Seven years ago, almost to the week, Mary Campbell was up on her feet talking in the Barga Jazz Club sharing with her audience her very personal view of life of a small part of Syria where Mary had spent the last four years travelling backwards and forwards to.
Most listeners that evening were struck by her powerful, emotional description of an area and lifestyle which many had never experienced first-hand. (article here)
This evening she was back sharing her views on the Middle East but this time with a much more harrowing story.
Whilst in Syria many of the refugees that she dealt with were escaping from the destruction taking place in Iraq.
When she was offered the possibility of moving to Iraq to deal first hand with their problems she agreed and moved across to that area and started work on a project for the women in a monastery.
The arrival of Islamic State (IS) militants during the night meant that all or most of the Christians living around the monastery where Mary was working fled into the night, most with just the clothes they stood up in.
This meant that the Women’s project was abandoned and immediately transformed into a refugee based project to help these displaced people.