Ministry Trip to Erbil, Kurdistan

Over the past couple months, as we’ve watched the truly horrific ISIS takeover of Syria and Iraq, I’ve been repeatedly asking the Lord what good we might find in the midst of all this chaos. Increasingly, I’ve become convinced that the eyes of the Lord are presently on the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Even as the Iraqi Kurds are crying out for US military support, how much more do they need abundant support from the Body of Messiah? I am convinced that now is the window of opportunity to pour in all of the resources we have into that region. From prayer, to encouragement, to ministry to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people now encamped throughout the region, the opportunity there is absolutely immense. Yes, the Kurds need support from the US to help them guard their ancient homeland, but far more so, they need a wall of prayer to guard the millions of peoples scattered like lost sheep across the region. The Church there also is in great need of encouragement. As many speak of Christianity disappearing from Iraq, there are yet some evangelical Christians hanging on. But as many are leaving or considering leaving, I am convinced that they need to be encouraged to see not only the danger, (which is real) but the tremendous opportunity—to see what the Lord is doing and what He is about to do!


As I look at pictures of the fields of endless white tents, housing hundreds of thousands of displaced families, not only have many of these people seen firsthand the true face of Islam, but they’re also in a moment of profound crisis and need. The fields are white unto harvest. Already, many of those working there are testifying to many of the wonderful things taking place. From miracles to salvations, once again, the Lord is moving over the waters of the deep.

In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:24-25)

Later this winter (I don’t have a date set) I’ve set my heart to go to Irbil, the capitol of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, right next to the Islamic State. There would be several goals for the trip. First, to network with some of the ministries working there. My hope is to be able to direct those who would like to help those on the ground who already have their hands to the plow. Second, I would like to encourage the believers there. I firmly believe the prophetic Scriptures contain some truly wonderful promises for that region concerning a mighty revival in the last days. Third, I want to take some time to sent time with and minister to the displaced peoples. Fourth, I would like to film as much as possible in order to share firsthand all that the Lord is doing in the region.


In the map above, you can see the area in gold is controlled by the Islamic State. Erbil (or Arbil, or Irbil) is just to the north and east.

In order to make this trip happen, I need to raise all of the necessary funds. The bulk of the moneys needed are travel expenses for the team. Extra luggage (camera equipment). I pay my camera man. Food, etc. I also have a few pieces of equipment that I will need to purchase. If you would like to help make this trip happen, there are three ways to donate.

To send a tax-deductable donation by check, make it out to “I2 Ministries” write nothing in the memo line and send to the following address:

Joel Richardson
Grandview MO
PO Box 776


To make a tax-deductable donation online, click here for the I2 Ministries donation form.

Specify Joel Richardson in the comment box.

You may also use this link to arrange automated regular support.


If you wish to make a non-tax deductible gift online, you may use the following Paypal button:

Thank you so much for your support!

  • BJ and Alisa
    Posted at 11:15h, 02 September

    When I hear what the Lord is telling you it makes me think of Isaiah 49:5-6. WE have been praying for you and will continue praying for you.
    BJ & Alisa

  • Davy
    Posted at 13:50h, 02 September

    Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38

  • Nelson
    Posted at 16:10h, 02 September

    Guys and Gals,

    I would ask on behalf of the Kurds that you be prayerful for this mission trip. I’m sure all of us support and pray for missionaries but this trip is a bit different. The empire of the beast may be in its early phases and this is our personal “window” into that part of the world. Joel and his team will bring back specific information and video for us to pray more specifically for these people and what is occurring there.

    For those able to financially support Joel, let’s get lift up one of our own. At this time what could be a more strategic use of the funds God has trusted us with?

    God bless your mission Joel, please keep us updated.


  • good4u
    Posted at 16:30h, 02 September


    Your heart truly belongs to the peoples suffering and deeply lost within the Middle East. Now, if all believers had just have half the feet to action that you do, the Middle East would likely not be in the situation it finds itself in today.

    God’s speed and prayers for a safe and successful outcome!


