Karemlash, Iraq Celebration and Graduation Video

The proven success of Take Heart’s development model

This year, Karemlash, Iraq, graduated from our holistic development model and is now thriving in self-sufficiency! We are so proud of the hard work our staff, ministry partners, and volunteers have put forth to implement Take Heart’s model in Karemlash. We are now witnessing Karemlash leaders share our model with neighboring communities! God is moving mightily through these servant leaders, helping to build resilient communities who stand firm amidst persecution, because of their great hope in the Lord.

Take Heart’s partnership lifecycle

To understand and fully celebrate the success of this model, we need to delve further into the practical steps we take to spiritually encourage, technically equip, and financially support local leaders serving persecuted Christians around the world. Since Karemlash just graduated, they are the perfect example of what Take Heart’s partnership lifecycle looks like.

The community of Karemlash rose out of literal ruins. ISIS invaded and began to plunder it in August 2014, displacing the Christian population. At the end of 2016, the Iraqi army pushed ISIS out of Mosul and Karemlash, liberating the cities and surrounding areas. But ISIS did not leave without first destroying Karemlash. Families wanted to return home, but there was nothing to return to.

Through prayer and the Holy Spirit’s leading, Take Heart identified the displaced community of Karemlash as a town we wanted to come alongside. Next we had to find suitable local partners, ones that matched our mission and vision. The local Chaldean church was a perfect fit. They were not looking for handouts. They simply desired company, encouragement, and training on a journey they were already taking with God towards restoration and hope. Father Thabet, the local Chaldean church priest, worked closely with Take Heart to assess the particular needs of the community and families. It was soon evident that rebuilding would take a monumental effort, but our Lord was up to the task.

Next, we implemented solutions and curriculum that fit the needs of the community through our three pillars: spiritually encouraging, technically equipping, and financially supporting. Spiritual encouragement included activities like hosting retreats for families and youth and visiting with families regularly in their homes for prayer and reading Scripture. In tandem, we began choosing local leaders to serve these families, and invested in technically equipping them with leadership training and discipleship groups to serve our persecuted siblings in Christ long after our departure. Finally, we financially supported 57 income-generating projects so that families could earn an income.

Take Heart traveled to Karemlash quarterly to monitor progress, offering spiritual support, technical assistance, insight and accountability. Our primary success indicators to ensure Karemlash became independent and was ready for graduation were: families resettling in the community and youth leadership development. We knew it was time to exit direct work with Karemlash as two of our trained local youth became national Take Heart leaders working for Take Heart in another community in Iraq, sharing this same model from which they benefited.

Make a lasting impact

Partner with us today to reach more persecuted Christian communities with our evidence-based development model. Apart from prayer, the best way you can support us is by joining The Pulse, a community of believers giving monthly to support the persecuted in a consistent, long-term way.