The “Family Life Development Foundation" (FLDF) has been established with the sole vision of bringing together Arabic and Assyrian speaking refugees and immigrants, for the purpose of teaching and supporting one another, using principles of God’s word. We accomplish this by meeting their spiritual and social needs, and by transforming members into active disciples, with the goal of transforming them into influential members of their existing communities.
Fellowship: Fellowship ministries in two Presbyterian churches: Middle East Fellowship at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston and Assyrian Fellowship at Carter-Westminster Presbyterian Church. Each ministry serves the Assyrian and Arabic speaking refugees of that community. The final outshoot of these church planting ministries is to establish churches.
Refugee Ministry: Establishing Christian ministries for refugees that have arrived in the United States. Building relationships between our Churches and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Syria and Turkey, with the purpose of providing physical and spiritual support to the existing ministries.
Media & Broadcasting: Pastor Shiba and his wife Layla have a Christian radio ministry, “Family Life Development Program”, every Thursday from 8‐9 pm on WONX‐1590AM. In the mean time, worldwide satellite TV programs have been recorded and Scheduled.
Training & Conferences: Families involved in the foundation are starting small groups on topics such as: marriage, women’s roles, parent/youth relationships and spiritual leadership in their communities. We are planning to start bi‐yearly regional training conferences for all members.
Mission Ministry in Iraq: FLDF’s future ministries will include. 1) Visiting churches in Iraq to encourage and build church relationships.
2) Conference training for the elders & leaders of churches in Iraq. 3) Acting as a peacemaking representative of Iraqi churches in the PCUSA.
Our History: (Shib’s Testimony)
Pastor Younan Shiba was born in 1964 and grew up in a traditional Assyrian church with his family in Iraq. In 1990 he received Christ as his Savior and married his wife Layla in 1994. They have two daughters: Joy, born on February 6, 1997 and Grace, born on July 25, 2000.
In 1995 Pastor Shiba moved to Amman, Jordan to receive theological training at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary. Layla also received a diploma in Biblical Studies from the same Seminary. During his studies in Amman, Pastor Shiba was asked by Alliance Church to lead in the Iraqi Ministry. While directing the Iraqi Ministry, God revealed to him a vision for planting Churches through evangelism and discipleship. He was able to plant the seeds for six new congregations in Jordan for the Iraqi refugees. In Jordan, he and his wife witnessed the struggles and afflictions of the newly immigrated Iraqis. This led them to find a community development center in their home to serve the needs of these disenfranchised refugees. They began several project to meet the spiritual and physical needs of those that God was sending to them.
In 2002, they opened two larger government sanctions, called 1) “The starting Point Foundation” & 2) “Intelaqa Cultural Center” in Amman.
The Shiba’s were forced to flee to Damascus, Syria. While they were in Syria, they planted a new Church for Iraqi expatriates as well.
In April 2003, they returned to Baghdad in order to work with the Assyrian Evangelical Presbyterian Church. On July 11th, 2003, Pastor Shiba was ordained at the Assembly of the National Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in Iraq. In Baghdad, the Lord blessed him with a new ministry comprising of approximately 120 active families. God used him in 2004 to plant a daughter Church in Dora, south of Baghdad. It had a newly ordained elder and a congregation of 63 members. Shortly after moving to Baghdad, Pastor Shiba was appointed as the Director of Operations in Iraq with the SALT Foundation, a non-governmental organization affiliated with the Open Doors organization. In conjunction with this organization, the Shiba’s started a cultural center in 2004 called Hope Cultural Center in Baghdad. In addition, they founded the Hope Cultural Institute in the city of Mosul in 2004. The centers in Baghdad and Mosul offered english, computer, art, music classes, a Library and Internet café. And Spiritual training conferences and Christian resources.
The Shiba’s established a separate ministry in Baghdad in 2004 for the purpose of printing, publishing, advertising, and the distribution of spiritual materials.
On April 7th, 2005 Pastor Shiba and his family were threatened by radical Muslims in Baghdad. After several continuous threats by the radicals, the two Churches that he pastored decided to have him and his family move to northern Iraq for their personal safety as well as for the security of the Churches. But God’s will was for them to come to the United States. He arrived in Chicago, Illinois by the end of 2005, and his family joined him as refugee asylum.
n 2006 Pastor Shiba obtained a position at a Home Depot store and worked there for two years. Pastor Shiba also served in various Assyrian and Arabic speaking congregations. An Assyrian fellowship group was established at Glenview Evangelical Free Church & Pastor Shiba led a Bible Study for more than two years.
In 2008 the Lord led him to Mr. Annosh Varda (an Assyrian from Iran), and together they established a TV studio for the purpose of recording spiritual TV satellite programs in three languages (Assyrian, Arabic & Farsi).
The Village Presbyterian Church in Northbrook, Illinois, supported Pastor Shiba’s Ministry during 2009. Pastor Shiba also established a Middle East fellowship at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston, IL, every Friday night, from 7 - 9 PM which lasted through the end of April 2010. Furthermore, Pastor Shiba and his wife Layla founded a Christian Radio Ministry called “Family Life Development Program”, which airs every Thursday evening from 8 - 9 PM Central Time (GMT-6) on WCGO Radio, 1590 AM. This ministry reaches out to 120,000 Assyrian population in Illinois. Pastor Shiba also founded “Family Life Development Foundation”, which is a non-profit organization.
On June 16, 2009, The Presbytery of Chicago received Pastor Shiba as an official confirmed minister. Pastor Shiba is an International Peacemaker in PCUSA 2009, representing Iraqis in diaspora.
Pastor Shiba is a Parish Associate serving as the Director of Assyrian Mission at Carter Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Skokie, Illinois. He leads an Assyrian Fellowship Bible Study on Friday evenings from 7– 9 PM at the Church. This Mission supports the needs of the local Assyrian communities and provides support and ministry to Assyrian immigrants arriving in Illinois.
The various ministries mentioned have been organized under the umbrella ministry of “Family Life Development Foundation”, which is in a non-profit organization.
FLDF”s Advisory Board Members
Rev. Dan McNerney
William S. McDowell, Jr.
Rev. William Badal
Younan’s Ministry with FLDF relies entirely on financial support from friends, churches, and foundations. Please consider filling out the enclosed donation card, helping to sustain Younan’s various ministries.
Please make checks payable to FLDF, and mail to:
Family Life Development Foundation
(Care of Younan Shiba support)