08/17/2023 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In the war-ravaged city of Qeraqosh, Iraq, where darkness consumes the once vibrant Christian community, Behnam’s story stands as a testament to the spirit of resilience.
“The help you provided to me is not forgettable,” he shared. “I was in dire need because I was drowning in debt.”
Three years ago, Behnam received assistance from ICC, an opportunity that breathed new life into his struggling chicken farm. The grant allowed him to weather the storms of loss, enabling him to persevere even when the odds seemed insurmountable.
“It is not the right thing to abandon the farm without chickens. You saved me,” Behnam expressed. “I was on the verge of giving up on farming when you crossed my path three years ago.”
Looking back to 2020, we unraveled the harrowing tale that brought Behnam to this point. Before the invasion of ISIS in 2014, the predominantly Christian city of Qeraqosh was a hub for agriculture, particularly chicken farming. When ISIS swept in, however, countless farms were ransacked and the once-thriving economy was left in ruins.
Behnam had embarked on his chicken farm just before the ISIS invasion, driven by a desire to spend more time with his family. Tragically, his dream was shattered as he and his family were forced to flee from the advancing terror. In the years that followed, Behnam toiled relentlessly, scraping together meager savings with the hope of rebuilding his farm one day.
Behnam was dealt another cruel blow when his daughter was involved in a severe car accident. Miraculously, she survived, but the exorbitant medical expenses wiped away the family’s savings. As the dust settled and Qeraqosh regained a semblance of safety, Behnam returned to find his house in ruins, leaving him destitute and devoid of the means to resurrect his cherished farm.
ICC partnered with Stand With Iraqi Christians to provide Behnam with chicks, fodder, and essential farming equipment, alleviating the initial financial burden that had haunted his dreams. This lifeline enabled Behnam to rebuild his farm and allowed him to provide for his family independently in the long run.
Beyond being a source of sustenance for Behnam’s family, the resurrected farm breathes life into the heart of Qeraqosh. By reviving the agricultural backbone that once defined the city, there is renewed hope for restoring a thriving community.
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