By Dan Flynn
Maryam was born in Iraq with an univentricular heart, which means that her heart formed is such a way that the left and right ventricles (or chambers) of her heart are really not separated at all, leaving her with one large heart chamber. This means that her oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood are constantly mixed, resulting in dangerously low amounts of oxygen being delivered to the rest of her body.
Maryam comes from a Christian family living in Iraq near the city of Mosul. The “Islamic State” over ran their town and they fled to Kurdistan as refugees. Now trapped in the camp their daughter is in a more desperate situation. In some way, we are not told how, Maryam and her mother are able to get to Jerusalem through Shevet Achim.
On Monday evening, May 11, nine of us went to visit Shevet Achim on Prophet Street in Jerusalem. Shevet Achim means “brothers dwelling together.” Their goal is to care for very sick children in the Islamic world and bring them to Israel for treatment. Israel has the finest medical care in the Middle East and Shevet Achim wants little boys and girls to have the opportunity to have corrective surgery so they can live long and good lives. By doing so they are fulfilling their mission of “brothers dwelling together.”
In the midst of the war between Hamas on the Gaza Strip and Israel last summer Shevet Achim was going into Gaza and bringing Muslim children and their parents to Jewish hospitals with Jewish surgeons for operations. Now we sat in this unique ministry on Prophet’s Street in Jerusalem hearing how children come to their ministry. Each story is moving and a blessing. The people of Shevet Achim really are peace makers in the Middle East.
We wandered this small building getting explanation of what happens in the ministry. I am overwhelmed at their vision of being world changers. In the midst of the explanations I hear a baby crying. This 18 month old is not at all happy. Whatever is happening this little girl is really annoyed.
I am overwhelmed at their vision of being world changers.
We entered the room and saw Maryam receiving an oxygen treatment. She is now in recovery from surgery and doing well. I met the mom and the little girl. For me, the ongoing war in Iraq with ISIS became very real. All a young mom wanted was treatment for her little girl.
Shevet Achim is our fourth quarter offering. Please consider a special offering gift to this ministry. It is changing lives one person at a time.