Thank you to our wonderful supporters!

Our ability to help St George’s had been seriously affected by the lack of funds last week. However, the response to Canon Andrew and FRRME’s appeal has been overwhelming and a great blessing. Canon Andrew writes:

‘Thank you my dear friends for your response to my crisis appeal for help the other day. The reaction has been phenomenal and we are now totally out of our crisis. When I return to Baghdad I know now that we will have money and food for next month and Christmas. I simply cannot thank you enough for your love. Thank you Jesus for the love of your people.’

Your support is much appreciated, and helps make a genuine and lasting difference in the lives of those FRRME assist, particularly at St George’s Church in Iraq.

If you are not already a standing order giver, we would ask you to prayerfully consider regular giving in this form. Regular monthly giving enables families to be fed weekly, medical support and supplies remain available to all in need and vital reconciliation work to continue. If you would like more information on standing order giving, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the FRRME office on 01730 267673.

Many thanks

Canon Andrew and the teams at St George’s Baghdad and the FRRME office.

Make a Donation NOW

Update from David Post after completing the “Long Bike Ride”

Yes, it’s me, David Post, safely home at last – spot on time, 6.00pm Saturday June 30th. I want first to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement as you have been following my route on the map. Knowing that you were all rooting for me gave me greater incentive to complete the course.

It has been a fantastically enjoyable, challenging and satisfying journey, and I am so thankful that this time I have been free of the polymyalgia which hampered me so much before. I have been able to sleep well each and every night – a great blessing indeed – and the Rest Days I built into the programme have been extremely beneficial.

In the coming weeks I am hoping to write another booklet, giving a full account of my experiences on this bike ride. But for now here is a summary of my reflections a few days after completing it.

Delights

Personal health and fitness, as mentioned above, has been fundamental, and I have been constantly thanking the Lord on the way round that I was able to keep cycling without night-time pain.

Then it has been such a pleasure to link up with a number of friends who at several points gave me their gracious and welcome hospitality – including Dr. Robert and Mrs. Margaret Jordan in Northern Ireland, 47 years since we last met.

All the way round I have met and talked with people who showed great interest in my ride. Our conversations usually began with “Where have you come from, and where are you going to next?” After answering those questions about me and my bike ride, the next question “Why?” opened the way to telling them as much as possible about the wonderful Christians of St. George’s Baghdad, the food-aid programme, and the free medical and dental treatment given to all who come to the clinic irrespective of their religion or politics. All this work is funded from private donations only, which is the reason for my sponsored bike ride. I also tell them of Canon Andrew White’s amazingly effective peace-making work. Some of them have given me a donation there and then, but many have taken my leaflets with details for giving on-line. Sometimes the conversation has then moved on to questions about the joyful faith of St. George’s Christians, who have suffered so tragically and constantly face danger. I have then been able to explain that true Christian faith is not merely head knowledge about Jesus, but rather heart experience of knowing Jesus Himself with us and within us.

Besides these individual conversations, I have also had opportunity to give talks, both about the bike ride and about St. George’s, briefly at St. Martin’s Drumbeg in Northern Ireland, more fully at a Home Meeting at Philip and Judith Jenning’s house in Ripon, at a Coffee Evening at my former parish of Wheldrake near York, and finally at a Welcome Home gathering at my home Church Middle Rasen. At all of these I have been warmly and generously received, which has given me great joy.

Difficulties

The constant north-east winds, which have persisted all this year in Scotland, they tell me, were generally against me all the way to the north of Shetland; but I didn’t complain in prayer this time, and my new Dawes Vantage bicycle seemed to cope better with head winds.

Parts of the Cycle Route 1 which I was following make use of old railway tracks. Some parts of these have been surfaced with tarmac, but others are just hard-core. The old track between Scarborough and Whitby is particularly badly eroded and took me much longer than I had expected.

I didn’t find it easy following the trail in cities like Middlesborough, and in Stockton I missed a vital sign pointing right and got hopelessly lost. People gave me differing advice, and I realised how lost I was when I passed the same Snacks Van as I had passed an hour earlier!

Diversions

At a B.&B. in Lairg on June 7th, I heard the weather forecast – very strong north-north-easterly winds and torrential rain for the next day. I had planned to do 80 miles that day, half of it due north to Tongue, then the rest eastward to Thurso. I was very anxious that on that second stretch the gale would be blowing me into the traffic, so instead I took the train from Lairg to Thurso.

By the time I reached Durness SY Hostel, my back tyre was badly worn down with carrying the full weight of the panniers as well as me, so Nick, a fellow hostelling cyclist, changed the better front tyre to the back and the worn one to the front. He advised me to get a new tyre fitted when I reached Oban. So realising that the ferry from Lochboisdale to Oban, arriving at 14.05, would not leave me time to change my tyre, do a few other things in Oban, and then cycle 80 miles to Dunoon, I cancelled that booking, and instead took the 18.11 Oban to Glasgow train, booked in at Adelaides (Baptist Church B.&B.) in Glasgow, then the Glasgow to Stranraer train, in order to catch a ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast, and thus be on schedule to spend the weekend with my “long-lost” friends at Drumbeg. These two diversions resulted in my final total of cycling miles being 1,900 – a little less than planned.

