Mar 24, 2009

Student assists with Iraqi church plant

by Matthew Coleman

World Help (WH), a humanitarian organization based in Forest, Va., recently partnered with Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) to help fund and build a Christian church in a region of northern Iraq dominated by the Kurds. Freshmen Josh Brewer used his time off during spring break to spend a week visiting and dedicating the new Iraqi church.

Brewer, the son of Vernon Brewer, the founder and president of WH, is a veteran of mission trips and has personally visited nearly 30 different countries. When he heard that his father was going to be visiting Iraq, he knew he needed to go.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I couldn’t pass up,” Josh said. “I could have gone to the beach or skiing, but sometimes the greatest experience we can have is in helping others.”

Vernon had the honor of saying the dedication prayer for the 60-member congregation.

Working with TRBC to help fund the new church, WH enlisted the help of a man known as “Pastor G,” to run the church as he saw fit, according to Josh.

A native of Iraq, Pastor G. saw this as an opportunity to be the first of many churches to be planted in Iraq.

“Pastor G’s vision, and what (WH) hopes to help him do, is to plant one church in each of the 19 states in Iraq,” Vernon said.

Operating in over 60 nations, WH has developed an effective system for planting churches. WH provides the funding and lets people from the region run the church as they see fit, as long as the pastors placed in charge have the same core Christian values.

It is better to let someone who knows the area and culture make the decisions regarding the church, according to the assistant to the WH President, Daniel Bowden.

“We don’t sit down and make them sign a paper (stating) their doctorial beliefs,” Bowden said.

In addition to the church plant, WH has begun humanitarian efforts to help aid the five million children orphaned by the war in Iraq, according to Brewer. Initially, 2,000 children were selected for sponsorship. This support is only made possible by donors in America.

“The sponsorship is $30 a month, and it provides the basic needs of health care, education, clothing and food for that child,” Vernon said.

“As one of my Iraqi friends told me, ‘These children can either grow up with guns in their hands and filled with hate, or we can help them grow up with love in their hearts,’” Vernon said.

Contact Matthew Coleman at


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