No Rights is about reaching out to the overlooked. The verse that inspires this blog, and inspires the work I do, is:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.Proverbs 31:8-9
One major way to speak up for the rights of those who have none is advocating for them and making their needs known! Ignorance is NOT bliss. Ignorance keeps people comfortable in their boxes while their brothers and sisters across the world suffer. So I am starting a series on this blog about some of the unreached people groups that I have had the privilege of working with. I want to make their needs known in order to mobilise prayer, spread awareness, and maybe even inspire you to go visit them!
The Kurdish People
Many Americans, myself included up until recently, have never even heard of the Kurds. This year, I spent 5 months in the Middle East so I got the privilege of sitting with many Kurdish people in their homes, dancing with them, hearing their stories, and being their friend.
The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world who don’t have their own nation. The Kurdish region of the Middle East spreads throughout Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. They were forcibly converted to Islam during the Islamic conquest and, in most countries, they have experienced racism and oppression. In some places speaking Kurdish is actually illegal.
I sat one day with a young Kurdish girl who didn’t want to complete an art project. She told me that her father had been killed and she didn’t know if she should include him in her drawing or not. There is a history full of pain, oppression, and trauma for these beautiful people. They were one of the main targets of ISIS and there have been many attempted genocides against them. Understandably, they are wary of outsiders.
The mountainous landscape of this region has been one of the only factors that allowed them to be safe during wars and conflicts. Because of this there is a popular saying among the Kurds: “we have no friends but the mountains”.
Despite the trauma, the Kurdish people are incredibly warm and inviting. They love to dance and stay up late picnicking. And there is no chance at refusing a meal from a Kurdish woman!
A Greater Friend
I have seen a Friend much greater than the mountains is offering His friendship to this amazing people group. From physical healing, to dreams and visions, to healing of deep trauma, it is so clear that Jesus is touching the lives of His children here in the Middle East, wanting to love them into wholeness, and wanting to be the one they can trust. With a friend like Jesus, and a mustard seed of faith, even the mountains can be moved.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friendsJohn 15:13-15
Jesus laid down His life for His Kurdish friends and only 0.05% know Him! Let’s lift them up in prayer together.
- dreams, visions, and miracles! This is the most common way that God is encountering His children in the Middle East right now.
- discipleship. Pray for believers to have the boldness to make disciples and multiply!
- protection and perseverance. Some new believers face great opposition from family members and others in their community when they decide to follow Jesus.