is waiting in the hot sun for a truck delivering air coolers.
It's 5 p.m. in Erbil
on Saturday, Aug. 16, and the temperature hangs stubbornly at 111°F.
needs 500 air coolers-evaporative cooling units that use fans with water and consume less electricity than air conditioners.
can locate only 100 but hopes to have a few hundred more trucked in from Iran tomorrow.
"Here in Ainkawa area of Erbil alone we have 30,000 displaced-all Christians-and the heat is terrible," said Dagher, pastor of a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Beirut and a church planter who has helped start churches across the Middle East.
The Alliance church in Erbil
, the capital of Iraq
's Kurdistan region, is working with aid groups to coordinate relief to many made homeless by waves of onslaught across Iraq by ISIS (or ISIL), the Islamic militant group now calling itself the Islamic State.
At least one church in Erbil
has 140 people sleeping in its halls.
Once mattresses arrived, more spilled out to sleep on dirt or grass outside the church buildings.
Along with air coolers, food, clothing, diapers, mattresses, pillows, and blankets-not to mention housing-are all in short supply.
Many of the displaced Christians in Erbil
are living in tents outdoors and in buildings under construction.
They are surviving with no bathrooms, no running water, no finished windows or doorways, and no relief from the heat, said Dagher
: "Yes we are getting supplies, but our city is overwhelmed."
said the hardest part of the unfolding crisis is the number of young people affected.
A third of those living outdoors, he
estimates, are young children.
told me worship services are overflowing in Erbil
, and he
preached on Aug. 17 for the fifth time since his
"The Holy Spirit is doing wonderful work among the people here," he
"Refugees are standing in church and repenting of their sins and confessing.