This article is an excerpt from our Annual Report. Read the full report online for more testimonies of God's amazing work this year through your partnership with Leading The Way.
June 10: the date is etched in Sajed's memory. It's a date he will never forget because it's the day his hometown of Mosul became part of the Islamic State. ISIS had given Christians three options: pay a crippling fine and live under ISIS rule, convert to Islam, or be killed.
"We left our jobs, houses, cars, and everything we had for the sake of Jesus' name," Sajed said. "We were not ready to forsake Jesus' name for anything."
With the sun beating down on them, and with no food or water, they traveled 11 hours to Erbil, found a way to get visas, and fled to Jordan, where they lived in a church hall with 110 other people.
"We suffered," Sajed said, "but we were joyful because all of this was for the name of Jesus Christ."
Sajed and his family now receive funding from Leading The Way for living expenses and medical expenses. With a recent kidney transplant, Sajed needs to take expensive medication on time so that his body does not reject his new kidney -- medication he could no longer afford until God provided through Help The Persecuted.
"We lost everything because of ISIS," Sajed says. "They persecuted us, killed us, and forced us to leave with only the clothes on our backs. But now I'm ready to forgive ISIS. And that's all by the grace of the Lord."
This year, Leading The Way distributed more grants to persecuted Christians than in all previous years combined, providing help to recipients across 12 countries. Through the life-giving support of Help The Persecuted, God is strengthening our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. And in turn, we are learning from them as they continue to run the race of faith with great hope and endurance -- a picture of a victorious church in the midst of chaos.
"The Lord has sent kind people into our lives," Sajed says. "He will not forget us."