  • Doug Hanley
    Posted at 19:56h, 02 September

    I would love to join you though I am not free to travel because of my health right now.
    I am sure you are excited to see what God is doing in the harvest fields, but also a little apprehensive to go. I am sure you will get criticism for going. Count it all joy when people think ill of you and call you names for His sake. We have scheduled a prayer meeting that should be a regular thing as of the conference. We will be praying for you.

  • Emily
    Posted at 22:50h, 02 September

    Hi Joel,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go to this part of the world. God is moving in this area and I know that you will make a huge difference in these people’s lives!
    I would love to join and do something like this, I cannot wait to see what plans God has for me in these last days.
    God bless and will be praying immensely for you!

  • Henry
    Posted at 02:26h, 03 September

    No safer place to be than in the centre of God’s will. Our prayers are with you Joel, and the many Christians who are going through immense persecution.

  • bob and megan
    Posted at 03:07h, 04 September

    Hi Joel,
    We are prayerfully behind you one hundred percent in your decision to go!!! Yes the harvest is ripe and thanks be to God that He is using you and your team to meet the needs of these people, and to advance his kingdom! We may not all be able to be the hands and feet, but we can all be one in prayer together in this!
    We pray for your protection and for the many connections that will be made, and the finances to come in. We also pray peace for your family while you are gone. Many Blessings to you all, good and faithful servants!

  • AFO
    Posted at 17:32h, 05 September

    Hello Joel:

    Thank You for your compassion for the people of IRAQ. All ministries should be motivated by the love of Jesus, such as yours.

    As an Assyrian from that region, I have been following up on the situation of the refugees, and would advise your team to also visit the city of Dohuk, as more refugees have fled there. Majority of the Syrian refugees who fled to the Iraqi refugee camp, were also forced to be transferred to Dohuk, which is also under the conrol of kurdish regional territory.

    God Bless you

    FYI: Have you ever thought of AC being born from both Muslim & Jewish family? This way he can be identified as both a leader of 10 muslim kings & also someone who will be able to convince the Jews that he is the promised Messiah, before the abomination of desolation takes place.

  • Michael
    Posted at 15:12h, 08 September

    I am very amateurish to the theology but my faith has strengthened considerably of recent times after deciding to investigate my catholic religion. I came across this site by chance after pursuing possible information about the anti Christ after reading face to face with Jesus (2014) by samara habib where she concludes that Jesus says he will be coming soon and like Davy says to pray for the Muslims “lord of the harvest, send out your labourers.” I believe this is the only prayer samaa requests of the reader in her powerful book. I am fairly ignorant to all this and though was aware of the syrian conflict was not aware of isis at all and the possible significance of developments there. I also learnt recently that Jesus once said if you want to know about my ministry then read the book of jonah which may about preaching and/or repentance in relation to the people of Nineveh. Anyway I love your cause and will pray for your safety and the people there.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 14:40h, 09 September

    Bless you and your family and may God bless this trip (and He will)

    You are truly a man of God.

  • Azad
    Posted at 15:13h, 22 June

    Amen! I am a Kurdish Christian. All my life I felt God stirring in my heart long before any one could have taught it to me. Lately my heart has yearned for my people, but I also feel a great joy. I truly feel a revival of the Kurds. The Kurds are a very spiritual people who were forced into Islam. I truly feel called to ministry there, and would truly love to join you if given the opportunity! I will certainly be praying for opportunity for you guys in trying to build your ministry and help the people in Kurdistan! let us not forget it was the Kurdish Magi that walked for 2 years to bring gifts and pronounce Jesus the Messiah! Abraham himself was from Harraam an ancient Kurdish city. Of all places the Lord chose to land Noah’s Ark on the mountains of Kurdistan, no wonder we love please feel free to contact me if there is an available spot! both as a Kurd and as a Christian I feel called!

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:44h, 22 June

    Thanks for the hello brother. I am sure we will be going back sometime. Will keep you in mind. Blessings to you!

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