It seems entirely appropriate to share with you that we celebrate a great milestone today.

After a series of meetings and the stubborn reluctance of the regional government to grant us approval to utilize the local indigenous church to rescue orphans, we have been given initial permission to do so in a limited geographical area. To our knowledge, no other Christian NGO has received such consent.

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This wasn’t achieved easily. Our hosts’ acute understanding of the various political structures, centers of power and influence, and knowledge of the ‘right people’ yielded this surprisingly quick result.

Powerful tribal leaders were made aware of our goal. In addition to circumventing the willful and often corrupt government bureaucracy, they threatened to advocate the request all the way to the Prime Minister himself. In addition, a town mayor in their jurisdiction is not only allowing this project, but has offered to donate land to the church to help bring it to fruition. This is unheard of. It is a 99.99% Muslim area yet, even though they know that Christians will be raising their orphaned children, they are welcoming our project with open arms and humble assistance.

Letters of representation have been offered. Powers of attorney have been granted. Freedom for orphans has been set in motion.

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We are not naïve to the potential pitfalls, and our due diligence processes will still have a lot to evaluate and protect against, but we are very, very encouraged indeed.

After a meeting with our host pastor last night, we also feel that the doors to Baghdad are opening through these relationships. We are now envisioning a broad strategic placement of 20 to 40 church-based homes for the orphans of Iraq. The church and home will occupy the same building in each of these cases.

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Stay tuned and keep praying. Much is happening. The world’s current flashpoint for freedom is also kindling a spark that can be fanned into flames to liberate the lives – and souls – of many parentless and discarded Iraqi children, children that will be sent out as missionaries to a land in need of God’s healing, God’s freedom.

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(Images: Children of Iraq)