Greetings from Baghdad – Update from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Baghdad. People are very fearful the nation looks as if it has collapsed. The usual hectic and crazy streets were this morning almost empty. The news from our friends in areas surrounding Baghdad is equally worrying, the Islamic State (ISIS or DAASH as they are known locally) are very close to Baghdad. We do not really know what is happening all we know is that people are very afraid. We know that civilians have been killed in air strikes; we know that there are huge battles with ISIS; and we know that our army is not very efficient.

This morning I was with one of my soldiers who is assigned by the government to protect me. I asked him what he would do if he saw ISIS coming. He told me he would take off his uniform and run. So I asked if he took seriously his role as a soldier to fight and protect his people, he assured me he did not. He told me he just did it because he needed the money.

Meanwhile yesterday at Church I spoke on the subject of why we must love Israel. I posted the following brief posting:

“Why We Must Love Israel. This was the title of my sermon today, quite an interesting title for a sermon in Iraq. The sermon was based on Romans Chapter 11, “do not boast over the root for the root supports you”. The sermon was well received as I have been working on the issue for so long. Because Abraham is so important to us here the issue of the Yehudi and us is taken very seriously. Despite being in Iraq I love the Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, and Iraqis and G-d loves them all too.”

I received a barrage of postings from people whether they hated Israel and saw them as anti-Palestinian or they were totally for Israel. What most people failed to understand was that loving Israel was far more than love for a State – it was love for a people. Love for a people that my Lord Jesus was part of and that our salvation came from. Though can we see that we are called to love Jews and Arabs alike but that loving Israel is not an option for those of us who love Yeshuah, we have to. We must not forget the history. We as Christians have got to accept that our theology was responsible for the development of Anti-Semitism. I spent hour’s yesterday just answering questions on this subject. I am not going to answer any more. I have just written a small book on the subject called ‘The Older and Younger Brother”. It can be purchased on our website, www.frrme.org at a cost of £5.

At 2.40 am this morning I had a call from one of the security chiefs at the US Embassy here in Baghdad. Congressman Trent Franks in DC, who was very concerned about my security situation, had contacted them. He in turn had been contacted by one of our US Board members. We were with the congressman just last week, he is a good friend. The issue that was so worrying to the Embassy was that I no longer even have a badge to get into the Green Zone. I have a badge to get into the US and British Embassies but I cannot even get to them without being able to get into the Green Zone. We were able to get in until all the Badges to the Green Zone were replaced 6 months ago. So the Embassy say they will work at getting us the badge today. I really pray that this will happen today.

Added to all these problems my hearing aids got lost when the cleaner was cleaning my room. Without these I can hear very little and my work becomes really difficult. I have managed to order new ones, which my staff who are coming to Israel with me next week can hopefully take with them. I just pray that G-d will help me find the £2700 I need to buy them. No insurance is covered in Iraq so we cannot claim for things lost or stolen here.

The latest news this morning appears to be that the further advance of ISIS towards Baghdad appears to have been halted. How far they are from here varies according to who is providing the information but they appear to be 5-15 miles away and in the last 12 hours have not got closer. So we live in hope. Sorry this update is longer than usual but rather a lot is happening. We seriously need your prayer.

Love to you all,

 Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White

Greetings from the USA – Update from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the USA, we have been here for the past week having a whole variety of meetings in Washington DC, mainly with US government officials relating to the nature of our work in the present crisis. It has been a very productive visit and we are sure that it will have long term results for our work both in Iraq and internationally.

One of the highlights of the trip was the meeting yesterday with Dr Casey, the Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Dr Casey is very much behind our work and hopes to come and visit us in Baghdad in the coming weeks.

Another highlight of the trip was the presentation to me yesterday of the Anne Frank Award for Religious Tolerance. This was a very major event organised by the Government of Holland, and the response from the US and Dutch governments was very positive. It was a very good event with many dignitaries present who very graciously recognised my role in peace-making in the Middle East, acknowledging the very considerable risks that I had taken. It meant a lot to me that this award was in memory of Anne Frank, a young girl who epitomises the international role in working for religious freedom having personally given her life in search for the freedom of religion.

Today I move on to a series of meetings in New York and then tomorrow fly to Dallas for more meetings and interviews on Daystar television.

