Finding Martine: A Father’s Powerful Story
“Some people don’t believe in heroes, but they haven’t met my dad.” — Unknown
On August 11, 2014, Khudeida Haji’s experienced a father’s worst nightmare.
After sending his family to what he thought was a safe location, his wife, one his sons, and both of his daughters were kidnapped by Islamic State fighters as the terrorist group raced across Iraq capturing territory and unleashing a campaign of murder and enslavement. Yazidis like Khudeida’s family were targeted for genocide.
For four years Khudeida searched for his family. He contacted friends, family members, business associates, and contacts that remained in ISIS territory. He interviewed survivors. He carried his family’s pictures, gave media interviews, and pleaded with the military, NGOs, and government agencies for information. He never stopped looking.
In 2018, The Nazarene Fund took up his case and by December, The Nazarene Fund located his youngest daughter, Martine, and assisted in her recovery eventually reuniting her with Khudeida and her surviving brother (see “Finding Martine“).
Martina suffered greatly at the hands of her captors, but she is strong and her recovery continues.
A year-and-a-half later, Khudeida and his children are rebuilding their lives as the search for their missing relatives continues.
Khudeida never gave up hope. He never ceased searching. He is a hero.
Happy Father’s Day.
* The Nazarene Fund does not show the faces of survivors. Since Martine’s return, both she and Khuedia insist that their identities not be disguised. They want the world to know their story.
Your donations make it possible to help liberate the captive, free the enslaved, and to rescue, rebuild and restore the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious and ethnic minorities wherever and whenever they are in need. To be part of this life-saving work, please make a donation to The Nazarene Fund today.