Within A Yard Of Hell

Kurdish Peshmerge holding the line against ISIS
Kurdish Peshmerga holding the line against ISIS


Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell;

I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. -C.T. Studd


The “Hot” Border is the current battle line between the Kurdish Peshmerga and ISIS forces. This is where the fighting is. At one point it was fearfully close to the Kurdistan border. I saw ISIS insurgents on the news standing next to a road sign to Duhok that we pass by regularly on our way to Erbil. The Kurdish forces, at this writing, have pushed them back about twenty miles from the Kurdish border. Not very far when you consider the intensity of fighting and the heavy weapons involved. For the people who live here, this is like living within a yard of hell. There seems to be no end to the unbelievable atrocities going on only a short distance away; the terrors of which have caused over a million people to flee into Kurdistan for sanctuary.

While the world is focused on the fighting and the horrors taking place, there’s an intrepid little band of Christians led by Pastor Layth Ibrahim who are fighting their own battle to get aid to desperate IDPs (internally Displaced Persons). Technically refugees are those who flee from one country into another. IDPs are refugees within their own country. There’s a small village where a desperate mix of Christian, Muslim and Yezedi IDPs are in serious need. All together they number about 75 families. I decline to give the name of this village for obvious reasons; the fighting is not that far away, that and the fact that ISIS is very proficient at using social media. We don’t want to draw attention to these already vulnerable people. Terrorists love soft targets, those not strong enough to fight back.

Pastor Layth and his earnest band of believers have brought in a van load of urgently needed supplies. They’ve also found, “a man of peace,” in the village who has opened his home to hold house church meetings. This is risky business for Pastor Layth and his team as well as the villagers if the insurgent forces are able to break through the current zone of protection. A group of missionaries farther south as well as a number of pastors have already been killed. There are many reports of mass executions, crucifixions and the beheading of Christian men, women and children. The Yezedi Kurds have fared no better.

The courage and compassion of our brethren is highly commendable, a testimony of honor for all of us. Their efforts bring glory to the LORD and speak well of HIS kingdom. These are men who hazard their lives for the sake of the Gospel, who labor in the darkest of times to bring the light of Christ back to the lands where it first shined forth into all the world. I believe in them; that God’s grace is with and over them. I believe that they’re going to prevail and that we’re going to see one of history’s great moves of God.

For those who may find themselves dwelling in the camp of the naysayers, I ask, How did you come to be there? Where has your faith gone? When did your heart die within you? Was it replaced with the stony pragmatic cynicism of the day?

“These are the days of Elijah, Declaring the Word of The LORD”



     I want to challenge you. Let’s stand with our brothers and sisters in Iraq. Big changes have already taken place and bigger changes are coming. We need to see with eyes of faith to understand what’s happening in the Middle East. The landscape is changing, some for the worse but some for the better. We need to pray for the Kurds and for Kurdistan right now, for the future and prophetic destiny God has in mind for them, which I feel is about to unfold. We need to pray and stand with our brethren to help them build the future GOD is putting into their hands. They know what they are doing, I believe they have the mind of God … and, we’re part of the plan. The Lord means us, as believers, to get behind them. What’s going on right now is much bigger that any missionary projects or outreaches we’ve done. This, dare we believe it, has the potential to change the balance of history.




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PHOTO REPORT: Latest Refugee Outreach

The new week begins with a Relief Outreach for the Refugee Families in Duhok, Kurdistan of Iraq. Pastor Layth and team return with more food and supplies for those sheltering in several school buildings.

The Walls Are Going Up

THE CHURCH NEXT TO THE MOSQUE: Two very different views of the future are under construction right now in Dukok, Kurdistan of Iraq.

     Recently our President said that what’s going on in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East is not a Religious War. While I understand his reasons for saying this, it’s still hard to swallow when the people who want to destroy us refer to their cause as Jihad (Holy War) and themselves as Jihadists and have declared themselves a Caliphate. This is not new with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. This has been going on in the Islamic world every since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Historically, it goes back much further to the Middle Ages. We seem to forget that the objective of Islam has been the dominance of the Middle East (the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity) and then Africa, Europe and the Western World.  When we see Christians driven from their homes on pain of death if they do not convert to Islam with the express purpose of eradicating Christianity from the M.E. I’d have to say this without a doubt is a religious war. Even if we use the Moderate Islamic definition of Jihad as a spiritual struggle or Spiritual Warfare, it comes down to the same thing; a war for the souls of men.

     I’ve not forgotten the day when Pastor Layth opened his first church in Duhok. The Mullah from a nearby mosque came by and told him, What do you think you’re doing? You can’t open a church here. Pastor Layth’s reply was, We have permission from the Government. The Mullah threatened him with reprisals and left. When Pastor Layth reported this incident to the Kurdish authorities they removed that Mullah from the city. Many of these Mosques in Kurdistan region are opposed to the Regional Government and preach Jihad from their pulpits. Islam is well established and well funded. We are not. We are totally dependent on your help and vision for our work.

     By faith Pastor Layth has prepared the land, laid the foundation and has now laid the first blocks in the wall. The importance of this Multipurpose Worship Center cannot be overstated, it is critical to our future and our objectives in Iraq and the Middle East. Right now we’re working desperately to get the first floor finished so we can start functioning from the site. If ever there was a special time to build a church building it’s now. The community is overrun with refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) who are refugees in their own country. Our Church will serve as Worship Center, Clinic, Supply Depot and Shelter and with winter coming the need is critical. This is going to be a rough year for millions of people in the M.E. but it’s also a great opportunity for the Church to Shine and it’s message of Redemption to be validated. As Jesus, said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.”

