Setting Aside Soapboxes


When we talk about “world evangelization,” we aren’t talking about conquests or combat strategies. We’re talking about the God-Man who bled out on Golgotha and the people who don’t know yet. It is difficult to talk about a selfless and serving Messiah who will wash your muddy feet when you’re acting like a jerk. So when “this Gospel of the Kingdom” is given as a witness to every tribe and bloodline on the planet, it looks and smells a bit like our crucified King.[1]

The apostle Paul once wrote back to friends he’d made in Greek Thessolonica, reflecting on the time he’d spent with them. “We were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel, but our lives as well.”[2] Meaning he didn’t rock up to their neighborhood with a soapbox or scoreboard. He didn’t get lost in theological arguments and debates. He befriended the Thessalonians—that was the legacy he left behind in that community.

The door of opportunity—Paul’s longed-for “wide and effectual door”[3]—is wide open in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is unique in a region drowning in conflict and civil war. The Kurds featured in the film Better Friends than Mountains have fled from tormentors into a mountainous region so unforgiving, Saddam couldn’t get past the foothills. His tanks litter the outskirts of this refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan, where so few have gone and yet so many live. The Kurdish proverb that lent the title to the piece declares, simply and painfully, that “the Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” It’s been true for centuries.

Our conviction is that it doesn’t need to be.


Stephanie Quick is a writer and producer serving with Frontier Alliance International in the Middle East. She is the author of To Trace a Rising Sun and can be found on on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Sign up for her ministry updates here and receive a free copy of her book Confronting Unbelief. She can be reached at


[1]   See Matthew 24:14
[2]   I Thessalonians 2:7-8
[3]   I Corinthians 16:9; II Thessalonians 3:1