In 2015, I asked you to stand with me and with Mercury One to say "Never Again Is Now" and help rescue and provide aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East who had been displaced and terrorized by ISIS.
Today, I am pleased to report that in the last two years of operations, through your gifts of over $18 million to the Nazarene Fund, we've accomplished the following:
- Provided emergency humanitarian aid to 35,000 people.
- Resettled 5,462 people from 4 Christian and Yazidi refugee camps and placed them into safe and dignified homes.
- Evacuated 7,602 Christian and Yazidi refugees and assisted in resettling them into new host countries. This included screening, processing and transporting.
- Funded 117 projects ranging from rebuilding churches and schools to building medical clinics.
- And in the last year, we have sponsored the rescue of 100 Christian and Yazidi women and children captured and enslaved by ISIS and have reunited them with their families.
All because of you. Thank you.
Today, I am pleased to inform you that the Nazarene Fund will chart a new course in a new era. The Nazarene Fund is truly going global and doubling down on its fight against persecution and slavery.
During our first two years, the Nazarene Fund was given the mandate to assist persecuted Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East --- specifically those affected by the ISIS war.
Today, ISIS has been defeated in Iraq and Syria and it is abandoning its territorial caliphate. And although the needs are evolving, we will not abandon the people in the Middle East we promised to help.
We will continue to sponsor rescues as long as there are captives. We will continue to help rebuild their churches, schools, homes and cultural institutions. And we will help restore their communities so they may continue to live their lives and practice their faith openly and freely without the fear of death and persecution.
But there are more people, in other parts of the world, who need help. These people have cried out for the Nazarene Fund's aid, but because of its mandate, it has been unable to help.
But that changes today.
Today, the Nazarene Fund has a new mission and a new mandate. The Nazarene Fund's new mission is:
To liberate the captive, to free the enslaved, and to rescue, rebuild and restore the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious and ethnic minorities wherever and whenever they are in need.
The Nazarene Fund will no longer be limited by geography and a single conflict.
Wherever there is persecution, we will bring comfort. Wherever there is slavery, we will bring liberation and wherever hope has died, we will resurrect it!
Today, I challenge you to once again help us do the impossible: join the Nazarene Fund and help us this time to raise $25 million to help Christians and other persecuted religious and ethnic minorities around the globe.
With this expansion, we are also announcing our friend Tim Ballard as the new CEO of the Nazarene Fund. With his leadership and your support, we will cut the heart out of darkness.
We WILL change the world.