Mourn With Those Who Mourn

Some of our closest Kurdish friends in our home town have are going through a season of heart-wrenching loss and pain. It is just so difficult to know how to comfort them, but we know that they are in the loving arms of our Father. They are such a precious family and our kids would go to their home every day to play if they could.

Photo by Michael Dean McDonald

Photo by Michael Dean McDonald

How cute is Charlie and his Kurdish friend Laren in this photo... They trying a few moves on the dance floor. If you are a praying person, would you lift them up in your prayers?

Tim BuxtonComment
The Best Kind Of Selfie

If you've got kids, you probably have a gazillion photos of them taking selfies pulling crazy faces, taking photos of the wall, their nostrils and other random screenshots. In fact, you've most likely run out of storage on your phone from the shear number of "kid junk" photos they take. But every know and then you come across a priceless photo that steals your heart, and makes all the others worth it. This is one of those photos! My two daughters - goofing around - reminding me how incredible blessed I am. #tonguesout #sisters #thebestkindofselfie

Tim BuxtonComment
Never Get Tired Of The View

Early in the morning as I walk up the stairs to the roof and water the plants, I'm always flabergasted by the stunning view that we get to see every day. The mountains of Soran are a constant reminder of the majesty of our God and the safety we feel nestled behind their fortress walls. 

Photo by Dalton Thomas

Photo by Dalton Thomas

This photo was taken on a frosty winter's afternoon. Unreal.

Tim BuxtonComment
Pray for Mosul

Overlooking the Nineveh plains you can almost see Mosul from this 4th century monastery. Today, the battle for Mosul is slowly ramping up, with Iraqi & Kurdish forces with the help from Western Allies on the verge of outright war to eradicate ISIS from the city and surrounding towns and villages. Can't help but think of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis now fleeing the next wave of violence, most likely heading our way to seek refuge. In fact Mar Mattai Monastery currently houses persecuted Christians that fled the Mosul region, forced to flee ISIS back in June 2014. 

Mar Mattai Monastery is located atop Mount Alfaf in Northern Iraq and is 20km from Mosul. It is recognized as one of the oldest Christian Monasteries in existence. It was an incredible experience to visit there in July of 2015 and also very sobering to think of the thousands that have lost their lives at the hands of ISIS in villages and towns within it's spanning view. #MarMatthaiMonastery  #BattleForMosul

Tim BuxtonComment
Beach Days

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were made at the beach and it was almost like reliving my childhood watching my kids in the water. I distinctly remember my brother @dbuxton and my sisters Esther & @suze_evans teaching me to swim at Glenelg beach, South Australia. 

I don't know about you, but when I'm at the beach surfing or just splashing around with the kids, its like there isn't a care in the world. I'm so glad we got to enjoy the salty ocean during our Summer trip to NY. Though there isn't the deep blue ocean in this Iraqi oasis called Kurdistan, we are going to climb some majestic mountains and discover secret caves to make up for it. I can't help think that God created such a beautiful world so that we could revel in it. Life is too short to be serious all this time. Be a kid again and do something crazy fun in this wildly beautiful world of ours. #beachfun #theadventureawaits#lovemykids

Tim BuxtonComment
With Bob Goff & Friends

A couple weeks ago I got to hang out with some great friends in San Diego. It truly was one of the highlights of my trip back to the US. 

It was such a joy to see @milesadcox again and meet his soon to be bride @vanessaevigan... So excited for them. The cool thing is that @bobgoffwill be visiting us here in Kurdistan in a few days and @michaeldeanmcdonald not long after. Hands down, @love.does and @hearthecry are a huge reason for the ongoing success of the education of Iraqi refugee kids at @therefugeinitiative school. #lovedoes

Tim BuxtonComment
School Roof Top View

It might be a dusty afternoon, but that's a pretty cool view from the top of the new @therefugeinitiative School for refugee children. Check out the soccer field in the distance... It's part of the @worldorphans community center property and will be used by the school kids on a daily basis - you can count on that! Can't wait for school to begin.

Tim BuxtonComment
Welcome Home Feast

We made it back to our home town of Soran safe and sound, though a little exhausted. 

IMG_1724.JPG

Thanks to our amazing friends @cookingwithdawn@azadi_freedomtown picked up and greeted with some amazing muffins. We've also had food brought over by @hellofromsusanna and just got done enjoying dinner with our dear Kurdish neighbors how loaded us up on fresh home grown garden vegetables. Thank you @dilgash_mzzury for bringing over your mamas dolma. It was so delicious. We are all so glad to be home and so grateful for the best of friends here in Iraq and all over the world!!

