelist, like his nemesis.

What I love about this story (whether it’s embellished or not), is that it illustrates how peace and violence can coexist in the same person, often in the same moment. That’s true of the world in general. The presence of God brings peace, and the future plan and purpose of God results in eternal peace. These are points of ultimate hope and the means toward realizing true, lasting, spiritual, and temporal peace—even while, in the moment, the fullness of that peace eludes us.

The great gift of the Gospel is in its proof that peace is not only possible; it’s inevitable. The Gospel—manifest in the peaceful Christ Child at Bethlehem—is the cure for man’s hopeless surrender to violence. Of course, that peaceful birth was met with violence, too, as Herod unleashed his infant-murdering hoards. So, while our peace is disturbed in the moment, it’s assured in the future—the not-so-distant future.

This CHRISTmas my prayer for you is for you to know the hope that is Peace on Earth—and Good Will toward men . . .

Merry CHRISTmas to you and all yours.

RS

Quarterly Newsletter – The 20TH ANNIVERSARY Edition

Celebrating 20 Years of Ministry to America’s Top-Level Government Officials in Washington, DC.

We’ve come a long way in 20 years! From acquiring our “O House” to presenting the 10 commandments to hundreds of DC’s officials to the Live Nativity, every day our ministry builds deeper relationships and becomes more effective at bringing a gospel message to America’s halls of power in public and personal ways.

We’ve presented over 400 government officials with the Ten Commandments.
Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Tom Delay

Revs. Rob and Paul Schenck present the Ten Commandments to Rep. Tom Delay.

 

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary

Peggy Nienaber, Rev. Rob Schenck and Pastor Sean Sloan and family present the Ten Commandments to Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack.

Related: The Ten Commandments – An everyday Capitol Hill experience.

In 2009 we switched from plastic figurines to a completely “Live Nativity”
Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, Christmas, Live Nativity

This past year’s annual Live Nativity pauses in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as Rev. Rob Schenck reads the full Christmas story from Luke 2 with live actors (including infant baby Jesus!), camel, donkey,and sheep, with a large crowd and national media looking on.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary

The plastic figurines we used before switching to an entirely Live Nativity.

We celebrated the birth of the baby who will play Jesus in our Live Nativity this year (our Patty Bills’ first grand baby) and a baby camel within just a week of each other. Watch out for these two on Capitol Hill and National television helping us proclaim the gospel story this December!

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life

 Learn More: 2014 Live Nativity on Capitol Hill (and your home-town)

Then & Now

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, William J. Ostrowski, Rev. Paul Schenck, Rev. Pat MahoneyTwenty years ago, Judge William Ostrowski opened Faith and Action’s ministry-launch prayer service with Revs Rob and Paul Schenck, Rev. Pat Mahoney and lots of other friends.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Peggy Nienaber, Pastor Chuck Harding

Today, we still operate our ministry out of a house across the street from the Supreme Court named in the late Judge Ostrowski’s honor with the help of many of the same friends (and many new ones). Praise God with us for the call He gave us to Capitol Hill, as well as the deep and rich friendships that have come along the way.

Related: Highlights from the past 20 years of Faith and Action’s ministry on Capitol Hill.

September 11

Even during the 9/11 attacks and subsequent anthrax scares, (when Rev. Rob Schenck served as an emergency responder chaplain) Faith and Action has been on Capitol Hill day in and day out, building gospel relationships, praying and bringing Christ’s redemption story to our nation’s leaders.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, 9/11, September 11

Rev. Rob Schenck and a wide variety of clergy gather at the Pentagon, just opposite the crash site, days after 9/11/2001 where emergency responders and passers by joined with them in prayer.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, September 11, Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery

Rev. Rob Schenck at the Pentagon Memorial stone at Arlington Cemetery on September 11th 2014.

Read More: Rob’s Blog | Can’t help but remember…

The Ten Commandments

After years of wrangling with the D.C. Legal department, we installed an 850-point granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments in the front garden of our ministry house on Capitol Hill. though vandals pulled it down, we were able to restore it and reinforce it so that the timeless words written by God’s own finger continue to stand at just such and angle that America’s highest judges across the street can see them from their chambers every day!

