This is the self-portrait of a young Yazidi girl. It tells us that she is blonde, enjoys drawing, and loves the color pink. We see the wound on her face but we cannot see the scars left on her heart. We know she is a student and a survivor. Her people, the Yazidis, are one of many indigenous peoples in Iraq that are terrorized by ISIS. While over 5,000 have died, somehow she escaped with her life.
ISIS soldiers attacked ancestral villages, just like hers, forcing families into their homes and dividing men and women into separate rooms. The young men were massacred in cold blood. The older girls were taken to serve as sex slaves for the soldiers. The leftovers—like this girl, including the old and young, infirmed and weak—were forced up the mountainside, running for their lives.
In August 2014, the tens of thousands of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar became a humanitarian crisis. These peace-loving tribal people who were stranded on the summit and surrounded by ISIS had no food, no water, nor a place to go. The international community dropped supplies by helicopter, dodging ISIS missiles as mothers attempted to put their babies onto the chopper. They were desperate for their people to survive the seventy-third genocide in their history.
We don’t know how this young girl’s family made it across the desert to the Khanke IDP (internally displaced people) camp. We don’t know when she came to Grace Community Center to play on the Reload Love playground, but we do know that she heard the gospel and experienced the love of Christ.
Her art displayed in the hallway captivated our attention. We fell in love. If a picture can paint a thousand words, her portrait speaks volumes. We at Reload Love bought her masterpiece to bring a piece of her home with us to share with you. Pray with us that her heart and soul will be restored. And with the eyes of faith, envision her with a future and a hope.