My Dear Friends,
How I long to be able to tell you positive things here. So for a moment I will not tell you the negatives. This is the week of our children’s first communion, it is one 1 of the biggest events in the church’s year. Each day the children come for several hours of intense study. There is such excitement. Yesterday as I sat down with the children I asked them why they were so excited. They basically said that when they were baptised their parents had promised they would follow Yesua but now they have decided themselves. I was able to give each of the children a mega voice sola powered bible we have had many donated to us from “Leading the Way” in Australia and Northern Ireland. These bibles have been such a cause for joy amongst us some are also going to be given to the people in the North who have had to flee leaving everything including their Bibles. So amongst the devastation there has indeed been the joy of our Lord.
Meanwhile we always think that things cannot get worse but they continue to. Dr Sarah is in the north with a good team of people we have got there doing so much of the relief work with the huge numbers of displaced people Christians, Yazidees and others. I think that it is wonderful that the person heading up our work amongst those fleeing the Islamic State is in fact a Muslim helping the Christians. One thing that has caused us great distress in our work is that there are all sorts of Christian Groups turning up here going to the camps taking pictures, asking the camp managers what is needed but delivering nothing. All the authorities are saying to Dr Sarah that she is the only one that helps them. This is the sad reality we have not seen others on the ground bring real help. UNHCR is now on the ground providing basic tents and food but there is so much more we have had to do. Provision of wheel chairs, babies cots, nappies and medicines to name but a jew of the many things we are providing. Yesterday I heard a account from one of our people who used to be here with us. He is disabled and was not able to flee with everybody else so he hid with his children. Eventually the Islamic State broke into the house they lined up the children and said that unless he converted to Islam they would all have their heads chopped off He said the words of conversion and they allowed he and his children to live but made them stay. He cried on the phone to me “Abouna Abouna I still love YESUA . will he still love me and my children”. I assured him that He did and that he still was a Christian and belonged to Yesuah. I thought what would I have done if my boys were going to be killed in front of me?
Meanwhile I am just about to have my stem cell treatment. I was so unwell yesterday I could hardly walk. I am feeling much better today and have done my prep for the treatment. I thought I had done everything then I spoke to Dawood in Canada who wanted to know if I had had my neupegen injection and I had forgotten all about that. So our clinic manager rushed out to get it so now I am ready and just waiting a couple of hours for the treatment to work. Please pray for it. Could I also ask your prayers for us to get our passes for the Green Zone. Now that the prime minister has changed we do not have the high government connections to get the badge so we are still having to pay three hundred US$ ‘s every time we need to enter so this is a mega problem. Just to complicate things today there was a big bomb today in Baghdad Jadeeda so Sally Mutt and Rand have not been able to get in yet.
With eve1y blessingfrom Baghdad,
Andrew 27 August 2014