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 29 April 2013

Dear Friends,

Today I must confess I started work at 01.30 but I had had 3 hours sleep so managed. I had two miraculous answers to prayer, but the one not yet answered I confess was causing me great anguish. It is always an issue that causes me great pain even though I know the Lord always provides. It is simply the issue of money. Not being able to provide for my family, staff or church always causes me great anguish even though I know our Lord always provides.

I left Baghdad at 7.30 am this morning because I was returning to England via Turkey. The stop over in Turkey is about 7 hours and is usually very monotonous but not this time. I met with some of our many people now living in Turkey. I married two of our people and baptised a baby. Most of our people live a long way from a church or city. They travelled ten hours today so they could meet me near the airport. After yesterdays pain of people leaving it was good to have a day of joy amongst those who have left.

I did not make clear yesterday in my Facebook posts that despite so many people leaving us the church has not shrunk in size we have been joined by so many people from other places and this includes several hundred Muslims, so we still do have much to give thanks for. This week will mainly be spent in a variety of meetings, beginning tomorrow with our board meeting at the house of Lords. We still urgently need your prayers that we will have enough funds to function properly in Baghdad next month. At the moment we not even have enough for the Clinic to function next month. So please do pray for our third miracle.

Blessings and love,

Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad
Andrew

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
Andrew

A message for Christmas

Dear Friends,

At this time of the year we give thanks to the Almighty, that He sent His Son, the Prince of Peace, to this region of the Middle East. This past year the Middle East has been much in the news, not least because of the terrible situation in Syria. Many of the Christians from Iraq had fled to Syria for safety. Now so many of them have come back as refugees from their once safe place of refuge. Syria itself has a considerable number of Christians, who are very much suffering along with the other people of that land.

Images from BaghdadThe sad fact is that despite Iraq no longer being a major focus in the news, the problems remain. The Christians still live under threat and danger. There are still daily indiscriminate bombs and violent attacks. Our people still live in extreme poverty and the church continue to provide their food care and many other needs. Once upon a time we had 1.5 million Christians here. Today there is estimated to be only 200,000. Despite this, our The Prince of Peace Banner in St George's Baghdadchurch has continued to grow. We have over 4,000 Christians and 500 plus Muslims, most of whom are women. I would love to show you a picture of them, but this I simply cannot do.

We thank you for your support for our wonderful work.

Despite all the violence and tragedy around us, this place of worship continues to be one of the happiest places I have ever known. This has been a particular time of great rejoicing as Bishop Justin Welby was selected as the Future Archbishop of Canterbury. Not only were we Directors of the International Centre of Reconciliation together, it was he who re-opened St George’s Baghdad with me in 2003. A small picture from that great event is in the large picture (click for a bigger image). There is also a picture underneath of the great rejoicing that took place at Church on Sunday. Our prayer is that G-d will richly bless Bishop Justin his wife Caroline and their family as they take on this major new role. We know that the whole Anglican Church will be greatly blessed by his appointment.

Our prayer is that you will have a truly blessed and happy Christmas, and we thank you for your support for our wonderful work. Not only are we running the biggest Church and Clinic in Baghdad, treating on average of 150 patients a day, we continue to be at the forefront of reconciliation between the religious and political leaders in Iraq.

We give thanks to the Almighty for what he enables us to do. Please will you continue to support us? The second picture in this post is of our major Prince of Peace banner in the Church. May you know the presence of the Prince of Peace at this time.

We continue to invest our hearts and bodies in this work. We are committed to it and passionate about it. But please pray for us; we need it.

And if you feel able to give, that would be appreciated too, whether as a one-off donation or standing order. Regular giving by standing order enables us to plan for the future and to be more strategic in how we use your gift. You can make a donation right now by just clicking HERE.

You may also like to purchase a gift from our online shop for friends or family this Christmas – this helps us too and also shares the Good News of what is going on at St George’s.

  • A standing order of £35 per month could feed an Iraqi Christian family.
  • A one-off gift of £75 would pay the weekly cost of one of our nurses.
  • A one-off gift of £400 could pay a doctor’s salary for a month.

‘Abouna, Abouna, I saw Jesus walking with us’.

Finally, I want to tell you what I consider to be the greatest story this year. You will remember that our young people returning from their first communion class had their bus blown up not once, but twice. The following week was their first communion. At the back of the church, I said to the children to be very careful walking down the aisle, as Jesus might be walking down with them. After the service one little boy Yusif came running up to me saying “Abouna, Abouna, I saw Jesus walking with us”‘. I asked Yusif how he knew it was Jesus. “Ah” he said “He was with us on the bus when it was blown up the other day”. As we say at every service, the Lord is here and His Spirit is with us.

May you know the presence of the Lord this Christmas.
With Love, Peace and Blessings,
Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad
Andrew

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.

Celebrations & Setbacks

Dear Friends,

Greetings and blessings from Baghdad. I am usually very positive when I write from Iraq because I just love it here so much. This last week though has been so difficult, as we have been under huge spiritual opposition. It has been a very difficult time for Faiz and me. Added to this, Faiz has been in hospital in the North and, although he is now back, he is in great pain.

I felt that yesterday we had a big breakthrough when we really realized what was happening. Whenever the Lord is working in power there is much opposition from the devil. Through our G-d we know that we shall act valiantly and that we will win. I JUST PRAISE G-D FOR FAIZ AND OUR TEAM HERE, BUT please do pray for us. We need it. read on

News from David on “the long bike ride”

Update on the long bike rideDear 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

David Post

“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.

 

June Prayer Calendar

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June 2012 Prayer Calendar

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