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'I'm So Happy. I Thank God': Family Reunited with Daughter Kidnapped by ISIS

06-12-2017
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Words cannot even begin to describe the joy Christina Abada's parents are feeling today.

"I'm so happy," exclaimed Ayda Abada, Christina's mother. "I thank God."

Christina Abada was three years old when ISIS militants attacked her city of Qaraqosh, Iraq in 2014.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christian families decided to flee, but Christina's family stayed back because her father was blind.

The Abada's were hoping and praying that ISIS militants would have mercy on them. They didn't.

In August 2014, ISIS militants rounded up the Abadas, along with other Christian families, and ordered them on a bus.

"Then one of the Da'esh (Arabic acryonum for ISIS) came and inspected the people on the bus," Ayda Abada told Open Doors International in July 2015. "He walked up to us. He took my little girl from my arms and just walked away."

That was the last time she saw her daughter until this past Friday, when Christina was finally reunited with her family at a refugee camp near Erbil, in northern Iraq.

"With all that we have been through, we are overjoyed that our Christina has been returned to us safely," Yaz Khedher, Christina's brother told the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.

Steven Nabil, a local Christian journalist, captured on video the moment Christina was reunited with her mother and father.

Clutching his daughter, Khader Abada, Christina's father, could only express his profound gratitude.

"We thank you very much," Khader said while talking to those involved in securing her release. "May God bless and protect you."

Christina's mother was especially thankful to all those who prayed for her daughter.

"I'm happy that people were praying for her," Ayda told Nabil on camera. "People were praying for Christina and others to come back."

According to news accounts, Christina was for almost three years living with a Muslim family that found her all alone in a mosque.

Video posted on YouTube shows dozens of people welcoming Christina home.

"It is a very happy moment; everybody is dancing and clapping and singing," one Christian woman told a World Watch Monitor.

No one knows for sure how this little girl, who is about to celebrate her sixth birthday soon, managed to endure for those three years in captivity without her parents and friends.

"Although everybody was very happy, it was also sad to see that Christina herself is in shock about all the people around her," a woman told World Watch Monitor.

"Everybody is asking questions and speaking to her, but she does not say anything back, really. She also seems to be overwhelmed by the huge crowd of people welcoming her," she added.

For Juliana Taimoorazy, founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, and others who campaigned on Christina's behalf, her release is a day for rejoicing.

"With the freedom of Christina, now 6 years old, we have renewed hope for a brighter future for all those who paid a heavy price for being Christian," Juliana Taimoorazy told Fox News. "In every presentation, across the globe, I have spoken of baby Christina and the heartache her parents lived with since the time of her capture. This is a happy day."

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