Thank you for your continued support for the persecuted Christians in Iraq, what we have been able to do in relief and reconciliation has truly been outstanding and more than we ever thought was possible. I thank you sincerely for all your efforts in this regard. We will continue in our work, there are approximately 1.8 million IDPs in Iraq now and we aim to continue trying to help as much as possible. If you are able to watch Daystar television please do so, particularly on Friday and Saturday when you will be able to hear a lot more about what is happening.

With every blessing,

 Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White

 

Update from Canon Andrew White

What next?

My Dear Friends,

Islamic State (IS) continues its rampage through Iraq. The US air force has done its best to attack their onslaught from the sky. In particular they have targeted preventing IS from reaching the Haditha Dam. The Dam generates power for much of the country and is only 150 miles from Baghdad. Destruction of this Dam would destroy much of Baghdad and this is what the US Air force has been trying to prevent.

Iraqi society continues its daily life despite great opposition, if you move to the North of the country things remain very different. There are still hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced People who have been forced to move from Mosul and Nineveh. A large number of these people are Christians. Our work supporting these people providing relief has been huge. We have provided food, medical care, wheel chairs, baby’s cots and much more. Even though Dr Sarah and I are not there at the moment we have left resources with the various Christian denominational leaders. It is not as good as being there ourselves but it is essential that I recover from my recent illness and carry out my forth-coming trip to the USA. This will be to Washington DC and Dallas Texas, more details will follow.

Once again we want to thank all those who have contributed so generously to our emergency appeal without your help we would not have survived at this most difficult of times. Please continue praying for us and for the long-term future of all those who have had to flee Mosul/Nineveh. Though all these people have lost everything they are convinced they will never return to their former home in Nineveh/Mosul under any circumstances, so they are left as totally poverty stricken refugees in their own land.

The next stage of our campaign is going to be far more complex as we try and ascertain what is going to happen to the communities long term, none want to stay and there is not a place for them all to go. Many who fled Baghdad are now returning, so in Baghdad we are facing the problem of have so many people crowded into each home without the sufficient funds to feed the people who have fled to them. So the crisis is nowhere near over and we still need your help. We know though that with G-d’s help we will continue and still cope and move forwards and upwards. Everybody says there is no future or hope but we know that there is, We just don’t know what it is yet but soon we will.

With every blessing,

 Canon Andrew White
Andrew White

Update from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,

As some of you may know I had to return to the UK early because I was suffering from Hepatitis B. I have just met with the doctor. He had problems finding the right Hepatologist for me to see. Then I suddenly remembered that my closest friend in life Malcolm, Josiah’s godfather, is a Consultant at Kings College Hospital, London. The top liver unit in the world. So I am going to see one of his colleagues tomorrow night. My doctor was very worried about my condition but at least I have found the right consultant thanks to Malcolm and I hope I will be on the road to recovery. The hardest thing that I am finding is having to rest. I am not very good at that even when I am feeling so ill.

Please pray that the healing hand of G-d will be upon me and that I will not infect any of those around me.

Blessings,

 Canon Andrew White

Update from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,

This is just a short update to tell you that ever since my treatment I have been feeling increasingly ill and after my treatment I did not improve. I had further tests this morning and a full liver function tests and it was revealed that I have active Hepatitis. As a result I am going to try and get home and do not think I will be able do my forthcoming America or Canada trips I am very sorry about this. I have just got to comply with the treatment I need. I am sorry if I have let you down.

 Canon Andrew White
Andrew

IN DEPTH CRISIS TIMELINE FROM AINA NEWS

AINA News
Timeline of ISIS in Iraq
Posted 2014-07-29 15:57 GMT
(AINA) — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the city of Mosul, Iraq on June 10. Almost immediately thereafter it began to drive Assyrians out of Mosul and destroy Christian and non-Sunni institutions.

