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Bringing Light to Iraq

Have you ever felt God ask you to do something that seemed ridiculous or terrifying or both? When Heather Morehouse heard just such a call, her courageous, “Yes,” aligned her with God’s amazing work in a dark place across the globe. Heather works at St. Charles in Bend, OR and recently had an opportunity to take her nursing skills all the way to the front lines of ISIS attacks in Iraq. Heather served at an emergency field hospital in Iraq by partnering with Samaritan’s Purse. I connected with Heather recently to hear more incredible stories of her time in Iraq.

Read on to hear not only the interview, but also the heart of God beating behind her amazing experience.

What was the most impacting part of your time overseas?

Working in an emergency field hospital in Iraq was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I saw women and children with traumatic injuries as their homes were attacked by ISIS, men shot from snipers, and families ripped apart all in the name of terror. It was the darkest place I’d ever been. Yet at the same time it was also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced as I saw nurses holding the hands of dying teenagers as they cried and prayed over their patients. Our hospital was a light in a horrible place, offering the hope of Jesus through the kindness of our team. It was bringing such light into the darkest of places that impacted me the most.

How did you see God move in, through, and around you?

God was moving in every moment in our hospital. He used us to bring hope to the darkest of situations. We saw people survive injuries that they never should’ve. We saw ISIS militants come to know Jesus. We saw his protection over our team as we were just 4 miles from Mosul and could hear explosions and gunshots on a daily basis. He moved in my heart in ways I struggle to describe with words. I learned more about his character as He broke my heart for his people.

What would you tell people who sense God telling them to take the next step into something that takes courage and obedience?

 I would tell people to ask specifically for courage and for an obedient heart. God honors that. Being obedient to the Lord’s calling can be difficult, and does take courage, but He is faithful 100% of the time to equip you to do what’s He’s asked you to do. He’ll walk with you, and you’ll receive more blessings than you could’ve imagined along the way. Being obedient to His calling will change your life, it will draw you closer to his heart, and it will bring more fulfillment than any other thing in this life.

Briefly tell me one impacting story of someone you served:

I cared for an 18 year old girl after she had surgery to repair her severely broken arms. Her arms were bandaged and her face had deep lacerations that made her unrecognizable. She was completely traumatized after waking up from surgery and not knowing where the rest of her family was or if they were even alive. I sat at her cot as she held onto my hands and begged me not to leave through her uncontrollable tears. She was scared to death. I cried with her, overwhelmed, yet not able to even imagine all that she’d been through. I felt in that moment that Jesus was crying with us. That his heart broke for her and that he was breaking my heart for her as well. His presence was so powerful.

God faithfully does phenomonal things when we find our stories colliding with His purposes. May we be people who walk in courage to His call and bring light to the darkest places.