Dear Friends at FRRME,
I thought I would just drop you a note to thank you all for your prayers, and to let you know that these first 3 weeks of the bike ride have been going well. I had head wind most of the way up north, especially the last day from Lerwick to Saxa Vord at the northernmost part of the Shetland. It was very strong, and I was really shattered by the time I arrived. I was really glad of the rest day the next day.
Now I am at Durness, with just two weeks to go, a bit tired, but still enjoying it – especially as the wind is now generally behind me. The day I returned from SV to Lerwick was marvellous – I’ve never done so much freewheeling in one day before! It made such a change from having to pedal downhill!
I’ve been giving out my leaflets (and yours) about St George’s to many people, including some from America, Germany, Switzerland and Australia, as well as the UK. A number of them have said they would photocopy my leaflet/letter and pass it round their friends or churches. So I hope you will find this results in many donations coming in.
I hope all is going well with you, and of course all at St George’s.
Every blessing and love to you all
Retired vicar David Post started his “Long Bike Ride” around the Hebrides and Northern Ireland (from his home in Market Rasen) to raise money for St George’s Church and Clinic on 24 May.
David’s family have started a blog about the ride and we encourage you to visit http://bike4baghdad.tumblr.com/ to stay up to date with David’s progress. Please visit the blog and add your support for this amazing effort.
You can make a donation to FRRME and show your support for David’s wonderful efforts by going straight to David’s fundraising page on JustGiving.
We will keep you up to date as we hear from David and his family.
David on his bike during his 2010 ride
Last year David Post, retired vicar from Market Rasen, raised an amazing £11,219 through a sponsored cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats from his home in Middle Rasen in Lincolnshire. We were so blessed with David’s ambition and enthusiasm and are pleased (and somewhat shocked!) that David wants to tackle another mammoth journey this year. He is planning to cycle from Lincolnshire to the Shetland Islands, round the Outer Hebrides and back down to his home in the village of Middle Rasen – a breath-taking 2,000 miles.
David himself says ‘ Yes, I know! I said “Never again!” – after my Middle Rasen to Land’s End to John O’Groats and back to Middle Rasen bike ride in 2010 had to be cut short on the way back at Inverness. But you know how it is! You recover. You start cycling again, and before long, your mind gets planning again, and – well, that’s what happened to me.
The urge to support the continuing need at St. George’s, Baghdad is as strong as ever, and I feel ready to have a crack at something as long, but different. So this time my target will be £12,000. It is a huge amount to raise. But I believe we can reach it!
David's 2012 route
I would particularly appreciate your prayers for me every day of my journey, for my safety and health, and perseverance to keep going when it’s really tough, and that I may be able to tell people about St.George’s. The map in this post shows you where I should be each night. ‘
If you would like to sponsor David you can do so by sending a cheque made payable to FRRME (David Post’s Bike-ride) us at PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL in the UK – or you can donate via PayPal by simply clicking the PayPal button below and then email us to let us know that your donation is to be counted towards David’s total.
Good luck David!
Click on the button to make a donation NOW
Channel 4 in the UK recently aired this programme in their ‘Unreported World’ Series on the Baghdad Bomb squad. This is both very interesting viewing and a painful insight into the realities of life for the people in Baghdad.
Car bomb in Samarra (Reuters)
As a Brit. who lives and works in Iraq and have done for many years, this is the very best article I have ever read on the reality of the situation here.
Iraq: Now We Must Learn Our Lesson (Middle East Online)
This story needs to be heard.
We feel forgotten.
Nick & Ramsi
A World of Extremes and Laughter
Baghdad is a world of extremes. I now sit yards from St George’s Church. The minute I walk inside its walls and focus on Jesus, I find I am nearly in tears; God’s presence can be felt so strongly here. From that place of peace, to just across the city where on Sunday, a massive suicide car bomb was detonated outside the Police Academy. We were completely unaware until we looked at the BBC News the next day! Several were killed. Their body parts strewn everywhere. People can go from peace to extreme violence in the space of a few city blocks.
I have met with many in St George’s. They are a passionate and committed community full of hope. I love their outlook, their humour and healthy cynicism. As we drove through the city this morning a new building was pointed out to me. I thought, “Perhaps this reconstruction is a symbol of progress?” As if reading my mind one of the staff immediately answered me, “Ha, a new building. Nick, you know what happens when they put up a new building?” I said that I didn’t. “Someone comes and tries to blow it up. Just because!” Ironically we laughed at this absurd situation, two steps forward and one step back.
Of course wanton violence is part of the picture here. But it is only a ‘part’ of the picture. God is painting His parts too. For instance, I went to a home for children today with severe physical handicaps and learning disabilities who were cared for by ladies who have left everything to devote themselves to these little ones. I have spoken to a young Muslim man who is getting to know Jesus here at St George’s. I spoke with Lana, a Kindergarten teacher, who has asked if you would pray for the political situation to stabilise. Why? So the Kindergarten children in St George’s can have a future in Iraq. So with your prayers we can build a future for Iraq and paint a very different picture for God.
Just three more things: On Sunday I saw our food aid distributed to several hundred families. On Monday I saw a tooth extracted in the clinic – ouch. Finally and thirdly, today I decided to look with the eyes of faith. I saw signs of not just hope, but laughter and humour. I see God laughing. I see him laughing at his enemies: laughing at the wanton violence, laughing at those who kill their countrymen in the name of some other god. Through the acts of love and hope I see our God’s laughter is moving through the people of St Georges and God is winning in Iraq.
With love from Nick
THE IRAQI SOCIETY OF ISLAMIC SCIENTISTS FATWA
In the name of God the Merciful.
Under the conditions experienced by Iraqis and many Middle Eastern people at the present time and in the light of the increase in the level of Iraqi sectarian violence and the volatile situation, we believe that the deteriorating political condition calls upon us as Sunni religious scholars to together as a group to issue a Fatwa.
We wish to declare the sanctity of all Iraqi blood wether Shia, Sunni or Christian. We call for a mechanism to educate the Iraqi Society in order to renounce all sectarian violence and instead create an environment of cooperation with civil society organizations and institutions of civil jurisdiction so not to allow our people in Iraq to divide into sectarian conflicts. We must work towards national unity amongst all Muslims (Sunni and Shia) and Christians; we all have the duty and right to live together in unity in our country Iraq.
Dr Sheikh Khaled Abdul-Wahab Mullah, Leader, Sunni Cleric Baghdad & Basrah
Shekh Saadi Mehdi Qutaiba Alindaoui, Sunni Leader Al Anbar
Sheikh Maher Al Jubori, Sunni Cleric Fullujah
Dr Sheikh Kubaisi Jalal, Sunni Cleric Rammadi
Sheikh Marwan Al Araji, Sunni Cleric Baghdad
Sheikh Hasham Al Dulami, Sunni Cleric Fullujah