At the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr in Atlanta

Inaction has consequences!

Last week, we were in Georgia to raise money for Iraq’s persecuted Christians. While there, I was able to visit the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr in Atlanta. This was the final stop of the tour.

We also visited The Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was the preacher and where his funeral was held. When we entered, they had a sermon of his playing on the speakers with the congregation calling out in response. If you closed your eyes… you were there. It was very moving.

In the King Center many of his words were laid out in various displays. One stood out for me. In his final speech before he was assassinated, he talked in his melodic voice of The Parable of the Good Samaritan. He concluded:

“The question is not – if I stop to help this man what will happen to me? The question is – if I do not stop to help this man what will happen to him?

Helping our neighbour

These words struck a chord with me. In our tour of churches I had mentioned the story of the Good Samaritan several times. I also shared my take on it. We all know that there is much suffering in our world. In the past I’ve worked for charities which sought to help drug addicts, the homeless, dementia sufferers and soldiers who have lost limbs. The amount of need in our world can be overwhelming. To me, one thing Jesus wanted to get across was that we should respond in compassion and practical help when we come across suffering. We cannot solve the world’s problems but we can help our neighbour and those we come across on the road of life.

Above all, as a charity working on the frontline in Iraq, we ask ourselves this question: ‘What will happen to these people if we do nothing?’

Being interviewed on Fox local television in Georgia

Georgians come to the aid of Iraqi Christians

As Christians and as human beings faith and empathy should guide us to help those in need. However, many Christian leaders in the West have ignored the suffering of Christians in the Middle East. When we were in Georgia, the British government publicly acknowledged they had not done enough to help. You can read more about this in last week’s e-newsletter here. That is why we have gone directly to churches for funding – so far, it is fellow Christians who support our vital work in Iraq and Jordan.

Christopher Segar (Trustee) and I gave talks over the course of one week in different churches and venues across Georgia. These included Peachtree City Christian Church, Cascade Hills Church (Baptist) and numerous Methodist churches including our hosts Martha Bowman United Methodist Church in Macon. 

We were astonished by the support we received. Not only did people want to help by donating money but they were so warm and welcoming. Southern hospitality is no myth! Four TV stations invited us to speak about the plight of Iraqi Christians. In the UK, it is almost impossible to highlight this issue in the media. Thanks to the generosity of those we met, we have raised money for some of our job-creation projects in Iraq.

Left to right: Mike Simpson (CEO), Max Wood (who helped organise the trip), 
and Christopher Segar (Trustee)

Special thanks to our sister charity

As many of you will know, we have a sister charity in America (website here). While they have their own board of trustees, we work closely together on various projects, for example our support for the ministry of St George’s Church in Baghdad. I would like to thank them for their support and in particular Max Wood for helping to organise our trip to Georgia. Max worked very hard to get us some wonderful speaking opportunities and media interviews. We owe much of the success of the trip to him.

Mike Simpson, CEO

With members of the FRRME America board at their annual meeting last December

How to make a donation

To support our work in Iraq and Jordan, please make a donation now via our donate page (there are numerous options for how to donate). Or you can send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom. Thank you!