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Planting the Seeds of Peacemaking in Kids' Hearts

It’s easy to think of waging peace and loving across enemy lines as something that happens over there. And while we do work in places that are hard to reach, the beautiful part of this peacemaking community that you’re part of is that you can also do this work wherever you are.

So let me suggest one practical way that you can remake a piece your world with us today.

25 Days of Peace: December 7

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

Today, we'll begin planning one of the most effective tools for waging peace we know of...

See Beyond Death

Some days it feels like death is all around.

Over the past year, you've met families who risked death to escape ISIS-held cities like Fallujah and Ramadi. They were shot at by ISIS snipers. Their loved ones were blown apart by landmines. Those who escaped found themselves in desert camps with nothing. Not even a tent.

You've met children so traumatized by war they couldn’t even say their name.

25 Days of Peace: December 6

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

For today's peacemaking exercise, you get to show your creative (and thankful) side.

See Beyond Death... in Aleppo, Benghazi, and Mosul

Last week was an exciting, gut-wrenching, sometimes heartbreaking week. We began providing emergency food rations to people near Aleppo. A hospital in Libya—where, just two weeks earlier our team provided lifesaving heart surgeries for kids—was bombed. And we went to the literal front lines of Mosul.

25 Days of Peace: December 5

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

For today's peacemaking exercise, you get to show your creative (and thankful) side.

25 Days of Peace: December 4

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

Today we're going to learn a different approach to fear. Instead of avoiding it, we're going to lean into it.

25 Days of Peace: December 3

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

Today's peacemaking activity won't take much. In fact, it won't take a single word.

ISIS Launches Mortar Attack on Our Aid Convoy Within Walking Distance of Mosul

Thousands of people will eat tonight because of your giving and the work of our delivery teams. But making it happen wasn’t easy. 

Around 7:00 this morning, our team headed west toward Mosul—two large semi trucks with food and other essentials and several small cars. We stopped for finalize a few plans and make some phone calls. Everything was prepared. Families were waiting.

We made it through each checkpoint and ultimately arrived in the small Mosul suburb. We were inside the Mosul front lines—so close, you could walk to the city itself.

25 Days of Peace: December 2

As part of our new Gift Catalog, we created this activity guide to help you practice peace in small ways during the holiday season.

Because 25 small acts of peace... they add up quickly.

A New Business for a New Life

Samiha, one of the women in our empowerment program, working in her shop

“Normalcy” is an elusive concept for people affected by war. They can’t just go back to life before the crisis, so they are forced to create a new sort of “normal.”

For the women in our empowerment programs, like Ikhlas, that new sense of normal is stitched together one garment at a time, to the rhythmic hum of a sewing machine. Each item they make and sell is a piece of the new life that they are designing and creating.

25 Days of Peace: December 1

For all our dreams of "peace on earth," the world is anything but peaceful. From the Middle East to our own communities, violence seems unrelenting. Relationships bend and sometimes break. Peace—the very thing we long for—seems impossible to come by.
 
But peace is primarily not something that happens to us. It’s something we choose, something we create, something we lean into.

So let's spend the next 25 days leaning into peace. 

Why the Good Guy vs. Bad Guy Narrative Doesn't Work in Aleppo

As many of you saw from our update yesterday, the situation in Aleppo, Syria became even more dire over the last few days—something we almost didn’t think was possible.

This morning, the BBC shared a short video providing much-needed context for the work we’re doing in this area. We thought it might help you picture where we are providing food and winter supplies—which you made possible yesterday. We wanted you to see the faces of the people you are helping and better understand what they are fleeing.

#GivingTuesday: Here's What You Made Possible for Aleppo and Mosul

Thank you. Thank You. Thank you.

Yesterday your love showed up with force.

#GivingTuesday: Today We Give Back for Aleppo

For many of us, #GivingTuesday is a chance to slow down after a day of giving thanks and filling our bellies—and several days of shopping. It's a chance to look at the world around us and make a tangible difference.

For our friends in Aleppo and Mosul—for children like Bana—today is about something more. Today is about life or death. 

How One Gift Can Empower Three Refugee Families

The soap is lovingly handcrafted by Marwa and her refugee sisters. With every bar, they reclaim another piece off what ISIS tried to take from them.  

Small Business Saturday: Celebrate Refugee Business Owners in Iraq

Millions of you will head out to local coffee shops, boutiques, bookstores, and restaurants today for Small Business Saturday.

But here’s another way you can celebrate: by supporting the brightest new entrepreneurs… in Iraq.

A Rebellious #BlackFriday Alternative: Kinsman Soap

For Faris, making soap is an act of defiance. But buying his soap is also an act of rebellion on your part.

Every purchase of Kinsman Soap supports refugee families. It’s a vote to remake your world. 

Thanksgiving Miracle in Iraq: Baby Aram

The other day, as I was visiting our soapmaker friends to pay them for their newest batch of Sisterhood Soap, an unexpected face burst through the door.

It was baby Aram, Sozan’s precocious son. He'd heard our voices and crawled through the mud to come and see us.

He was covered in dirt, and he was the most beautiful sight.

Giving Thanks in Front of a Broken Altar in Iraq

This is what’s left of the King Jesus Church in Sinjar City, northern Iraq.

The altar was broken by ISIS. Crosses shattered into pieces. Pages ripped from Bibles and hymnals, then scattered across the floor. There are bullet casings everywhere you step.

Standing in a place like this, it's hard to find reason to give thanks. But it can be found, if you look closely enough.

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