Stuffed Animals Play Soft Music, Prayers Help Calm Children in Combat Zones
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Heart-wrenching images have been streaming out of the Middle East in the last few weeks, showing refugee families fleeing for their lives from the last remaining ISIS stronghold in Syria. Among the displaced are thousands of traumatized children. Through a unique and dangerous effort, one US-based ministry is providing comfort for these littlest ISIS survivors, including the "cubs of the caliphate"-children of ISIS fighters, and children taken from their homes and trained for combat.
Led by high-risk missionary Victor Marx, and his wife, Eileen, ALL THINGS POSSIBLE MINISTRIES has distributed more than 31,000 specially outfitted plush lion and lamb toys that aim to decrease trauma in children using specially selected music and words (in both Arabic and Kurdish) played through a special audio component.
"There's been no other significant, successful approach to attacking the extremist ideology of hate brandished by ISIS," said Marx. "This method - which is based in love, healing and truth - is proving effective among thousands of children and even adults. The response to these toys has been unbelievable."
In addition to Lions & Lambs Life Packs, the ministry has distributed more than 4000 kits with personal care and feminine hygiene items for women in the Middle East.
"These women and children are traumatized, hurt, and still face terrorist threats. Because of the broken infrastructure, young women often lack personal necessities which contributes to loss of opportunities, dignity and feelings of hopelessness. We've fundraised specifically to help address these issues."
A former Marine and renowned martial arts expert, Marx is also an author, speaker and international child advocate with a love for people of the Middle East who have been brutalized by ISIS and warfare in the region.
"One mission led to another, and then another and suddenly, we found ourselves with a significant foothold in-country and relationships with many high-ranking government officials."
All Things Possible directly supports a number of persecuted Christian Iraqi families as well as Muslim and Yazidi Children - even orphaned children of ISIS fighters. The organization supports one orphanage in the region and operates the Third Option program where local leaders can receive specialized resources for dealing with ISIS.
About All Things Possible Ministries:
Abused and left for dead at the age of five, Victor Marx's young life was marked by trauma, rejection and unimaginable pain. He escaped his dysfunctional home life and joined the US Marine Corps where years of anger and rage was turned towards the Arab people. Years later, post-traumatic stress and the suppressed issues that stemmed from his childhood caused him to nearly take his own life.
Tragedy turned into triumph when, as a young Marine, Victor was healed from his past through faith in Jesus Christ. After he shared his testimony with a group of incarcerated youth in 2002, Victor and his wife, Eileen, founded All Things Possible Ministries, a faith-based organization that works on a global scale to free children from abuse and the effects of trauma.
Victor's life story was chronicled in his documentary film and book, The Victor Marx Story. He also launched an online ministry through YouTube and Facebook. His videos, including World's Fastest Gun Disarm, have more than 100M combined views throughout social media. As a humanitarian, speaker, renowned martial arts expert, and child/youth advocate, Victor speaks throughout the U.S. and around the world, providing inspiration and encouragement to widely-diverse audiences. Known as high-risk missionaries because of their work in sensitive areas, Victor and Eileen serve veterans and military personnel, women and children in the Middle East who have encountered debilitating trauma, and promote healthy, Christ-filled marriages and families.