Many of you know of the work of St George’s in Baghdad and have supported it in prayer over the years. Our charity and our sister charity, FRRME America, have been and remain major funders of the church and its ministry.
I was blessed to be at St George’s last weekend to see something of what has been achieved there under the inspirational leadership of Father Faiz in recent years. I can hardly express the depth of my respect for the wonderful work undertaken by the Church and in particular the graciousness of Faiz who is a true example of Christian love in action.
The Church exists under heavy security with armed guards outside every service. The gates of the Church compound are protected by another set of armed guards and there are numerous other barriers and barricades to shield the area from violent assault.
There is a very real risk of attack by terrorists who want to drive Christians from Iraq but let me tell you something which may surprise you… Father Faiz, one of the very few Christian Ministers left in the city, is respected across religious and ethnic divisions in Baghdad and is welcomed with warmth and indeed love. He has even been recognised by the Iraqi government for his work to advance reconciliation and human rights. He is a peacemaker and a bridge builder.
The ministry of St George’s includes four church services each week, the St George’s Medical Centre which has around 80 patients per day (of all faiths), and a superb kindergarten for 150 mainly Muslim children. St George’s is also part way through building a primary school (although more funding is needed to complete this).
I spoke last Sunday evening at St George’s, sharing with the congregation of around 300 people some thoughts on the love of God our Father as expressed by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7 verses 9-12. Afterwards, many people shared traumatic stories with me, but they also spoke to me with warmth and gratitude for the love, compassion and practical help provided by the Church. It was very moving.
St George’s is truly an ‘Oasis of Grace’ in a very troubled country. We want to do so much more to support their work. For example, we want to find ways to improve the quality of the drug supplies for the clinic so that cheaper, less effective drugs are not used instead of the most effective. We would also love to be able to support more of the church’s families when they face particular crises. The biggest single financial need is to fund the completion and equipping of the new primary school. On Monday we met with the British Ambassador to discuss this and other issues (please pray that the British government will support the project).
If you, your church or a trust you know can support our work at St George’s please help us with a donation today. You would be an instrument to fulfil the words of Jesus in Matthew 7 verses 9-12. May the Lord bless you.
Mike Simpson, CEO
Written from Amman, Jordan where we support over 5,000 Christian Iraqi Refugees
Help a fellow Christian this Lent
To support our work, please visit the donate page on our website (there are numerous options for how to donate) or send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom.