Makruhi is an Open Doors fieldworker in Iraq. She trains Sunday school teachers and leads Bible study trainings for women. Sometimes she also visits the women individually. In her blog she shares about her work and the women she meets; Nunah is one such woman. Makruhi writes:
Nunah, an unmarried woman in her thirties, is from a compound village. Many of the women attending my lectures in the Christian villages in the North live in such compound villages, small villages built by the government for the poorest refugees. Unlike the original villages in the area, these compounds don’t have agricultural lands; it’s just a group of identical basic houses, located in an isolated area. The little church in the village usually is the only public building and the center of public life. I met Nunah when she attended a Women’s Bible study group in a church near her village. Nunah’s family fled the sectarian violence in Mosul, a big city in the North. Leaving everything behind, they ended up in an isolated compound village. For eight years they have been living there. Nunah saw no future for herself in the village and felt depressed. I decided to go and visit Nunah at her house the next time I was near the village.
It was a long drive to Nunah’s village from the city I live in. Driving up to her village, I realized how difficult it would have been for her to get out and meet me at a closer location because the public transport doesn’t go in her village, and even if her family owned a car, getting around would be a challenge due to the bad roads. When it rains, many roads become muddy, but I was lucky; it was a sunny day and I could drive into the village without too many problems. When I arrived, Nunah warmly welcomed me into her parents’ house. Her two brothers had married and moved out years ago, so it was just her and them. Nunah doesn’t have a job or an education, so in her day-to-day life she helps her mother with chores around the house. Needless to say, this smart woman, used to city life, felt bored in a town that didn’t even have a shop.
We sat together with Nunah and her family to have some tea and talk about Nunah’s future. Nunah told me that she was angry and frustrated because there were no job opportunities at all in the village. She could go to a village nearby, but the 15 minutes taxi drive to get to that place would cost her as much as she earned. Moving out of her parents’ house to find a job in the city is out of the question in the Iraqi culture. Nunah felt stuck in her life. I asked her about her skills; I told her God has given every person a talent. We found out that she was a very good hairdresser and had a talent for sewing clothes. She got enthusiastic realizing what she could do; maybe she could open a small business with the help of a Micro Credit that our organization also provides.
When we left, Nunah told me she felt encouraged; she was happy to know that someone cared about her seemingly hopeless situation. Her mother also thanked me for coming and caring for her daughter. She told me she was looking forward to the next Bible lecture. She was so eager to learn more, that the last time I was there, she canceled one of her few possibilities to go to the city to come to my lecture and learn about the Bible. I hope she can transfer some of her enthusiasm for the Bible to her daughter.
Thank You, Father, for the work of Makruhi among the Iraqi women. We pray today for Nunah, that You would provide a way for her to open a business through microcredit and we pray that her heart would hunger for Your Word. Thank You for the concern of Nunah’s mother and for her good response to Makruhi’s Bible lectures. We pray that Your Spirit would take the Word preached in their home and use it to transform Nunah’s life and indeed that the entire village would become a beacon of hope and light in the nation of Iraq. In the name of Jesus, whose light we reflect in our dark world, Amen.