Refugee Ministry in Erbil, Norther Iraq

Opportunity Overview

This internship will take place in Northern Iraq, in and around the city of Erbil. Due to past political strife, war, and ISIS occupation of nearby areas, Erbil has become a melting pot of cultures displaced from various regions in the Middle East, Africa, and southeast Asia. Northern Iraq is a unique place, now relatively secure and where the Kurdistan regional government is, supports religious freedom. This concentration of people groups makes it is possible to minister to any of several different ethnicities with disparate heart languages and countries of origin (see list below).   This internship will provide interns a rare chance to interact with people of multiple cultures and observe myriad platforms of ministry. 

In thinking about work cross-culturally in the Middle East, one must have a long-term view. Everything is underpinned by relationships—trust develops over time after months or years of personal investment. Therefore, ministry, whether it be humanitarian relief, development programs, education, evangelism, discipleship, or church planting, is protracted and incremental work requiring persistence and patience.  Nonetheless, for the short 6-week period, the intern can gain new perspective, learn about the wonderful kaleidoscope of people groups, and come alongside the cross-cultural workers here to glean from their experience and expertise.  This practical experience will inform the intern as they seek the Lord’s direction for how they are to engage the unreached.

We are part of the local English-speaking international church that is truly international and varied in their spiritual maturity, countries of origin, and socio-economic standing. Participating in worship in this body of believers will provide the intern with a wonderful opportunity to gain understanding and experience.

Over the six weeks, as facilitators we will strive to:

-Facilitate work experience in one or more local NGO/ministry projects OR help provide a platform in which the intern can execute a 3-week self-funded pilot project of their own (This will have to be approved by the facilitators in advance of arrival.) 

-Provide seminar classes in evangelism, team-building, leadership, NGO principles, security in the context of ministry, and long-term planning

-Grow spiritually through team Bible study

-Practice intentional, strategic prayer focusing on the needs of Iraq and each intern

Week 1:

Day 1               Orientation:     Security guidelines,

                                                Intern Program Policies,

                                                Iraqi/Kurdish Politics, Religion, Culture

Day 1               Opening dinner at Al Safadi Restaurant

Day 2               Team Bible Study/Market trip for Groceries

Day 2               Afternoon Rest (jet lag adjustment)

Day 3               Basic language seminar (Arabic/Kurdish)

Day 3               Erbil Tour Citadel/Textile Museum/Sooq

Day 4               Seminar/Prayer/Free day

Day 4               Planning session for MK Kid program

Day 5               Planning session for MK Kid program

Day 5               Welcome Dinner with Erbil International Church Members

Day 6               Erbil International Church Service

Day 7               Free Day

Week 2:

Day 1-3           Tours and/or observations of various types of ministry/NGO work here to gain                                             understanding and exposure to all kinds of Cross Cultural work.

Day 1               Team Dinner and Bible Study

Day 4               Seminar/Prayer/Afternoon Free

Day 4-6           Service Project- Provide  a 3-day program to minister to the English                                                      speaking children of CCW’s here by providing a VBS or “camp” experience.                   

Week 3:

Day 1-4           Work assignments (serve as an intern in a local NGO/ministry)

Day 1               Team Dinner and Bible Study

Day 5              Seminar/Prayer/Afternoon Free

Day 6-7           Visit to Duhok International Church

                        Duhok Cultural Experience (Kurdish)

                                    Dinner party, dancing, etc

Week 4:

Day 1-4           Work assignments (serve as an intern in a local NGO/ministry)

Day 1               Team Dinner and Bible Study

Day 5               Seminar/Prayer/Afternoon Free

Day 6               Erbil International Church Service

Day 6               Christian Cultural Experience (Arabic)

                                    Iraqi bread making? Making sweets, Coffee, tea, etc

 Week 5:

Day 1-4           Work assignments (serve as an intern in a local NGO/ministry)

Day 1               Team Dinner and Bible Study

Day 5               Seminar/Prayer/Afternoon Free

Day 6               Erbil International Church Service

Day 7               Visit Suliymania- Anfall Museum

Week 6:

Day1                Bible Study

Day 1               Wrap up, Debrief,

Day 1               Celebration and Farewell (w/Erbil International Church and all ministry partners)Day 2-5           4-day trip to Jordan Biblical sites (Mt Nebo, Madaba Byzantine churches, Jesus’                            baptism site, etc), Petra, Wadi Rum

Day 6               Depart from AMM to US

TOTAL COST: $3,600.  IF JORDAN TRIP IS TAKEN, ADD $1,200 FOR TOTAL OF $4,800

People Groups in Erbil, Iraq:

Iraqi Kurds (Kurdish speaking)

Yizidi (Tribal dialect & Kurdish & some Arabic)

Muslim Arabs (Arabic speakers)

Christian Arabs (Chaldean/Assyrian/Catholic/Evangelical) Speak Arabic and Aramaic

Refugees from Syria

Iranian Kurds (Kurdish/Persian speaking)

And

Contract Workers from several countries speaking their mother tongues:

Asia: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines,

Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopian and others

 

Types of cross cultural work here:

Church Planting efforts

Discipleship and Training Pastors

Bible Translation

Prayer ministry

Ministry/Evangelism to the third country national workers

Relief agencies to meet short term emergency needs to populations in crisis

Development projects to help the various people groups over long term.

Educational efforts: private schools, enrichment programs, children safe spaces

Social Work/Trauma Mitigation: providing pysco-social services for those suffering from trauma

Business as ministry

Livelihoods programs: training and discipleship/micro loans/business start ups

Counseling

Childhood safe spaces

Community centers: family education and counseling, innovative classes and sports

Medical and dental clinics

Teaching English as a second language

Serving the handicapped- material needs, education and family support

Women and children protection (education and human rights)

Health Education/Nutrition

Refugee food/non-food item distribution

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