Fr. Ben's Visit to Iraq - Aveen & Marwen and Izzat

I just returned from Iraq, my first visit in two years due to all the Covid restrictions. I was able to visit with our good friends including Fr. Benoka in Bartella where several businesses are based and Father, now Bishop, Thabet. Most importantly I managed to visit 9 of the business we are supporting due to your help. Over the next week or two I’ll update you with news and pictures. If you want a more detailed description of the current political situation, and how our Christian brethren are still suffering - look out for my piece at the National Catholic Register. Sadly I could not get in to Syria, despite having a visa - they required a 6-8 day quarantine, which made it impossible. I hope to get there before the summer - please continue to pray for the suffering people in Syria and Lebanon, where conditions are extremely serious.

Today’s update shows Aveen and Marwan in their laundry business in Bartella. They are supporting their family with this business and hope to expand! They thanked all who had donated and told me of their commitment to stay in Iraq. This second picture shows Izzat in his special disability vehicle. We always send a small donation to all our countries - at the priest’s discretion, for a “poor fund” for those who cannot work and need help. Through your generosity we got Izzat from Bartella this vehicle - he says “shukran - thank you” to everyone! All the businesses are succeeding - more news soon!