Challenges

Of course the many long or steep hills of Scotland and the Pennines are always challenging. But undoubtedly the greatest challenge was to pedal up the long hill on Hirta, St. Kilda, from sea level to the radar station at the top of the mountain. I nearly shirked it, but Angus Mackay of Kilda Cruises encouraged me to have a go at it, assuring me that the track was surfaced with tarmac, not rough hardcore. They had told me it is the steepest hill in the whole of the UK. I laughed, thinking they were just having me on. But now I believe them!! It was the most difficult hill I have ever tackled. However, I did manage to pedal all the way up, but with umpteen stops for breath.

I knew the ride on Wednesday June 7th from Kirtlebridge to Ripon, 115 miles crossing the Pennines, to arrive in time to speak at my friends’ Home Meeting, would be a tough call. But by the time I reached Richmond at 6.45pm after 90miles, with 25 hilly miles still to go, I had little hope of getting there before the end of the meeting. But as I was racing past the Station Hotel in Richmond, I heard a shout, “Dad! Dad!!”

I looked round , and there was my daughter Helen, with the car – and the family puppy, Lily. Sensing that I might be in some difficulty, she had conspired with my friends, Judith and Philip, to intercept me and get me to the meeting in time. I need hardly say that I did not refuse her kind and caring offer. It was such a surprise and delight to see her there – and Lily, who went ballistic at seeing me after five weeks away! So I was after all able to speak at the Home Meeting, where I was very warmly received. After a further rest day, it was a short ride to my former parish, Wheldrake, near York, where I enjoyed another warm reception to speak at a Coffee Evening. Then after arriving home the following evening and enjoying a family reunion supper, the next day, Sunday, I took two Communion services in the morning, and then in the afternoon at a Welcome Home Spotlight Tea I gave a hastily prepared talk about the bike ride illustrated with some of my photographs. Sounds like “business as usual” – immediately!

That’s all for now, friends. I’ll tell you how the giving’s going in two weeks or so.

DCWP

You can still make a donation through David’s fundraising page on Just Giving.  We are so grateful to David and to everyone that has supported him in prayer and financially.  Thank you!

The last stretch – update on David’s Long Bike Ride

David Post’s daughter Helen has sent us this update on his cycling marathon as he starts his final leg back home today (30 June)…

David Post Cycle Ride

Just a quick update: I intercepted Dad in Richmond, just north of Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire on Wednesday when I had a hunch he would be exhausted after his 90 mile ride thus far. I knew he wanted make it to Ripon for the 7.30 pm house group meeting at some friends to share his story. He arrived in Richmond at 7 pm, 25 miles and at least 6 huge hills away from Ripon. I had to shout to stop him though – he came whizzing down the hill at breakneck speed! He was so surprised to see me, and our puppy, accompanying me for the day out, couldn’t contain herself – she wrapped him up in her lead in case he tried to escape! Putting the bike and Dad’s luggage in the back of the car, we made it to the meeting for 8 pm. Dad then stayed in Ripon for two nights before cycling on to Wheldrake to spend his last night away from home with friends on Friday. He aims to arrive back in Middle Rasen by 6 pm on Saturday, then straight back to work on Sunday morning preaching.

Thanks to all who have supported him along the way – there will be more gratitude and further details on the blog by Tuesday. Thank you for all your encouragement. We all hope this venture has raised many funds and much awareness.

Every blessing

Helen


You can still make a donation to FRRME and show your support for David’s wonderful efforts by going straight to David’s fundraising page on JustGiving.

“The Long Bike Ride”

david-post-long-bike-ride-for-st-georges-church-baghdad

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.

 

Prayers for healing

After being in the Middle East several weeks I am about to return home. I am desperate to see Caroline and the boys. It has been a very difficult trip not least because of being so ill. The situation with the renal stones flared up and for the first time ever I passed out whilst preaching at the US Embassy. I came round and managed to finish my sermon and then was taken directly to the Embassy Hospital where it was discovered that my renal function was very poor and I was very dehydrated. Once I had treatment at the Embassy and St George’s Clinic I improved somewhat. It was another 5 days before the stones passed and then the pain stopped.

Thank you to for your prayers for healing. read on

June Prayer Calendar

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June 2012 Prayer Calendar

David Post rides for St George’s – again!

Retired vicar David Post rides again for St George's Baghdad in 2012

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!

The route for David Post's 2012 bike ride for St George's

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

Our Norfolk Trip

Dear Friends,

Andrew, and I have just returned from an incredible time in Norfolk this weekend and we wanted to tell you a little about our trip.

