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Yazidi refugees find shelter in vacant store front and unfinished buildings in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan, on Aug. 26, 2014. Christ Church Jerusalem and At the Crossroads sent a team to access the situation, connect with partners on the ground and strategize how to send aid.

Yazidi refugees find shelter in vacant store front and unfinished buildings in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan, on Aug. 26, 2014. Christ Church Jerusalem and At the Crossroads sent a team to access the situation, connect with partners on the ground and strategize how to send aid.

[At the end of August a small team from Jerusalem traveled to Turkey to encourage the body of Messiah there and to take aid for those displaced by the war in Syria and the advancements of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. This is a story from that trip.]

The Turkish pastor with whom we stayed actually wasn’t home the first night we were in Mardin. He was in Iraqi Kurdistan tending to the Yazidi refugees. That’s his ministry right now. He travels the three hours from his home in southeast Turkey to the Iraqi border city of Zakho sometimes twice a week, sometimes staying the night away from his young family.

A Yazidi man urgently lists needs that the refugees have in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan.

A Yazidi man urgently lists needs that the refugees have in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan.

The pastor said in late August that the Yazidi refugees had overrun the facilities set up by the United Nations. He said that two camps for 12,000 refugees each had been set up but that 350,000 people had showed up, many of them Yazidis (numbers that the UNHCR corroborates). At that time, he said that many were sleeping under cars because there was not enough shelter.

As a result, some Yazidis have moved into any structure that might provide shelter, including vacant store fronts and buildings still under construction.

Others keep moving. Reuters reports that many Yazidis are crossing into Turkey now in early September. See video below.

A Jerusalem Post reporter asked one of the Jerusalem team why were helped Yazidis rather than Christians during our trip. A pastor in Diyarbakir, Turkey gave the answer the Sunday before we went to the camps. He exhorted his Turkish congregation that it is our responsibility as believers in Jesus to show sacrificial compassion to those in crisis, no matter who they are.

At the Crossroads has people on the ground now helping with this crisis. If you are moved to give, we have a few options.

We are sending funds on to different organizations with which we are partnering on the ground in northern Iraq. Some of those include

Thank you for helping us show the world what partnership among the Isaiah 19 nations looks like.

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