The World has lost some Weight….

Abu KaramI met Abu Karam and his wife several times in their country Iraq. It intrigued me that they were pastoring in Nineveh.When I expressed my desire to visit their’s and Jonah’s “mission field”, I was told it was too dangerous for me. But they lived there !
Pastor Abu Karam passed away last Friday. He had ministered in different cities in the Middle East and nine years ago felt God’s call to plant a church in Mosul, the main city in the Nineveh province in Iraq. Already in those days Mosul had a violent reputation, but God allowed him to minister for seven years, where Jonah didn’t want to go. A Church was planted.

In 2014 ISIS took the city and even Abu Karam and his wife had to flee, leaving everything behind. They went to Erbil, joined the Alliance church there and got involved in the relief program, reaching out to other refugees. On one occasion I travelled with the couple to Dohuk, where a group of their church members had found refuge. During the long trip they shared how God had led their life.

It struck me that they showed no bitterness. Although God allowed this pastor’s flock to be scattered, he continued to serve his Master; humbly and with a gentle smile on his face.

SnapNDrag_1303In many countries I showed the couple with in their hands a picture of the Church in Mosul, before ISIS forced them to leave. Their example transmits a longing to live “Christ-like”. Something of God’s glory was visible in them. In biblical language glory is related to weight. Abu Karam was a spiritual heavy-weight. The world is lighter since he left.

You may think that I base too much on the few times I met him. It’s true, I only met him occasionally. But you know, whoever transmits a longing to live the Christ-life is worthy to be remembered with gratitude. May all Alliance people transmit that same longing to give glory to God, as this pastor did.

Remember his wife Um Karam, his children and the church in Iraq in your prayers.

Arie Verduijn

President AWF