Peacemaker Fridays: August 26, 2016

Healing racial prejudice on live television; the Syrian child rescuer who gave his life waging peace; and a community in Washington state comes together to combat racism.

Here are the week's best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace...

This Heart Surgery Kid Makes the Party Happen

There are some folks who enjoy being invited to a party.

Then there are the folks who make the party happen. Meet Mohammad. He’s the unofficial social convener on the ward.

Sometimes Hope Looks Like a Wheelchair

A disabled refugee from ISIS-held Shirqat receives her wheelchair

When Safana fell and broke her hip, she lost hope.

Unable to stand or walk, and unable to purchase a wheelchair, she was treated as a burden. Her husband abandoned her.

The Perfect Moment That Almost Didn't Happen

Sohaib is nearly asleep in the ward. His mother naps stretched out on the bed, with a pillow across her feet. She is pregnant with her second son and needs all the rest she can get.

Sohaib lays on his mother’s legs, tucked under her swollen belly, with his head propped up on the pillow. Each time Sohaib stirs, his mom begins to rock her legs back and forth, back and forth—lulling her son to sleep. He sucks his soother furiously, then as he relaxes it falls to the bed beside them.

It’s a perfect moment that almost didn’t happen.

ISIS Shoots at Iraqi Families Fleeing Mosul Corridor

Displaced children take shelter from the 115-degree heat in the Mosul corridor

Militants are firing on civilians as they flee the ISIS-held town of Hawija in northern Iraq, according to a report last week from Al Jazeera.

Hawija has been under ISIS control for more than two years now. A campaign to liberate the town may begin soon, as government forces continue to press militants along the Mosul corridor, the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

Saving Lives in Libya: Scenes From the ICU

Saleh, before his open-heart surgery: happy to be in his father’s arms. 

Saleh, the morning after surgery: sitting up straight in bed, demanding water. Yelling, actually.

"Sometimes, I Forget I'm a Refugee." THIS Is What Empowerment Looks Like.

Faris, an empowered soapmaker and father of three, is patting the top of his recently purchased used truck.

"Man, congratulations!" I say. "To think that just a couple years ago you guys were running from ISIS and had to leave everything..."

You Gave This Child in Libya a Second Chance at Heart Surgery

Your faithfulness made a 9-year dream come true!

You sent us back to Libya this month, so we could  continue serving children who are dying for lack of access to heart surgeries. While here, we saw a familiar face—young Awad, who missed out on surgery in April. He finally got the surgical correction to saved his life!

Refugees Displaced AGAIN After ISIS Attacks Camp

On Thursday we told you about an ISIS mortar attack on a refugee camp north of Baghdad, where 13 displaced Iraqis died and dozens more were injured. To make the tragedy worse, the nearest hospital was completely out of supplies.

We asked for your help to supply emergency medical kits, and you responded. Immediately. We were able to rush the kits into doctor’s hands just when they were needed.

UPDATE: Medical Aid Reaches Refugees Attacked by ISIS

Yesterday, ISIS launched a mortar attack on a refugee camp in Iraq, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more. As the nearest hospital ran out of emergency medical supplies, doctors appealed to Preemptive Love for help—and you answered. 

Peacemaker Fridays: August 19, 2016

A Muslim and a Christian defying stereotypes in Gaza; healing for Yazidi women through photography; and a Palestinian girl receiving a new bike from an Israeli.

Here are the week's best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace...

BREAKING: ISIS attacks refugee camp in Iraq

For 1,800 people a day streaming out ISIS-held territory in Iraq, passing through a military checkpoint is no guarantee of safety. 

Earlier today, ISIS launched a rocket attack on a refugee center near Tikrit, about 90 miles north of Baghdad—and the world barely noticed. At least 13 people were killed when six mortars struck their camp. Dozens more were injured, some critically.

Saving Lives in Libya: Seeing Past the ICU Wires and Tubes

Little Roudana’s parents try to get a smile out of her, but they aren’t worried by the fact that she isn’t up for it yet. Smile or not, they are content simply to be with her.

Some of the parents we meet in the ICU are afraid to touch their children after surgery, and keep a distance. Their hands tremble as they hold their newly-healed daughter or son. It’s like picking up a happy dream, but it’s so fragile. 

How One Man Defied ISIS and Cared for His Family... By Making Soap

For most of his life, Faris sat indoors, unable to work.

He comes from the Yazidi community of Sinjar, near the border between Iraq and Syria, where the most common industries are farming and construction.

When Faris was young, he contracted a disease that makes it impossible for him to do manual labor. His immune system is weakened in a way that makes any exertion a major health risk.

Peace in the Middle of Libya's Storm

We know things are difficult in Libya. But what about everyday life? What does it look like when you live in a divided nation at war... and your child needs heart surgery just to survive?

We saw one glimpse of daily life from the father of one of our heart surgery patients. He slept in his car outside the hospital for more than two weeks. Why? Because he’s from a different part of Libya.

He doesn’t know the people here, and he’s afraid.

Peacemaker Fridays: August 12, 2016

The Olympian refugee who swam to save lives, a Muslim dentist serving Christians in Iraq, and 100,000 Muslim students protesting extremism in Bangladesh.

Here are the week's best stories of people reaching across enemy lines, loving the other, and waging peace...

Saving Lives in Libya: The Importance of Time

There is a bed in the ICU that has developed a special function over the last few surgical missions to Libya. It's tucked in the back corner and quiet—it's for resting and growing. It's a bit like a greenhouse nursery, but for healing babies.

How Entrepreneurs Can Remake the World

We believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world.

People who can look at something as ordinary as a bar of soap and see possibility. Not just the possibility of bigger profit margins or better bottom lines, but the possibility to actually change someone's life. 

Saving Lives in Libya: A Tiny Superhero Gets a Mended Heart

"Moy-ah! Moy-ah! Moy-ah! Moy-ah!"

The first word from Ayoub’s mouth when he was well enough to speak after his heart surgery was, "Water!"

Kinsman Soap: Faris, the Refugee Turned Soapmaker (Video)

"It was August 3, 2014. That’s when ISIS came to Sinjar." 

Faris remembers the day well. In the video below, he shares his story of how he became a refugee—and how, despite losing everything to ISIS, today he is able to provide for his entire family, including his children, mother, and sisters-in-law. 

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