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All is Not Lost—A Story Beyond the Headlines

July 29, 2014 by  

waterfalls at Ahmed Awa, Kurdistan

A few weekends ago, I stood at the top of a gorgeous waterfall. I was taking a few minutes to relax before continuing my walk and determined something:

Iraq is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

I’m constantly blown away by vistas I never knew existed in this world—much less in Iraq.

Yet in these picturesque locations, I find pristine rivers and mysterious caves populating the same area as abandoned tanks and still-active land mines.

To the cynical mind, this seems typical of a nation haunted by never-ending tabloids of war, conflict, and violence.

And those reports are true—to an extent.

But violence as the full-story is inaccurate because it ignores all the beautiful chapters still being written.

I see glimpses of beauty when Iraqis and Americans gather together in cafes at ungodly hours of the morning to watch a World Cup match; when foreigners share the international language of laughter with their local taxi driver; when “gangs” of kids tear across town on their bikes.

If we only listen to pundits declaring hopelessness, we are really committing our own acts of violence against a people whose story is so much more just brokenness.

In the midst of all that’s collapsing in this country, I choose to tell the other side of the story.

When we become storytellers of forgotten stories, we allow those on the outside to look in and see: all is not lost here.





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Josh is a firm believer in social justice, cafés with free refills, and the Oxford comma. After graduating from Cedarville University (OH) with his degree in radio broadcasting, Josh ventured to Iraq as a communications and research development intern with PLC. After work, you are likely to find Josh studying Arabic, playing futbol, or blogging at jevansmedia.wordpress.com.

Preemptive Love—You’ve Read It, Now Live It

July 26, 2014 by  

Preemptive Love Book

You’ve read the book; you know the story—now what?

We’ve made a list of 10 ways you can show preemptive love:

  • 1. Donate A one-time donation can help provide medical supplies to a child who needs them—or even an entire surgery!
  • 2. Become a monthly sponsor Sign up and help save an Iraqi child every 22 hours.
  • 3. Host an event on/off the Fall Book Tour Bring us to speak at your college,  church, or home this fall—click here so we can start planning!
  • 4. Host a book club Write us about placing a reduced price bulk order for your book club, church group, etc., and click here to download a copy of our Reading Guide to help start your conversation.
  • 5. Start a fundraiser Get creative, pick an amount to raise, and start saving Iraqi kids your own way. Click here to see how you can get involved!
  • 6. Write a review on Amazon Tell us (and everyone else) what you think about the book by clicking here.
  • 7. Share the book Pass along your copy to someone else, or buy a few more through AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes for the book worms and justice-lovers in your life.
  • 8. Spread the word Connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Flickr, and then leverage your social media savvy to influence the people in your circles.
  • 9. Buy a shirt Wear your support on your sleeve and introduce a new conversation-starter into your wardrobe—click here to check out our different styles!
  • 10. Drop by for a chat If you can’t afford a plane ticket to Iraq, visit us virtually through email—we’ll set up a Skype date and talk about how you want to keep saving lives.

What are you waiting for?





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Alex Allison is an almond-butter-lovin’ writing enthusiast with a penchant for allegories, Ray Bradbury, and studying Mandarin Chinese. Originally a farm girl from Amarillo, Texas, she recently graduated with a creative writing degree from Pepperdine University, and her current adventure involves her second summer spent collecting and sharing stories as PLC’s copywriting intern.

How Have Recent Events Affected Minorities in Iraq?

July 25, 2014 by  

After ISIS sent an ultimatum to Christians in Mosul this past weekend, telling them to convert, pay, or die, we decided to dig deeper into the story—as well as the stories of other minorities in Iraq. Here are some articles and reports we’ve referenced along the way.

Who are the minorities in Iraq?

Girl peeks through window MOKHTAR LAMANI
Minorities in Iraq: The Other Victims
This report outlines the histories/struggles of minorities in Iraq, as well as the challenges faced by the government in protecting them.

Sabian cleaning ritual MINA AL-LAMI
Iraq: The minorities of Nineveh Plain
A brief, numbers-focused overview of the minority groups in northeastern Iraq.


How is ISIS affecting them?

ISIS member brandishing flag HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Iraq: ISIS Abducting, Killing, Expelling Minorities
A detailed account of ISIS’s violent acts against minorities, broken down by group.

Christian at Mass AFP
U.N. Denounces Minority Persecution in Iraq
U.N. warns ISIS’s actions against minority might be “crimes against humanity.”

