The picture is of a young Yazidi woman named Nadia. Nadia was one of the young women kidnapped and brutalized by the criminals of ISIS. She managed to escape after three months, received therapy in Germany, and now travels the world telling her story and speaking for the women and girls that have not been found yet.
On August 3rd , 2014 ISIS came to North Iraq and committed genocide against the Yazidi people. Thousands had to flee their homes and lost their homes forever. Thousands were killed, kidnapped and enslaved. Numerous young women and girls were sex trafficked. Thousands fled to Sinjar Mountain.
My home city has the largest number of Yazidi people in North America. I love spending time with my Yazidi friends and visiting them in their homes. At the community college where I teach each evening before and after class I try to make sure to greet my Yazidi friends in their language because I want them to feel welcome.
As a Christian it is hard for me to understand why someone would want to commit genocide against my Yazidi friends or against anyone. Jesus taught, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” My whole world view starts with the fact that God loves all people.
I wish I could do more for my Yazidi friends. They have suffered so much. All I can do is love them, help them, and encourage them in their new lives in America. My hope is to help them feel safe and welcome at school and in my class. I also love joining them for their celebrations.
So for all of my Yazidi friends and for all Yazidis I want you to know that I am with you in my spirit today. I know this is a day to remember those who were lost and it is a sad day. Please try to remember the new life you are building here honors those you have lost.