by Ruth Kramer
Mission Network News
Though the self-proclaimed Islamic State has now reached within three miles of their home, and danger threatens every day, the monks are resolute in their determination to remain, says anOpen Doors report. “We aim to be an example by living on the boundaries of IS. Yes, this is dangerous. But our faith enables us to stay. We love to share that with other people.”
“Currently, we live there with six monks and our bishop Musa Alshamany,” Barnaba explained. “We also have supporting staff and students and two IDP (Internally Displaced People) families living with us. In total, we live with 26 people. Around us there are some small Christian villages where very few Christians still live.
“We try to keep our daily lives as normal as possible. We teach our seven students, but we also have our daily routines and work activities. Brother Boutros, for example, is very interested in agriculture and dealing with plants. I sometimes help him with that, so we work together in the fields. Our monastery is at the very edge of what is controlled by the Peshmerga [Kurdish fighters]; we are thanking the Lord for that. Of course we also monitor what is going on. Sometimes there is shelling or attacks...”