In NorwichFirstly, we hadn’t quite anticipated the welcome we would receive. The people of Norwich were fabulous hosts. However, our first port of call was not with the people of Norwich or the folk of East Anglia, nor even the people of the United Kingdom. But rather a ‘date’ with the Americans.

Andrew was invited to RAF Lakenheath (actually a US Airforce base) to talk to a chapel full of American Servicemen and women and then to some of their young people over dinner. General Dannatt, the former Chief of the British Army and some British Army chaplains were there too. We had such great time.

On Sunday, after a telephone interview with BBC Radio Norfolk, we visited Holy Trinity Church. They hosted us brilliantly and in fact nearly bought us out of our entire stock of books. This left us concerned that we would not have any left for the remainder of our stay. But thank you Holy Trinity.

We also spent a fantastic evening of worship with Norwich Family Life Church, where Andrew shared some prophetic words with the congregation and the leadership. These words were incredible confirmation of their plans to re-establish their church in a new location.

A Lecture to Jews and Christians

Picture from Eastern Daily PressMonday was a day spent at the fantastic, beautiful structure of Norwich Cathedral. Here Andrew spoke to many clergy and laymen from Norfolk. On Monday evening Andrew delivered the Annual CCJ Buber lecture on Judaism, to a Christian and Jewish audience in the crowded Cathedral. I became a little concerned when after the lecture Andrew was offered a job by the leader of the Norwich Synagogue….. as the next leader of Norwich Synagogue. Now, Andrew is a keen Hebrew Scholar and for half a second he looked like he may be seriously mulling over idea – but nothing would ever drag Andrew away from his people in Baghdad!

Your Help has Been Incredible

We were so touched by the generosity of all we met, especially as we have had such cash-flow issues recently. Thank you so much for all your support to us, especially in last few weeks. Your prayers and your donations have really made a difference and we find ourselves in a far healthier position, thanks to you.

Would you consider joining us in our Easter Appeal? We really want to encourage as many of our supporters as possible to donate with a standing order. This gives us a stable income upon which we can plan. We can use it especially to pay for the salaries of our Iraqi staff such as our doctors in our Baghdad clinic. They spend their time and energy caring for the sick, often risking their own lives to travel to St George’s in the heart of Baghdad. We are committed to supporting them and you can be too. A small donation of £5 per month will pay for a patient to have a monthly doctor’s appointment or a one-off £100 donation will fund one of our medical staff for a month.

Blessings on behalf of Andrew and I. But thank you to the people of Norfolk, the USA and the churches around Norwich for making us so welcome.

Blessing, Grace and Peace to you,

Nick ……on behalf of Andrew


Other photographs courtesy of the Norwich and Norfolk Christian Community website.

“I have no money and no work but St George’s, they help me”

You may have already picked up from our office and my Facebook posts that we are in urgent need of money to support our projects.

At the time of writing we may not be able to even pay for our relief or even our Iraqi staff this coming month. We want to continue to help people like Abu Youseff.

Here is his story.

Abu Youssef Romain from Habania, IraqAbu Youseff Romain is a 50 year old Christian from a town called Habinia,1 hour east of Baghdad. He is married to Suzanne and they have a son called Youseff and he has lived in Habinia all his life. Persecution and economic hardship have forced many of Habinia’s Christians to leave for the relative safety of Kurdistan or other surrounding countries such as Syria and Jordan.

Of the 175 Christian families in Habinia before 2003, Abu Youseff’s is the only one left. He has stayed in the town where he was born and is now Habinia’s only Christian. He single-handedly maintains the town’s two churches, even though they both stand empty.

Staff at St Georges’ heard of Abu Youseff when a local newspaper wrote an article about him, and they went to find him to see if they could support him in any way. Abu Youseff now travels to Baghdad every two months to receive financial and medical help from the team at St George’s. His wife needs delicate throat treatment and he is also able to receive free medicine for her.

Abu Youseff still tends to the churches in the hope that one day they will be full again. In the meantime he is able to have a secure livelihood thanks to the work of the staff at St George’s Church.

How can you help?

We can only continue to help Abu Youseff with your help. So I am asking if you would consider doing two things for us:

Firstly, and most importantly, can you pray for us? With prayer we can do everything the Lord has called us to do. We believe prayer unlocks provision and makes our resources go much further. Prayer makes the miraculous happen. We have been a church of miracles and continue to experience them. Maybe you already pray for us, but if not perhaps you can spare some of your valuable time to do so.

Pray for us

Secondly, We are working to have a more regular and reliable cash flow so we can better plan our projects. We can begin do this easily if our supporters are able to donate regularly with a standing order. Regular income means we can tell our clinic patients and the 800 or so Iraqi families who receive our vital food aid every month that they can continue to rely upon us for treatment and their essential groceries. If you can give regularly please do it now. If regular giving does not suit you then of course, a one-off donation is incredibly valuable to us too.

Make a donation NOW

Thank you for taking the time to read this. You are really blessing so many by being a supporter of this work.

Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad

Andrew

 

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