Tucked away on the side of a mountain about an hour's drive from Mosul (the ancient Nineveh) is the village of ElKosh, which is first mentioned in the Bible from about 1600 BC. The exiled prophet Nahum used to live here (Nahum 1:1). He prophesied against the evil city of Nineveh which had probably returned to their old ways after repenting when Jonah preached to them.
Today Mosul is facing the most serious persecution and subsequent exodus of Christians in recent history. ElKosh is a Christian village not far away, in the area controlled by the Peshmerga (Kurdish) fighters. When we listen to Najeeba s father, who is responsible for the security in the village, we sense the always present fear that the political situation could get out of control again and that the terrorists active in Mosul could one day attack their village. Donna felt the Lord strongly prompting her to pray for the family to trust the Lord for their security.
This is the second time we have visited Najeeba's family since Najeeba's return from her heart surgery. Najeeba is doing very well. But of equal importance to us is the friendship that has developed with the family. Najeeba's mom is a secondary teacher, and she has asked us many times to bring good material along that she can use at school to teach the Bible to the children. The village would definitely welcome someone to come and teach English. We had a good time of fellowship.
It was very interesting to see the site of Nahum's grave in the center of the village. It's in an ancient synagogue, clearly evident by the Hebrew writing on the walls and pillars.