Rita and Rana Return: Former ISIS Captives Deliver Aid to Refugees
Back in 2018, Rita and Rana began to once again have hope. Both had been kidnapped and enslaved by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 and their futures looked bleak. Although they were captured separately, the two Christian women shared similar experiences of abuse, forced conversion, and enslavement. But as ISIS retreated across Iraq its hold on territory, the people it enslaved under its brutal rule began to diminish.
“I thought the darkness would never end, but then there was a light and I dreamed the nightmare would end,” Rita says.
Rita and Rana were rescued by The Nazarene Fund and were reunited with their families. They entered our Women at Risk program and began the process of healing and recovery. Today both are safe and healthy, but their recovery continues.
No longer victims, they are survivors and they are joining the effort to assist other refuges.
Last week they joined The Nazarene Fund team in Amman, Jordan to deliver aid to Christian refugees from Syria who are still unable to return home due the fighting and threat of persecution there. They helped deliver food, medicine, and cleaning supplies to 2,400 impoverished refugees struggling for survival and who have been all but abandoned by most aid groups. These groups are also especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lack of personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies, healthcare, and proper nutrition.
Rita and Rana distributed food packages while listening to and sharing stories with the refugees, many of whom have been displaced for almost six years.
The Nazarene Fund moved Rita and Rana to Jordan, and they are waiting to travel to Australia which has accepted them into their immigration program and where they will be able to start new lives with their families. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has halted all transits, but, in the meantime, they want to help others who have been persecuted and are suffering.
“We are so grateful for the support we received from The Nazarene Fund,” Rita says, “now we want to help too.”
We are grateful too. Thank you Rana and Rita. And thank you for supporting The Nazarene Fund.
The Nazarene Fund is focusing our efforts on the plight of women who, every day, face the horrors of war, abuse, and captivity. We hope to bring attention to these Women At Risk and what can be done to help them. #womenatrisk.