Yazidi sheikh CALE SALIH
Islamic Extremists Pose New Risks for Religious Minorities in Iraq
Focuses on the challenges, past and present, faced but the Yazidi population.


What happened to Christians in Mosul this weekend?

Christian children in Iraq MARK PIGGOT
Isis Tells Iraqi Christians: Convert, Pay ‘Jihad Tax’ or Face Death
Christians flee after ISIS ultimatum.

Christian families flee Mosul JAMIE TARABAY
In Iraq, Christians fleeing Mosul take refuge with Kurds
ISIS’s demands draw response from the Vatican, Iraqi PM.


Anything else we should know?

Man holds cross and Koran together ALROY MENEZES
Iraqi Christians…Persecuted By ISIS While Muslims Rally Alongside Protesting Christians In Baghdad
Iraqi Muslims show support for, solidarity with Iraqi Christians after ISIS ultimatum.





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Alex Allison is an almond-butter-lovin’ writing enthusiast with a penchant for allegories, Ray Bradbury, and studying Mandarin Chinese. Originally a farm girl from Amarillo, Texas, she recently graduated with a creative writing degree from Pepperdine University, and her current adventure involves her second summer spent collecting and sharing stories as PLC’s copywriting intern.

Saying Farewell to Another Group of Interns

July 24, 2014 by  

Interns at Mawet

As you read this, our five summer interns are on a plane home.

They’ve spent the past two months with us—living and working to save the lives of children in Iraq who desperately need heart surgery.

Here are a few truths they discovered before they left:

Dane Barnett:
“Perspective is everything. Impact is made in little decisions every day. You cannot change the world, but you can change your world.”

Josh Evans:
“Never make a decision based on fear. Pursuing peace may take us into unknown places, but we don’t have to journey alone.”

Nate Miller:
“Stereotypes about locations aren’t always right, and traveling around the world is necessary in order to disprove or confirm them. Iraq is a beautiful place filled with great people.”

Alex Allison:
“Kindness to the person next to you—whether she be Kurd or Arab or boss or intern—should never be conditional on how well you know her or how much you like her. It should just be.”

Summer Downs:
“I found that wrestling is a posture I should settle into—not shrink back from. I also discovered that stories have compelling power that can be manipulated, and I now have ears that detect when a story begins with “secondly.”

This could be you next summer! We’re looking for passion-filled, vibrant young people who share our vision to love and serve Iraqi families. Check out our internship page here.

Intern collage

Intern collage





Did you like this post? Get the latest news and free merchandise offers before it makes it to our blog by subscribing to our free newsletter!
Alex Allison is an almond-butter-lovin’ writing enthusiast with a penchant for allegories, Ray Bradbury, and studying Mandarin Chinese. Originally a farm girl from Amarillo, Texas, she recently graduated with a creative writing degree from Pepperdine University, and her current adventure involves her second summer spent collecting and sharing stories as PLC’s copywriting intern.

Iraqi Doctors Serve Children of All Beliefs and Tribes

July 22, 2014 by  

Children served in our Nasiriyah program

From the northernmost town on the Turkish border, to the southernmost port on the Persian Gulf—the doctors in our highest impact program (the one we referenced in our recent Urgent Appeal) have saved children from all over Iraq.

Now, these predominantly Shia doctors in the south are opening their hearts and operating rooms to Sunni families who’ve fled from cities like Mosul, Tikrit, and Fallujah in response to recent violence.

“No one cares if they are Sunni, or Turkish—or any race or belief—what we care about is how to relieve their condition,” said Dr. Munaf, a pediatric cardiac surgeon-in-training.

Since the beginning of 2014, this 39-week, in-country training program in Nasiriyah has provided more than 180 children with heart surgery—and we’ve scheduled 20+ more this week!

The second year of the program is wrapping up soon. In the meantime, the doctors in Nasiriyah continue to battle geographic, ethnic, tribal, and theological differences in the operating room—saving lives along the way.

Click here to help keep this program afloat, investing in these doctors’ all-inclusive, lifesaving work!





Did you like this post? Get the latest news and free merchandise offers before it makes it to our blog by subscribing to our free newsletter!
Alex Allison is an almond-butter-lovin’ writing enthusiast with a penchant for allegories, Ray Bradbury, and studying Mandarin Chinese. Originally a farm girl from Amarillo, Texas, she recently graduated with a creative writing degree from Pepperdine University, and her current adventure involves her second summer spent collecting and sharing stories as PLC’s copywriting intern.

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