Tim BuxtonComment
Riding the Wave Back to Iraq

Today we had back to our home in Northern Iraq. We had an incredible time in New York and all our stops along the way. It's always so sad saying goodbye to family and friends. I'm just so grateful that I have my amazing wife by my side and the three little kiddos God has given us. We can't wait to see what is on the horizon and all that God is going to do in Kurdistan. We are gonna ride this wave as long as it takes us!

Tim BuxtonComment
Children of Fallujah

These beautiful children live a few minutes down the road from us. In fact, they were our neighbors a few months before. They would hand deliver their mom's home cooking pipping hit to our front door on a weekly basis. Dolma, kofta, biryani and freshly baked bread. They are refugees from Fallujah and I can't wait to visit them again soon. Why not say a prayer for these precious kids!! Oh, and didn't @missjessieparks take a glorious photo. Just amazing! Thanks friend.

Tim BuxtonComment
The Streets of Soran

The streets of Soran. I might not be back home in Kurdistan for a few more weeks, but most days I find myself drawn back to the uncomplicated, vibrant and incredibly friendly vibe there is on the bazaar streets of Soran. 

People are not working, they're living. The shop owners are always up for a good chat and friendly banter. And, to contrary opinion, being a "Westerner" only works in my favor. Most love to practice their three or four English phrases before assuring you how much they love America or Britain (Yes, Australia too) and how welcome we are in their land. That's just one of the things I love about #lifeinkurdistan #soran #bazaar 📷 @missjessieparks

Tim BuxtonComment
Real People Real Stories

It was such an honor to share with @timessquarechurch at their Sunday Night service "Real People Real Stories"! 

Nothing better than to be home with our church family celebrating the goodness of Jesus and witness many choose to follow him. It was also the first time that Sarah & I went to church together without the kids in 5 years. Wow... What a night to remember. Thank you Ps Carter & Ps Theresa for leading and loving so well!! Shout out to @tscreal and @pastordham for the invitation to share! God is moving in NYC!

Tim BuxtonComment
Meet Scott Vair

It's been an incredible few days with @worldorphans president, Scott Vair. I've so appreciated his visionary leadership and gentle strength in which he serves our ministry and his family. Big shout out to his wife Debbie who spoilt me like crazy. Oh, and thanks Josie and Norah for letting me win Apples to Apples ⛰🍎🍏 #servantleader#colorado

Tim BuxtonComment
Oh the Places you'll go

Oh, the places you'll go.

I just love the passion for adventure that my eldest daughter has. Living in Kurdistan sure has its advantages in the adventure level factor. Which mountain to climb? What trail to run along and discover where it leads? 

I often ask myself are we doing the best thing as parents bringing up our three amazing kids in Northern Iraq. Sure there are challenging days and times when that question is harder to answer. 

BUT, it's days like these that the answer seems blazingly obvious! I have the most amazing family in the world, living in one of the most incredible places on earth.

Tim BuxtonComment
Back Yard Cricket

Nothing like a little evening cricket action with the neighbors. 

This Sunni Arab family is from the Anbar province in Iraq. They too fled for their families safety after ISIS took control of their town. Like thousands of other Arab families in the Soran region, they are struggling to piece their lives back together not knowing when... if, they'll get to go back home. I am so thankful for the Kurdish people that have opened their homes to those who have historically been their enemies. In the meantime, I'm gonna pull out the stumps, grab a bat and show my new friends a little bit about Aussie life. I'm certainly learning a stack about how to endure adversity and what it means to love your enemies. Thank you my new neighbors... Thank you Kurdistan. #lifeinkurdistan  #lovethyneighbor #cricketiniraq

Tim BuxtonComment
World's Windiest Road?

Took a trip to the big city of Slemani today. We decided to take the scenic route and boy was it worth it. We found ourselves in the beautiful Qandil region in what seemed to be a different country all together. We stopped at memorials to those killed by the recent Turkish bombings. We discovered the windiest road in the Middle East and found ourselves awestruck at some of the most ruggedly beautiful countryside I've ever seen.

Tim BuxtonComment
Bonfire Night

Making the most of spring evenings on our rooftop... Roasting marshmallows, nighttime scooter sessions and lighting Chinese lanterns.

Tim BuxtonComment