  • There are no Assyrians/Christians remaining in Mosul, all have fled to the north, to Alqosh, Dohuk and other Assyrian villages.
  • All Christian institutions in Mosul (churches, monasteries and cemeteries), numbering 45, have been destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered (story).
  • All non-Sunni Muslim groups in Mosul — Shabaks, Yazidis and Turkmen — have been targeted by ISIS. Most have fled.
  • Water and electricity to the Nineveh Plain have been cut off by ISIS.
  • Mosul is now governed under Sharia law.
  • 200,000 Assyrian have fled from Baghdede (Qaraqosh), Bartella, Karamles and dozens of Assyrian villages and towns in the Nineveh Plain north of Mosul.
  • 150,000 Yazidis have fled from Sinjar and Zumar. 40,000 trapped on Shingal mountain. Thousands have died from exposure. Thousands have been killed by ISIS.

The following is a summary of the events that have unfolded in North Iraq.

  • August 30: 850,000 people displaced in 1 Month by ISIS (story).
  • August 30: Iraq Sunni rebels ready to fight Islamic State (story).
  • August 29: ISIS beheads Kurdish fighter (story).
  • August 29: Kurdish fighters recapture 7 villages in North Iraq (story).
  • August 27: Syriac Patriarch calls Islamic State actions ‘attempted genocide’ (story).
  • August 27: Iraqi Christians weigh taking up arms against the Islamic State (story).
  • August 26: UN Commission urges UN peacekeeping force for Nineveh Plain in North Iraq (story).
  • August 25: U.N. human rights chief condemns Islamic State crimes in Iraq (story).
  • August 25: Kurds advance on ISIS in Iraq (story).
  • August 25: ISIS abduct 3 year-old Assyrian girl from fleeing family; 3 starve to death (story).
  • August 22: Iraq voids real estate sales in ISIS controlled areas (story).
  • August 21: ISIS loots Assyrian homes, vandalizes churches in Mosul (story).
  • August 20: Helicopters drop leaflets over Mosul urging residents to fight ISIS (story).
  • August 20: Five Middle Eastern Patriarchs visit North Iraq in Solidarity with Christians (story).
  • August 20: Pictures show aftermath of ISIS looting, plundering Assyrian town (story).
  • August 20: ISIS halt Iraqi offensive to recapture Saddam’s home town (story).
  • August 19: UN launches new aid effort in north Iraq; Mosul dam recaptured (story).
  • August 18: ISIS forcefully circumcises Assyrian Christian men in Mosul, sells 700 Yazidi women (story).
  • August 18: ISIS kills more than 200 Yazidi men in the village of Kojo (story).
  • August 17: Kurdish militants train hundreds of Yazidis to fight ISIS (story).
  • August 17: Kurdish forces capture Telsqof, advance towards Mosul Dam (story).
  • August 14: ISIS orders all former Assyrian church guards to surrender their weapons (story).
  • August 13: ISIS forces child patients at the cancer hospital in Mosul to hold ISIS flags and then photographed them for propaganda purposes. ISIS completely loots and plunders all homes in the the Assyrian Christian towns of Telsqof and Bashiqa. 100,000 Yazidi refugees are now in the town of Khanak without food, water or shelter (story).
  • August 11: ISIS orders all families in Mosul to obtain approval before burying their dead. ISIS provides gasoline to Assyrians in Nineveh Plain to facilitate their departure. ISIS continues kidnapping women, with female ISIS members helping (story). Iraqi general says 70% of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar are dead (story).
  • August 9: ISIS forces all women in Mosul to wear the veil, including the full head cover. ISIS establishes black markets for goods to raise funds. (story).
  • August 8: Iraqi Parliament passes resolution accusing ISIS of genocide (story).
  • August 8: ISIS captures Baghdede Bartella and Karamlis and moves north into the Nineveh Plain, causing 200,000 Assyrians to flee their towns and villages (story).
  • August 7: Assyrian Patriarch Pleads to the United Nations on Crisis in Iraq (story).