This isn’t just about a facility, it’s about a message

and the demonstration of that message in action.

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UPDATE: Relief For 420 Refugee Families


A significant impact is being made in Iraq in the city of Duhok as PCI Pastor Layth Ibrahim and team reach out to the thousands of refugees in the area. There are 420 families taking shelter in Duhok’s school buildings. These families are now being supplied with food and basic necessities to help them survive until more permanent solutions can be found. Most of these families are Yezedi Kurds. Pastor Layth has been sharing the Gospel with them and some have already visited his Church and expressed the desire to know more.

We’re making a difference and there’s going to be a victory on the other side of this crisis. This is our hour, please continue to partner with us,


visit our donation page on this blog to help us

Jack Harris

Pastor Layth’s Vision

Pastor Layth Ibrahim shares his vision for our church in Kurdistan. While millions are displaced from their homes or are trying to get out of the Middle East altogether, Layth and his family are standing strong on their faith and see a great opportunity for the future of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. His dream of a multi-purpose Worship Center is to maximize the churches use.

  • Local House of Worship
  • International Church Planting/Discipleship Training and Conference Center
  • Medical Clinic and Refugee Counseling Center
  • Emergency Shelter, Storehouse and Outreach Staging

All of this and more have in mind the ongoing regional conflict and ministering to the needs of its victims. This problem isn’t going to just go away. Rather that run from these things or give up in despair, we see a strong Kurdistan emerging as a place of refuge for masses of uprooted people. MAN’S EXTREMITY IS GOD’S OPPORTUNITY.


     Kurdistan of Iraq is a safe haven for Christian, Yezedi and Syrian refugees. These have fled the unimaginable brutality of the radical ISIS Islamic forces who’ve swept over much of Iraq. This burgeoning influx of so many refugees has placed an unbelievable strain on the infrastructure of the autonomous Kurdish region; now with over ONE MILLION REFUGEES within its borders. Every school, church, government facility and construction site has been utilized to shelter these persecuted people fleeing for their lives. THIS IS REAL, VERY REAL! It’s a reality that our people living in Kurdistan must face every day. The need is overwhelming. 


People are actually living in unfinished construction sites, on the streets or any available space in public buildings. PCCF Pastor Layth Ibrahim has rallied to the challenge to do our part to bring relief. So far he has been able to help a large number of Christian and Yezedi families who’ve been hardest hit by this invasion.

image Christians_02.JPG

Recently Pastor Layth delivered food and supplies to 25 Christian Refugee families sheltering in a school building in a small rural village. This last week he and his people ministered to the needs of Yezedi families throughout the city. 

This current situation in Iraq is a great tragedy … But it’s also a great opportunity! Out of the Chaos of war and death due to wicked men and their selfish agendas; GOD is working HIS plans for good. This will become more apparent in the months to come. The enemy has sought to eradicate Christianity from the Middle East but in trying to do so, GOD has given us an unprecedented opportunity to establish a stronghold in what I believe will soon become a free nation … KURDISTAN.

As a Missionary Endeavor we’re only limited by the response of those who back us.


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Foundation Laid PCCF Multipurpose Worship Center Iraq


“…the street shall be built again, and the wall,
even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25)

     While others may see only the massive turmoil going on in Syria and Iraq, we see things through a different lens, that of God’s Word. Before I write further I’d like to remind my readers that our team is, “Right in the thick of it.” The fighting has come within mere miles of the Kurdistan boarder. There are now a MILLION REFUGEES within our borders. These include Syrians and Iraqis, Christians, Muslims and Yezedies. Religiously, these people are traditionalists. The violence and almost unimaginable brutality they’ve witnessed at the hands of the ISIS Forces have shaken their world. Most were forced out of their homes with no more than the clothes on their backs. Far too many have witnessed the savage killing of family, friends or neighbors. These uprooted people are, in this crisis hour, very open, pliable and willing to listen to the Message of Jesus Christ. While others are proclaiming the extinction of Christianity in the M.E. we are declaring its rebirth.

     “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
     Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
     For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 54:1-3)

While the Secular World may mock such optimism and view our efforts as a futile and hopeless task, our hope is that you, our brethren, our fellow believers, see the merit and promise of what we are doing. Historically, the greatest awakening and moving of God’s Spirit have emerged from the darkest of times.

We believe we have the mind of God, that we are on the literal cusp of the fulfillment of ancient prophecy and a resultant great harvest of souls. We are building a house because we need a house to accommodate that which we see coming … It’s not just coming, it’s already begun!

The Multipurpose Worship Center we are building will serve first and primarily as the House of God, the Gospel will be preached and Christ will be worshipped. It will also serve as a House of Refuge for those in need. It will be our hub and staging center to work with our huge body of refugees (who are going nowhere for the foreseeable future); here they may come for practical aid for themselves and their families as well as for guidance and counseling as they seek to integrate into their new world. We intend to supply shelter and a field clinic as well. Our Center will also be used as a Middle Eastern training facility and Conference Center for Pastors and Workers who will come from the surrounding nations. It’s a big vision but it’s one we have confidence that will work … “This is the LORD’S doing and it’s marvelous in our sight.” (Psalms 118:23)

I want to challenge you, you who believe with us, to help us accomplish this vision of a strong and lasting Christian presence in Kurdistan and the Middle East.


Secure Online Donation (Click Here)

Secure Online Donation (Click Here)

Designate: Middle East

To Donate By Mail Send Your Check Or Money Order To


P.O. BOX 1769

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729

Jack Harris