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, forcible removal of  Ten Commandments in Ohio

Our Ten Commandments sculpture was forcibly removed from an Ohio School in 2003 and has stood at our ministry center on Capitol Hill since 2006.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary

Rev. Rob Schenck reads the full scripture passage containing the Ten Commandments with a delegation of diverse clergy and national media looking on at the 2013 rededication of the sculpture after vandals pulled it down earlier that year.

Read More: Rob’s Blog | Why the Ten Commandments?

Prayer at the Gates of the White House

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, Peggy Nienaber, Rev. Pat Mahoney, Syria, Iraq

Our team has spent many hours on many days this summer and fall praying and calling for action on behalf of persecuted religious minorities, including those being brutally murdered in Syria and Iraq.

Related: Heartbreaking personal story of one Iraqi family’s tragic torment in religious genocide.

We’ve also advocated in person for American pastor Saeed Abedini, now in prison in Iran for two years simply for his role in Christian humanitarian work.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, ACLJ, Nagmeh, Saeed, Abedini, Iran

The Sekulow family of ACLJ led a prayer walk at the White House with Nagmeh Abedini and Franklin Graham on the two year anniversary of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith which our staff participated in.

Related: Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife Nagmeh reads a letter from him in Iranian prison for their daughter Rebecca’s 8th birthday.

Supreme Court Term Starts & Red Mass

Our Faith and Action team attended this year’s annual “Red Mass”prayer service with several Supreme Court Justices. Red Mass is always the day before the Court’s session begins. We’re watching a case called Reed v.Town of Gilbert about religious freedom in public sign regulation, tracking on state marriage laws and court orders that may make their way to the High Court.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Red Mass, St. Matthew's Cathedral

Rev. Rob Schenck at the 2014 Red Mass service

Learn More: An Intersection of Faith and the Law – What is Red Mass?

We’re also keeping up with Hobby Lobby plaintiffs, the Green family–(below, with Rev. Rob Schenck at a private museum planning meeting)—as they prepare to open a fullscale, state-of-the-art Bible Museum in Washington, DC, for which Faith and Action has signed on as an official partner ambassador organization.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Hobby Lobby, Bible Museum, Green Family

 Read More: The Bible Museum will be like one giant Gospel tract here in the nation’s capital city.

On the Hill

With every season for the past TWENTY YEARS, we’ve found ourselves amazed at the Lord’s work we see and have the honor of participating in where we’re at in the Nation’s Capital

In recent months we’ve discovered the gospel message displayed deep inside an unlikely federal government building, wished godspeed to good friend Michele Bachmann (who is not running for re-election), and celebrated the the going home to heaven of a very valuable friend and advisor to this ministry, the Honorable Samuel J. Cornelius (1928-2014).

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship, Live Nativity, Christmas, Life, Moses, Gun Violence, 20th anniversary, Michelle Bachmann

Rev. Rob Schenck and Peggy Nienaber with Rep. Michele Bachmann at her farewell reception earlier this fall on Capitol Hill.

Related: Leadership advice from Michele Bachmann at her farewell reception.

For each story we can tell, there are 20 more behind-the-scenes moments of private ministry that show God’s hand working through our team in the hearts of our nation’s top leaders.

Thank You

for all you do to support Faith and Action’s mission to America’s top-level national leaders in Washington, DC. Your encouragement, constant prayers and all kinds of support are a tremendous blessing to our team every day, as we work to bring faith in Christ to life more and more in the hearts and minds of Washington’s officials, influencers and policy-makers.

Want to hear more behind-the-scenes-details about Faith and Action’s ministry to America’s top-level national leaders in Washington, DC? Sign up for our regular email updates.