  • August 6: Kurds and ISIS clash outside Baghdede; ISIS begins using Yazidis as human shields; All the Assyrians from the villages of Bartella, Bashiqa, Bahzany, Tel Kepe, Batnaya and Telsqof flee (story).
  • August 5: ISIS shells assyrian town, 1 killed; Yazidis in desperate state (story).
  • August 4: Leader of Iraq’s Yazidis issues distress call, appeals for help against ISIS (story).
  • August 4: Assyrians flee as ISIS approaches Assyrian villages in the Nineveh Plain (story).
  • August 2: ISIS Captures Yazidi towns, kills 2,000 Yazidis, causes 200,000 to flee (story).
  • August 2: ISIS loots 8 million dollars from Assyrian farms (story).
  • July 29: ISIS destroys or occupies all 45 Christian institutions in Mosul (story).
  • July 25: ISIS destroys the tomb of the Prophet Jonah (story).
  • July 22: ISIS and Kurds clash near Assyrian town, 2000 Assyrian families driven from Mosul (story).
  • July 19: ISIS plunders Assyrians as they Flee Mosul; families march 42 miles (story).
  • July 18: ISIS in Mosul marks Christian homes with the Arabic letter “N” (for the word Nasrani, which means Christian) (story).
  • July 17: ISIS issues statement ordering Christians to convert or die (story).
  • July 15: ISIS Stops Rations for Christians and Shiites in Mosul (story).
  • July 10: ISIS bars women from walking the streets unless accompanied by a male. Nearly all barber shops and womens’ salons are closed (story).
  • July 8: ISIS Removes Cross From Church in Mosul (story).
  • July 3: ISIS seizes the house of the Chaldean Patriarchate and the house of Dr. Tobia, a member of Hammurabi Human Rights Organization and an Advisor to the Governor of Nineveh on Minority Affairs and General Coordinator with International Organizations (story).
  • June 28: ISIS kidnaps two nuns and three Assyrian orphans. They are eventually released (story).
  • ISIS begins confiscating the homes of Christians and non-Sunni Muslims. ISIS rounds up many of the security agency members of the police and army in Sabrine Mosque and asks them to declare “repentance” and surrender their weapons and other military equipment. After doing so, all of the prisoners are tried and sentenced according to Sharia law and executed. ISIS has prevented delivery of government food rations to Tel Kepe and other areas not under their control (story).
  • June 26: Kurds Clash With ISIS Near Assyrian Town East of Mosul, forcing nearly 50,000 Assyrians to flee (story).
  • June 25: ISIS limits water from the plants in Mosul to one hour per day. Residents in surrounding areas are forced to dig wells (story).
  • June 23: ISIS Rape Christian Mother and Daughter, Kill 4 Christian Women for Not Wearing Veil (story).
  • June 21: ISIS begins imposing a poll tax (jizya) on Assyrians in Mosul (story), orders unmarried women to ‘Jihad by sex’ (story), destroys the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Church of the Highest in the neighborhood of AlShafa in Mosul, as well as the statue of Mullah Osman Al-Musali. Shiite Turkmen in the villages of AlKibba and Shraikhan flee after receiving threats from ISIS. ISIS arrests 25 village elders and young men who are Turkmen in the village of AlShamsiyat; their whereabouts is still unknown. (story) ISIS orders Christian, Yazidis and Shiite government employees not to report for work in Mosul (story).
  • June 19: ISIS destroys statue of the famous Arab poet Abu Tammam (story).
  • June 18: ISIS Cuts Off Water, Electricity, Destroys Churches (story).
  • June 15: Kurds attempt to remove an Assyrian council leader in Alqosh and replace him with a Kurd (story).
  • June 14: Assyrian, Yezidi and Shabak Villages come under Kurdish Control (story).
  • June 12: ISIS issues Islamic rules for Mosul (story).
  • June 10: ISIS captures Mosul, occupies the Assyrian village of Qaraqosh, enters the St. Behnam Monastery, bombs an Armenian church (story).
The article can be accessed at:

