(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)


Christine's photo on the wall of
her family's place of refuge.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

During a "medical check-up" in the northeastern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh, ISIS militants took notice of Ayda Abada's three-year-old daughter Christine. Suddenly they snatched the child out of her mother's arms and gave the crying girl to a bearded fighter. This story was previously reported in a VOMC-produced video documentary which can be found here.

Two years later, Christine is still missing. Her distraught loved ones, who now live in an Erbil camp for displaced people, continue to suffer sleepless nights and unimaginable fears over her welfare. On the wall of their cabin, they have placed a low-resolution photo of Christine that her brother happened to find on Facebook. The photo had been taken during the time Christine was away from the family.

Christine's mother, Ayda, forces herself to smile when she speaks. Yet her eyes convey a deep sadness that goes beyond expressed words. "We heard that Christine is living with one of the Christian women kidnapped by ISIS. The woman was forced into 'marriage' with an ISIS fighter and somehow managed to take our Christine under her care."

Ayda's days are filled with uncertainty. "Sometimes I fear that my Christine (will) grow older without me and that I will never see her again." She looks down to fight a tear, but this heartbroken mother doesn't want to give up hope. As long as her daughter is in Mosul, Ayda and the rest of the family will not leave Iraq. She will not rest until her little girl is safely back in her arms. "Without her, it's like part of our heart is missing. We are not complete without her."

Please uphold Ayda and her family during this time of uncertainty. Pray that each member will experience God's comfort and encouragement, knowing that He is able to lovingly watch over little Christine. May those holding the child hostage sense a strong conviction to safely return Christine to her family. In fact, let's remember all of the Middle Eastern children/loved ones who have been wrongfully abducted by militants, praying that the estranged families will be miraculously reunited -- giving God praise for His divine intervention. Intercede for the abductors, that they will discover the reality and love of Jesus and, as a result, turn from their sinful ways.