Two days ago I had the privilege and actually the answered prayer to be able to take a helicopter to the top of Mount Sinjar of the Shingal Mountains, 5 kilometers from the Syrian border which is all under the complete control of ISIS. Only at the very top of the mountain is there areas that have Peshmerga and PKK fighters, fighting off the agenda of ISIS to finish off the 10,000 Yazidi people that are still trapped on the mountain.
It might be out of the mainstream news but the reality is, is that there is still 1,000 families living on the top of a mountain in the middle of desert, coming into winter with no food, warm clothes or the ability to keep themselves from the dangers of ISIS and the out of control soldiers that would take advantage of the woman.
Who will care about these people!? I saw with my own eyes the desperation for help and to get off that mountain...but where is the help? Its no where, because these people are caught in the political game greed, control and manipulation. I cant forget what I saw, now I must live my life to help free these people I am not sure how, actually I don't even know where to start except to pray and feel there must be more that I can do? I wont let the circumstance stop me. I wont let the political out of my league commanders and officials scare me or cause me to back down...I must press through and find a way to get these people off the mountain. I believe God hears the cries of my heart, I believe He will take care of these people, I believe He is a just God and I believe He has a plan. My only prayer is that I could align with His plan and partner with Him to see a miracle take place.
We stepped on the helicopter ready to make our way to the shingal mountains that we knew were controlled by ISIS, having two gunners aboard and ready to fire if need be...No gurantees for anything not to make it to the mountain or to make it off the mountain....as we landed and began to throw supplies out the door we saw the desperation of the soldiers of the refugees, people trying to break through the crowds to get on the helicopter. People screaming and pushing and throwing themselves at the door, eventually there being too many people we needed to take off...our first pass was unsuccessful for my team to make it off the aircraft. Headed back to base upset and angry that we didn't make it of the helicopter. Trying to pray and decide what our next step should be I looked around the helicopter at all the desperate hurt soldiers we were taking back to base, and then suddenly hearing gun fire realizing we had taken fire from ISIS and we were now shooting back. I was never scared, I could only think about how I needed to get back on the mountain! As soon as we landed I boldly voiced my opinion that, "I didn't come to take a helicopter tour of ISIS and the mountains, I came to do a job, to bring medical help and pray for refugees, we must go back!" after phone calls and a lot of talk the commander decided to make another pass...We were successful. As we ran from the copter to wait for the gear to be pulled out I saw chaos and the wind of the blades nearly threw me on my butt several times, thanks to two soldiers that stayed near to me holding me up...I saw our chopper being overtaken again by refugees and soldiers and he began to take off! I realized he hadn't dropped my stuff so I hand motioned to come back and give me my boxes...he made a second pass and began to drop my boxes! My meds going everywhere! All I could do was run towards the helicopter in desperation to grab all the supplies that were now flying everywhere! The two soldiers were trying to restrain me but I was to determined to get to my supplies! On my knees I began gathering as much as I could praying God please don't let anything be stolen! By some miracle instead of stealing the supplies people picked them up and brought them to me! We made our way to the top of the mountain where the make shift "ER" and "pharmacy" tents were.
We greeted the commanders and met the doctor and two nurses on the mountain. We had little time to be on the mountain, because we didn't make the first pass we had lost two hours...by this time we only had about 2 hrs left to be with the people. We spoke with refugees prayed for some people and help treat minor illness. We gave fruit and candy to the kids asking for their stories and trying to understand the truth of what was happening on the mountain. One little boy eating an apple and saying, "I forgot the taste of apples". They are getting little to no help. The aid that comes in from the helicopters is taken by soldiers or the strongest people.
I have now taken too many days to write this blog...what I need people to know is that these people desperately need help! Our job as believers and human beings is to take care of the people in need. Nobody can understand the desperation of these people and things we saw and felt as a team up on that mountain. I plan to go back and care for these people!
Before we left the mountain a young Yazidi girl made it on the helicopter. Thank God she did. She was so frightened, but at the same time the joy that she made it on the plane, fighting her way through all the soldiers and male refugees! She made it and prayerfully could find her family! Our team made a few phone calls to find out where her family was so she could be reunited with them.