The lead article in this issue of A Common Place highlights the tragic story of ordinary people like 46-year-old Khider, uprooted in the seemingly endless violence in places like Iraq. 

Warsan Shire’s poem, Home, expresses it well:

you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,

So it is with more than three million Iraqis who, since 2014, have been forced to leave the comfort of home for pale substitutes elsewhere. 

In Isaiah 58:6–7, the prophet Isaiah describes fasting that is acceptable to the Lord:

Is not this the fast that I choose:
…to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house?

MCC’s partnerships in Syria, Iraq and neighbouring countries, carefully built and nurtured over many years, make it possible for MCC to be there, providing bread, livelihoods and even the semblance of home.

In the enormity of the tragedy unfolding there, MCC plays a small but significant role for thousands of people who have lost their homes. In the process, we meet many people whose resilience and resolve to survive and thrive are inspirational to us all. In this issue of A Common Place, you will encounter some of their stories.

Don Peters 
Executive Director, MCC Canada
DonPeters@mcccanada.ca