Ordinary People Serving an Extraordinary God: Marigold

When ISIS invaded Sinjar in 2014, the Yazidi community was forced to leave everything behind and flee their homes—many not surviving the brutal attack. Marigold, who now oversees mental health initiatives for Samaritan’s Purse in Iraq, came out of retirement to walk alongside them in their suffering. In this special feature episode, Kristy hears how Marigold is offering care, compassion, and hope to the Yazidis as they begin to return home seven years later.
When ISIS invaded Sinjar in 2014, the Yazidi community was forced to leave everything behind and flee their homes—many not surviving the brutal attack. Marigold, who now oversees mental health initiatives for Samaritan’s Purse in Iraq, came out of retirement to walk alongside them in their suffering. In this special feature episode, Kristy hears how Marigold is offering care, compassion, and hope to the Yazidis as they begin to return home seven years later.

– Listen to our podcast episode “Finding Hope in the Middle East,” to dive deeper with Kristy into the work Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

– Read “Honey Helps Soothe the Sting of War,” on our website to learn more about how Samaritan’s Purse is walking alongside the Yazidi people to continue to bring restoration and hope.

Follow us on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes photos of Marigold and the women she’s helping in Iraq.

Show Notes

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, hosted by Kristy Graham. In this special feature of “Ordinary People Serving an Extraordinary God,” Kristy interviews Marigold, the program manager of the mental health initiatives in Iraq.

For decades, Marigold has worked in thousands of hospitals internationally to bring hope to people suffering with deep trauma. She came out of retirement in 2019 to work with Samaritan’s Purse as they began to help the Yazidi people migrate back to Sinjar—their homeland that was invaded and destroyed by ISIS in 2014.

Marigold shares with Kristy how God has been uniquely preparing her for this role her entire life. Growing up on her family’s farm in Australia, she watched her mother struggle with severe mental illness. When Marigold was only eight years old, her mother was admitted to a hospital. When she came to visit, her mom would introduce every sick client to her with dignity and respect.

“I remember going home from that time as a small child and sobbing my heart out, saying, ‘Lord when I get big, let me help those people.’ I think that’s where it began.” —Marigold

Throughout her mission-focused career, God has taken her to thousands of hospitals around the world to help people who were mentally sick. After she retired and her children had grown and moved out, she asked the Lord if there was a possibility of returning to the field. She applied to serve with Samaritan’s Purse in Iraq. Now, she is walking alongside Yazidi women, helping them work through severe trauma.

Marigold and Kristy discuss how she’s able to meet the Yazidis in their suffering and show them Christ’s love. She uses Scripture from Mark 5 to portray how Jesus teaches his followers to work through suffering with others.

“When [we] come in saying, ‘We want to give you kindness, we want to give you care, we want to help you,’ [we] watch people lift up in their spirits—even if they have nothing.” —Marigold

Along with mental health initiatives, Samaritan’s Purse is providing new ways for the Yazidi people to find hope: building hundreds of shelters, repairing homes, and restoring livelihoods. The episode wraps with ways that listeners can pray for the Yazidi people as they continue to heal from the traumas of war. If you’d like to hear more about our work to help families in the Middle East, listen to our recent podcast episode, “Finding Hope in the Middle East.”

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