Greetings and blessings from Jerusalem. After several days of cold and snowy weather the sun has now returned to Jerusalem. When the Middle East is cold it is very difficult to keep warm. This is the dessert and it can’t cope with the cold and neither can I in the midst of it. It is very difficult to keep warm and the country almost shuts down it was not possible to even have any serious meetings for several days.
Meanwhile life at St George’s Baghdad continues to go well. The Church and Clinic are in good shape. The Bishop recently visited and appointed Faiz as the head chaplain and me as the vicar emeritus, this is indeed a great act for celebration. The situation in the Iraq however remains terrible. The refugees displaced from the homes and towns have been suffering so much in the cold of the winter. Our team up there have been doing a great job continuing to provide food and warm clothing to the hundreds in distress. Dr Sarah continues to head up the work. We will be going to see her tomorrow in Jordan where we also have a lot of work to do amongst our refugees there.
Our work may be rather overwhelming and depressing at times but it is truly awesome to do the work of G-d in this place, and see his glory is truly awesome.
Yesterday I had three very different events. The first was with Rabbi Melchior, he got me along to a meeting that he did not really want, it was with the leader of the Universal Peace Initiative. It is basically an initiative of the Unification Church (the Meanies) and he and I don’t like them. Maybe people are going to not like me for saying that but that is the truth.
Then I met with Pastor Seven Koury our major Christian partner in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We have decided to call our work Ishmael and Isaac moving forward. So there is a good foundation planned for much of our relief work here being done through the church.
The final meeting was more than amazing I took my rabbi for dinner. Many of you will know that I studied at an Ultra Orthodox Yeshiva. My Hassidic Rabbi (pictured) was Shimon Naftalis. How I love this man, my teacher my hero, my tzadick. I have not been with him since the night of our wedding reception at our honeymoon in Jerusalem. Our meeting was just like we had never been apart I thank the Almighty for this meeting and I am sure we are going to do a lot together, starting with our Ishmael and Isaac project. The tragic events of the past few days in Paris just remind us of how much work there still is to do.
I am now off to Jordan and there is much to do.
Love and Blessings,