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Iraqi family finds joy at Holy Trinity Coburg

December 10 2019A family from war-stricken Iraq has found peace at the Arabic congregation at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Coburg, and was recently confirmed by Archbishop Philip Freier.

Helal Dawood is confirmed by Archbishop Philip Freier.

Helal and Dorothy Dawood and their family were Christians in Iraq but did not attend church. They arrived in Australia after escaping from persecution and war.

“We left everything behind and started our new life in tears,” said Mr Dawood. We had this inner voice saying, ‘God has abandoned you. He doesn’t care about you; if He did, you wouldn’t be suffering like this’.”

But one day, as the family was walking down Sydney Road, they met the minister of Holy Trinity’s Arabic congregation, the Revd Farag Hanna.

“We recognised that he is a priest because of his black shirt and white collar,” said Mr Dawood. “We asked him to pray for us as we were seeing a doctor and he did. He started to ask us if we go to church and we said no. Then he invited us to Holy Trinity.”

After few Sundays at Holy Trinity, said Mr Dawood, “we were filled with joy.”

“Joy comes, not from looking at what we have lost or suffered, but on what we have been given. Joy comes from filling our minds with God’s word every Sunday, and his saving acts of mercy and grace in our lives.

“Joy comes from counting our blessings and comes from looking forward to what we have yet to receive, dwelling on God’s promises for the future instead of our fears and worries. This is what we learn every Sunday.”

The Revd Farag Hanna from Holy Trinity Coburg with Archbishop Philip Freier.

After six months attending the church, the Dawood family enjoyed a confirmation service at Holy Trinity on Sunday, 24 November. Over 40 people were blessed during the service by Archbishop Freier.

“What a blessed day in our life,” said Mr Dawood.

“Instead of the voice of doubt, tears, suffering and grieving, we are filled with joy and peace. We learned how to keep moving forward and serving the Lord. Thanks be to God for giving us a wonderful church to worship and praise His name.”