Update from Iraq 23 January

Canon Andrew, Ayatollah Al Sader and Paul White

Canon Andrew, Ayatollah Al Sader and Paul White

Dear Friends,

As we prepare for our forthcoming meeting things are really becoming very intense, though I am sorry that we cannot go into the precise details about what is happening and why. Yesterday we had one of the most amazing statements by an Ayatollah that I have ever heard. This is what he said: Shia Ayatollah says we must love and support Israel

We have just had a three hour meeting with one of the Ayatollah’s. These were his words: ‘We as the Shia must love the Jews we as the Shia must love and support Israel, people must tell the Shia that without Israel we have no future’. He is not saying he agrees with everything Israel does but he is saying that Israel is the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.

So as things continue here I simply ask that you pray for G-d’s wisdom for us; we sure do need it.


Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad

Suffering & Glory

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Baghdad in the name of the Almighty.

Today I started writing my new book called “Suffering and Glory”. It is a topic that is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. Romans 8:17 says, “We share in His suffering that we may also share in His Glory”. If I were to sum up this past weekend it has indeed been a time of intense suffering and glory. There have been moments when I have felt so ill physically and so emotionally down that I have very unusually wondered how I could go on. Then the bombings have been so terrible 10 on Saturday morning alone. Scores killed and hundreds injured. The media rarely reports what is happening here now because it is such old news. In the midst of all this we have our services. In the US Embassy on Saturday morning we had our usual time of prayer requests and thanksgiving. My Iraqi adopted daughter Lina spoke up saying. “I just want to thank G-d that He has provided for me so much that I literally need nothing”. Lina was saying this living in the midst of war and terror. I was so challenged by this that it has continually rang through my ears ever since.

Despite my limitations and weakness I have seen G-d’s might and majesty. Despite being surrounded by horror and living with such weakness I am more aware than ever of the might of the Lord and his miraculous power are radically working through our work. What we are doing now is only part of what we are called to do. I know that G-D is calling us to recommence our work in ISRAEL. We are also being asked by the most senior Islamic leaders in SYRIA to go with the top Iraqi Muslim leaders to try and work for peace there where everything else has failed.

Having prayed much about these I feel that it is right. I know that the Lord will make my strength perfect in weakness. To do this work we need to raise a lot of extra money. Not for our wonderful church in Baghdad but for Israel and Syria. Please may I beg you to come and stand with us in G-d’s own land of the Holy One and in war torn Syria. Together we can take the miraculous power of G-d with us to these places.

We have a registered charity in the UK and a 5o1C3 in the USA. You can give and make contact with both these organisation through their websites www.frrme.org and www.frrmeAmerica.org and say what you want the support to go towards.

Thank you for your help my friends, together we will move forward.

Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad

The Isaiah 19 Highway Tour

Dear friends,

As some of you will know from Canon Andrew’s posts on Facebook we are moving forward with plans for the most amazing, scriptural tour of the Isaiah 19 Highway.

The Isaiah 19 Highway Tour will take you to each of the lands mentioned in Isaiah 19. We will go to Israel, visiting the Galilee, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Then it will be off to Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments from G-d in Egypt, before travelling back through Israel. There will then be the option to return to the UK or USA, or to travel on to do the truly unique part of the trip, visiting Assyria (Iraq) – here is where the glory really is and all will be explained.

For more information about the tour, dates and costs – and to register your interest – please just click on the button below.

The Isaiah 19 Highway Tour

An inspirational day… and back to Baghdad

Rabbi Michael Melchior.

Rabbi Michael Melchior. Photo: AJN file/Peter Haskin

Yesterday was inspirational. The day started with an amazing meeting with my long time friend Rabbi Michael Melchior who was over from Israel for a very important reason. What is essential is that I must get back to working in Israel. I have not been there for a long time but will start again in May going most months. There is so much to do and we are really needed. It can now be done without diminishing our work in Iraq. We really need your prayers though not least so that we can get the funding to restart the work in Israel. We obviously cannot use the funding given for Iraq. So please pray that the funds will be forthcoming. read on

The Name of the Holy One

Every few months I write explaining why I never write the full name of G-d. So today I thought I would again give the reason.I hold to this practice because in essence once I finished my medical days I became a student of Judaism. I had loved Judaism since I was a child and when I got to Cambridge after my basic Christian theology it was Judaism that became my main focus of academic interest.

For part of my time at Cambridge I went and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. That was a good but a rather liberal place. I became increasingly close to the Ultra Orthodox and ended up spending time studying at the Ultra Orthodox seminary/Yeshiva in Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. It turned out to be the most significant thing I have done in my life apart from marrying the best wife in the world.

It was here that I learned that the name of the Holy One was so awesome and so mighty that it could never be fully written in Hebrew. A letter would always be left out. Though the injunction really applied to the Hebrew, nobody I was with would write the name of the Almighty in English either!

To this day I find it so difficult hearing Christians singing and mentioning the name of G-d. The Holy name that was mentioned only once a year by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, at the very heart of Judaism is the might, wonder and holiness of the Almighty. There is no room for flippancy only awe and wonder. Every time I write the name of G-d I am full of the same awe.

It is no mistake that in modern Hebrew today (Ivrit) G-d is referred to as Ha Shem which literally means the NAME. It is indeed the way that our Lord Jesus mentioned the Lord at the beginning of the Lords Prayer. Holy Be THE Name. His name is higher than any other. Thus the name of the Almighty is so Holy and mighty that I do not and cannot write it in full.

So this is why I only write G-d. I know I do not have to do this but it is out of total honour, reverence and praise to the ONE WHO WAS, AND IS AND IS TO COME. What the very name of G-d means. Though I spend much of my time now in Iraq I still love Judaism and Israel. I will never forget the words of our Lord to Abram, Abraham, Ibrahaim, Avraham, as he left Iraq. “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”. This is indeed a promise to Abraham and his seed forever. An injunction to all to love the people of Israel and I always will!

By the time you read this I will be back in England with my curate Faiz and his wife Nawal who heads our Mothers Union. Also with us is my Lina. So we will have a busy and active few days seeing everybody from the Archbishop of Canterbury down.

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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