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, students, internship

Extended Prayer at the White House for resolution to violence and persecution in Iraq and Syria

At the White House praying for resolution to violence and religious persecution in Iraq and Syria

Never silent to genocide: praying to a Holy God to move hearts to action and save lives

Right now, Christians and a Religious Group called Yazidis are being slaughtered and driven into the wilderness desert of Iraq by Islamic militants in frightening numbers. Today, we gathered with a group of Yazidis outside the White House, and were extremely saddened to hear personal stories of what is happening to specific members of their families – men being murdered, elderly and young children dying of hunger and thirst in the wilderness in hiding, and women and children being enslaved for forced labor or forced marriage into the militant Islamic group that is terrorizing them.

PLEASE pray with us for the precious lives of these families, many who are our Christian brothers and sisters, fighting for their lives. This is such an important time for believers to stand up for Religious Freedom. To see more videos, photos and updates on this crucial issue as it develops, visit this link on our website: http://bit.ly/1r37FZY

Heartbreaking personal story of one Iraqi family’s tragic torment in religious genocide

Right now, Christians and a Religious Group called Yazidis are being slaughtered and driven into the wilderness desert of Iraq by Islamic militants in frightening numbers. Today, we gathered with a group of Yazidis outside the White House, and were extremely saddened to hear personal stories of what is happening to specific members of their families – men being murdered, elderly and young children dying of hunger and thirst in the wilderness in hiding, and women and children being enslaved for forced labor or forced marriage into the militant Islamic group that is terrorizing them.

PLEASE pray with us for the precious lives of these families, many who are our Christian brothers and sisters, fighting for their lives. This is such an important time for believers to stand up for Religious Freedom. To see more videos, photos and updates on this crucial issue as it develops, visit this link on our website: http://bit.ly/1r37FZY

Rev. Rob Schenck speaks w media about what You can do to counteract genocide of minorities in Iraq

Right now, Christians and a Religious Group called Yazidis are being slaughtered and driven into the wilderness desert of Iraq by Islamic militants in frightening numbers. Today, we gathered with a group of Yazidis outside the White House, and were extremely saddened to hear personal stories of what is happening to specific members of their families – men being murdered, elderly and young children dying of hunger and thirst in the wilderness in hiding, and women and children being enslaved for forced labor or forced marriage into the militant Islamic group that is terrorizing them.

PLEASE pray with us for the precious lives of these families, many who are our Christian brothers and sisters, fighting for their lives. This is such an important time for believers to stand up for Religious Freedom. To see more videos, photos and updates on this crucial issue as it develops, visit this link on our website: http://bit.ly/1r37FZY

Hundreds of Christian & Yazidi children being killed in Iraq. Christians must pray & call for action

Right now, Christians and a Religious Group called Yazidis are being slaughtered and driven into the wilderness desert of Iraq by Islamic militants in frightening numbers. Today, we gathered with a group of Yazidis outside the White House, and were extremely saddened to hear personal stories of what is happening to specific members of their families – men being murdered, elderly and young children dying of hunger and thirst in the wilderness in hiding, and women and children being enslaved for forced labor or forced marriage into the militant Islamic group that is terrorizing them.

PLEASE pray with us for the precious lives of these families, many who are our Christian brothers and sisters, fighting for their lives. This is such an important time for believers to stand up for Religious Freedom. To see more videos, photos and updates on this crucial issue as it develops, visit this link on our website: http://bit.ly/1r37FZY

Rob’s Blog: Praying with the Persecuted at the Gates of the White House

As so often happens, I had planned to make this week a slow one—mostly to catch up on a book I’ve agreed to write (about the last 20 years of ministry to our nation’s leaders in DC), which I’ve abandoned too often in recent days. But, as we say, God had other plans.

On Tuesday, Rev. Pat Mahoney called me to say he was meeting up in Washington with persecuted people from Iraq. He asked if I would join him. How could I say no?

On Wednesday we met Faysal Shaqooli, a spokesman for the American Yazidi community, one of the religious minorities targeted with extinction by the radical jihadi terrorists called ISIS. He has been in the U.S. for some time because he was targeted for assassination years ago, after assisting U.S. forces during the recent war. Faysal’s mother and sister remain in Iraq and are in grave danger. His mother is in the mountains facing serious illness due to unsanitary conditions, if not dehydration and starvation. His sister is in even greater peril. She was taken to a prison controlled by the terrorists after her husband was banded up with thousands of other men and likely executed. The whereabouts of their children are uncertain.