Update from Iraq – Canon Andrew White

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 of the biggest events in the churches 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 that they would follow Yesua but now they have decided themselves. I was able to give each of the children a mega-voice solar 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 other 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 few of the many things we are providing. Yesterday I heard an 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 him 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 Yesua. 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.

With every blessing from Baghdad,

 Canon Andrew White

We move Forward

Dear Friends,

How can I but thank you enough for your love, encouragement and support for us in Iraq. As many of you know the main way I communicate daily is through Facebook and once or twice a week through general Email Updates. It has been made clear to me several times lately that my email updates fail to mention a lot of what I am saying on Facebook so we are going to ensure that my email updates also include various FB updates. One such update is shown below.

It demonstrates the reality of the crisis here seen in one photo I felt I could not show here. Well over a thousand people, with over a thousand comments, shared this. The response has been phenomenal and so many people are asking how they can give. We are so grateful for the immense response there has been to the urgent needs of the Christians in the North. We will certainly continue doing our relief work in the North of Iraq supporting the Christians who have fled Mosul and Nineveh through the Iraqi established churches. We give thanks to G-d for all you have enabled us to do. We move forward and know we have just begun and know with your help and the Lord’s direction we will make great advances.

Today’s Pictures are too awful to show. You know I love to show photos but the photo I was sent today was the most awful I have ever seen. A family of 8 all shot through the face laying in a pool of blood with their Bible open on the couch. They would not convert it cost them there life. I thought of asking if anybody wanted to see the picture but it is just too awful to show to anybody. This is Iraq today. The only hope and consolation is that all these dear people are now all with Yesua in Glory

How Can You Help

  1. Pray for the protection of us and all Christians here.
  2. Pray for our Provision that we may be able to help all in need at this desperate time. People may give to our Foundation (FRRME) both in the US (a 501C3) and the UK (A Registered Charity) UK www.frrme.org & US www.frrmeamerica.org.
  3. Pray for our Perseverance that we and our people will not give up the spiritual fight before us.

With every blessing,

 Canon Andrew White

Additional Facebook posts:

Very Bad News Baghdad Airport Closed. (2nd August)

We have just had terrible news that Baghdad International Airport has been shut down because of security risks. Without it we cannot go North to do the relief work or even leave the country. Please pray that we can get out.

Baghdad Airport open but no RJ Flights (3rd August)

Baghdad International Airport is open the main airline Jordanian Airways is not flying in or out yet. RJ cannot therefore take us to Erbil or even take us out of Iraq. So we are stuck here. We got one flight to Erbil on Iraqi Air that was all they had so she will go to take the relief money North.

Middle East Update

"We think the crisis here cannot get worse and every day it does"

Dear Friends,

Everyday we think that the crisis here cannot get worse and every day it does. Yesterday over 1500 people were killed and the Islamic State (formally known as ISIS) simply said we can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza. In reality that is true Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here. It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares, that is apart from your our supporters who never leave us and keep supporting us in every way and to you I simply say thank you. Here are some of the awful pictures of yesterday. The situation is so serious and it is very easy to feel forgotten.

http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/sectarian-killings-by-islamists-in-iraq-pictures-posted-by-islamic-state/

So many of our people have left or are planning to leave. Even here in Baghdad people are terrified of what is happening around us. The I.S. has established their hidden cells within Baghdad and people are seriously under threat even though they are not in the areas controlled by the I.S. The number of kidnappings here has soared and people simply do not know what is going to happen next.

We are still involved in providing a lot of support for the Christians who have fled Mosul and Nineveh to the North but we are staying here as our archdeacon is coming and we are really looking forward to this. We cannot really believe he is willing to come into this but he is. The support we have raised is going to the various established churches and they are sharing what is most needed with their people.

Please continue to pray for us and support us in our crisis.

Blessings,

 Canon Andrew White

Who are my people

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Jerusalem. I am here for one day before I return to the UK to speak this weekend. Please see the details of where I will be listed opposite. We have had such an important visit here at a very important time. It is vital not to compare tragedies in a competition for who has the worst deal. The reality is that things are awful for all of the people of Israel, Palestine, Iraq and the Gaza at the moment. I love these people. I often refer to “My People”, so I want to explain what I mean by “My People”.

“My People”

Firstly, let me say what I do not mean. I am not only referring to those who are members of our church in Baghdad. We don’t have any church members as such; we have hundreds if not thousands who see themselves as part of our community. They are both Christians and Muslims. The Christians are of all different Christian denominations: Chaldean, Syrian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Assyrian-Ancient Church of the East Old and New Calendar, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian. Then there are a large number of our Church community who are not even Christian but Muslim, both Sunni and Shia. So, in reality, I see all these people as my people in Iraq. I would also include in my people all the members of the High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq (the HCRLI), which I direct; and there it is not even just Christians and Muslims, but also Mandeans, Yazeedis and Shabach. So, all these people are whom I would consider “My People” in Iraq.

