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  • Writer's pictureLarry Neville

The Remarkable Story of Praise Chapel Church in Duhok, Kurdistan

Building Bridges for the Gospel Message,  here is the MIRACLE story . . . .

This church, in the very heart of the main city in Kurdistan, is a miracle from the very beginning. The fact that the land was given to Praise Chapel by the Muslim government is a miracle. Then, building the compound is another miracle story.

This is one of the most beautiful Christian churches in all of Kurdistan. It stands as a testimony in the center of Duhok.

Duhok recently experienced a severe flood that caused significant damage not only to the church but also to the surrounding city. The response to this disaster, however, has been nothing short of extraordinary and symbolizes the deep-rooted spirit of community and cooperation that Praise Chapel in Kurdistan has cultivated.

In a display of the impact Praise Chapel churches have had on Kurdistan, the Governor of Duhok visited the church after the flood.

His participation was a gesture of unity and gratitude towards Pastor Layth and the church. The governor was joined by Kurdish Special Forces, commanded by Mansoor Barazani, the son of the President of the Kurdistan Region. This collaboration is especially significant as it involves members of the Muslim community actively helping to restore a Christian church.

This inspiring act of cross-cultural aid is the fruit of seeds sown by Jack Harris over two decades ago. Harris entered Kurdistan during a tumultuous period marked by war and a shifting political landscape, responding to a call for help from the Kurdish people themselves.

Jack's commitment involved not only immediate aid but also long-term projects that significantly improved the lives of many in the region. From medical assistance provided by teams led by Dr. Bob Dole to infrastructural reconstruction in villages devastated by conflict, these efforts have not gone unnoticed.

The influence of these humanitarian acts reached the highest levels of the Kurdish government, leading to continued support for these initiatives. It is in this context that the current President of the Kurdistan Region has extended support to the church, a gesture that underscores their appreciation for all that Praise Chapel has done.

The story of Praise Chapel Church is a testament to the power of collaboration and the impact of serving with compassion and respect. As the church rebuilds, it stands as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the profound connections that can be forged through shared acts of kindness.

This experience is an example for us moving forward in Praise Chapel Missions. We have been entering countries during crises to learn and to serve in any way we can. We have learned through the Kurdistan mission to serve, show that we care, and invest in helping them.

Didn’t Jesus say, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16)? What did Jesus do? He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and showed the love of God. That is what the church is all about.

Ukraine and Israel are examples of where we are sowing seeds of kindness and letting our light shine during war and untold pain and suffering. Service and care continuing to plant seeds of peace and open doors to new possibilities.

In today's world, where divisions often take center stage, the story of Duhok’s Praise Chapel Church is a compelling reminder that humanity can unite to overcome adversity, regardless of faith or background. The world indeed needs to see that the church cares, and more importantly, that we all do.

Until Jesus returns,

Larry Neville


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