Scores of American Yazidi came to Washington this week to demand that President Obama order the military to intervene. While the Yazidi religion is non-Christian, they have a very long history of friendship with Christians in Iraq. Their families often inter-marry and they protect one another. Just as they’ve lived together, Iraqi Yazidis and Christians have suffered together in this latest disaster. Thousands have been murdered, and their women and children are being marked for sale on wife-market.

The Yazidis showed me photos of their family and friends stacked up in mass graves after being summarily shot by ISIS terrorists. The images brought back the terrible feeling I had when, as a boy, my father showed me similar photos of our fellow Jews in Nazi mass gave sites.

This is another holocaust—this time of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities. One of the Yazidi leaders said to Pat and me, “If the United States won’t help us, maybe Israel will. To show our gratitude, every family will send one male to serve in their army. We promise!”

On Thursday, I went to the gates of the White House to join with dozens of Yazidis that gathered there. They were loudly crying out to President Obama, pleading with him to send military help to their stricken communities. In the fervor, with shouting, crying, and chanting all around, they yelled to me, “What can you do to help us?”

I told them I had already spoken to government officials and Christian relief agencies. I had drafted and successfully worked for passage of a resolution at the annual meeting of my denominational body calling attention to the crisis. Of course, none of that was enough to console them. I was left with only one way to help, I explained. To offer up prayers to the God that can save them. I asked if I could do that right there, in front of the White House gates. They said “Yes, yes, yes.”

Faith, Action, America, Christian, gospel, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christ, Bible, Church, Rev. Rob Schenck, missionary, ministry, Ten Commandments, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Congress, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President, United States, Washington DC, DC, Washington, Capitol Hill, first amendment, constitution, religious freedom, freedom of religion, free speech, prayer, pray, pro-life white house, election, national, leader, Iraq, Yazidis, Iraqi Christians, genocide, White House

My team and I leading Faysal and a crowd of Yazidi Iraqis in prayer in front of the White House.

I invited their spokesman to kneel with me, which he did. Others joined us. In that prayer time, I held a picture of the body of a little girl killed in the calamity. Another little Yazidi girl stood next to me holding a poster-sized photo of children traumatized and crying. It was horrible. I pled with God to mercifully look down on these suffering people and their Christian friends, and to move on the hearts of all good people to help them. I asked especially for the Lord to move the heart of President Obama to come to their aid. Right after I pronounced, “In Jesus name, Amen,” the Yazidis began chanting, “Save the Christians of Iraq! Save the Christians of Iraq!” I was speechless.

As you saw, God heard and answered those prayers. Last night, just hours after we prayed, President Obama spoke to the nation about the Christians and the Yazidis, and announced he had authorized humanitarian and military aid.

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 9, I will be at the White House gates again, this time as Pat hosts Iraqi Christians who have family and friends in the same horrible circumstances. We will pray with them, too. Of course, they love the Lord and are in the family, so we’ll have so much more in common. I’m really looking forward to being with them. The Yazidis, though, made for a very meaningful Christian ministry opportunity. Let me explain.

The Yazidi religion is very old. It predates both Christianity and Islam. They claim it predates Judaism. (Well, perhaps “modern Judaism,” but couldn’t be biblical religion.) In any case, Yazidiism is at least related to Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian religion. Many scholars believe the wise men that came from the east to find the Christ child, using the Bethlehem star to guide them, were Zoroastrians. If so, I find it fascinating that all these millennia later, their religious and ethnic descendants may have again bowed in the presence of the only Savior.

Like the wise men in search of the Christ Child, we must keep focused on the only Savior of humankind. At times like these, we’re tempted to place our trust, “in chariots and horses, “ but, as the Psalmist reminds us, “we must remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Yesterday I told the Yazidis just that—and today, they are learning it is true.

Please continue to pray for all our neighbors in Iraq, and especially those of the household of faith.

Rob +