Iraq is not the only place where I would consider that I have my people; fundamental to this group, I would also consider those I work with in Israel and Palestine. For the work of FRRME is not just St George’s Baghdad and Iraq. We are about working for peace throughout the Middle East, so Israel and Palestine is a major part of that. So here we are working intimately for peace amongst Jews, Christians and Muslims. This is also a vital part of our work. We are the only organisation that is working actively in both Iraq and Israel and this is the work that the Lord has called us to do. Despite the risks we will not stop doing it, because He who has called us will not fail us.

I am more aware than ever that we do indeed have a huge amount of work to do here, as well as in Iraq. We have been having intense meetings with senior Israeli Government officials, including with people who came directly from the Prime Minister. This afternoon we are meeting with the Foreign Minister and other senior government officials, for which I ask your prayers.

Meanwhile, things continue to be very difficult in Iraq. The Christians who have fled Mosul are still in grave danger and many of them are “My People”. Now that you know what I mean by my people, many come from Mosul/Nineveh. They would go back to their homes often in the summer, and had been caught up in the tragedy there and now cannot return. ISIS continues to control much of Iraq and though it may not have taken Baghdad yet, it does appear to have many so called “Hidden Cells” in Baghdad, which will reveal themselves at the right time. So your prayers are still much needed.

Blessings and Love,

 Canon Andrew White

Relief work in Northern Iraq

Dear Friends,

The attached pictures the reality of those who have fled the Nineveh/Mosul tragedy. Some of the small percentage of those who have fled have tents in the new refugee camps. Most just live in the open air mess. They have no water, no food no toilets and live in the open air stench. As we took them food and water there was almost a riot as people fought to get what little we had. However much we take is like nothing compared to the extent of the needs. We cannot even really call the places where these people are refugee camps because they are still in their own land. Formally you can call them IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) but there is not even the presence of the UNHCR. We are due to return to the UK next week and I feel desperate about leaving yet I know I have to if I am going to keep serving these people.

People have been so kind and generous, we have raised well over £100,000 to provide help and now we realise that barely touches the surface. Yesterday I was devastated by learning that Jonah’s grave and Shrine had been desecrated and smashed to pieces, the shrine of the most revered Iraqi prophet. The political crisis worsens including huge tensions between Kurdistan and Iraq proper. The infrastructure is far worse than even a week ago, the general terrorist activities continue throughout Iraq but we know you are with us and for that we thank G-d.

We had a very positive joint US and UK board meeting of our Foundation by telephone yesterday and there is very real concern about how we can get the Christians out if we need to, the real problem is that none of the surrounding countries will allow people in. Please pray that we will at least find a way to help our people if need be. Last night I sat down with our people at the prayer meeting and talked to them about the way forward and for the very first time these really committed people to Iraq said they wanted to leave, we are truly in desperate times. You cannot but think that soon and very soon we are indeed going to see the King. As we see the enormity of the tragedy around us we know for certain that we are in the last days. We are told in scripture that those last days will be so hard and indeed they are.

I like to at least have one positive thing to say in my update, well today I have two. Firstly Jesus is for sure coming soon and secondly there have been major developments in our stem cell work. As many of you know we developed ground breaking Stem Cell treatment here carried out by DR Abdle Majid. In our clinic we developed a major autologus stem cell treatment centre treating MS and other similar conditions. Dr Majid always had problems with the University Hospital accepting what he was doing. Well he has now been made the medical director of one of the other major hospitals in Baghdad. They are very excited about the Stem cell work and want to develop our McQuarrie Gray Clinic further and develop the treatment so that we can even cultivate the stem cells, this will be totally revolutionary and for this we give G-d all the glory.

On a final note you will know that my main way of communicating has been through Facebook all Internet connection was blocked by the Iraqi Government. We eventually managed to find a very expensive way to reconnect with the Internet that we can now do but Facebook has now totally disappeared from the Internet so once again big problems but we thank G-d that we are at least alive when so many here are no longer.

Blessings from Iraq,
Canon Andrew White

Pages: 1 2 3 9
Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Canon Andrew's PA in Baghdad
Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Make a donation NOW Host Canon Andrew Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Signup to receive our e-newsletter

Archives