News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

'God has been with me always,' says little girl who escaped IS

by Tola Mbakwe

Helda Hindi, who has returned to the Nineveh Plains with her parents and younger brother, spoke to Catholic charity Aid to Church in Need (ACN) about the night of 6th August 2014, when IS seized her home town.

She said: "Alarm bells rang out in our streets - we had to escape the living hell of violence and terrorism.

"I went along, crying, with no hope of ever returning to my town, my school - with no hope of ever seeing my friends again."

She added: "We had no idea how long we would be displaced from our beloved city.

"The days passed and we lived in torment and tragedy until we got used to it."

According to ACN, up to 44,000 Christians fled Helda's hometown of Qaraqosh, a Catholic majority town, when it was seized by the extremists.

The majority sought shelter in Erbil where ACN has supported churches building schools so that children could continue their education.

Helda said: "I was sad, clinging to hope of returning to my old school, but I made new friends.

"And today, by God's grace, we have returned to our town and I am back in my old school among my old friends."

The girl added that her faith had sustained her through difficult times.

"We had only God and we never stopped believing in His power and His mercy for all those hurting in Iraq and around the world," she said.

"My family, friends and relatives never felt that God was far away from us.

"As far as I can see into the past, God has been with me always.

"God is with me everywhere and I make sure to always keep nearby some pictures of Jesus Christ and a Bible."

Helda has pleaded for the international community to help others in her positions.

"My message to the West is to do as much as possible to support Christians in Iraq because they are close to extinction," she said.

"Help us. Have compassion. We want stability and peace."

ACN is working with the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee to rebuild Christian towns and villages in Iraq.

They have renovated 188 houses to date and are planning to renovate a further 554 homes in the towns of Qaraqosh and Bartella.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email