Our Love Message to Iraq and Jordan
We support nearly 7,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan and thousands of people in Iraq
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13 v 13
The following message (in Arabic) has been sent to our church partners in Jordan this Easter
Dear brothers and sisters in Iraq and Jordan
Here in the UK we are under ‘lockdown’ because of the Coronavirus. Our Prime Minister has been in intensive care in St Thomas’ Hospital in London. So far, at least 8,000 people have died from the disease in this country. Our economy is on its knees.
- Most of us have comfortable homes. You were driven from your homes by ISIS in 2014 and now live in very difficult circumstances as refugees.
- We have a ‘National Health Service’ which is free. You have no free health care, except what charity provides for you.
- We have the ability to communicate with family and friends through wonderful internet tools and mobile phone apps. Many of you have lost family and friends to the terror in Iraq. Others have been separated from family for years, because you were forced to flee.
- And we have a stable government, in contrast to the current political turmoil in Iraq. Unlike you, we are not under curfew and are able to go for a walk, a run or a cycle each day.
We are blessed in the UK (and in the USA) despite the current trauma. But our hearts ache with the pain of your suffering.
Our Shared Faith
What we share with you is uncertainty and from that can come anxiety and fear. Most of us know of people who have been affected by the virus. I worry for my elderly mother. Will death reach out its hand and touch our loved ones?
Dearest brothers and sisters, we share something else with you. We share our faith in Jesus Christ, who in the garden of Gethsemane prayed “Abba, Father everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Matthew 26 v 39)
In drinking from that bitter cup He won our redemption. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows… the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him”. (Isaiah 53 v 4-5)
On Sunday we will celebrate Easter. Those of you who are Orthodox will celebrate on 19th April. All of us will be thinking of the Risen Christ, who triumphed over death…. And won a profound victory through the suffering of the cross.
Our Hope in Him
Through Christ we have Hope. For many of you, life must have seemed hopeless at times, over these last 6 years. When you fled your homes and lost everything in 2014, including jobs and businesses; where was the hope then?
In the book of Hebrews it says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6 v 19)
In the fiercest storms, our hope is in our Saviour who is Lord over all, a true ‘anchor for the soul’. Many of you have found that to be true, despite the terrible circumstances you have faced. And remember that ‘hope’ as referred to in the Bible is not ‘wishful thinking’. The Greek word used means ‘confident expectation’. We can confidently expect the Lord to be our Saviour!
Love under Lockdown
In the middle of this pandemic how should we respond? It would be so easy to turn inwards, to protect ourselves, to focus on our own family and to shut out the world. Under curfew or ‘lockdown’ how can we follow Christ’s call to love others?
Can we find ways to communicate with those who we know but have not spoken to for years? Can we listen to them and encourage them? I am calling lots of old contacts at the moment. I need to reach out to more.
How can we express our love practically? Our team in England and in Iraq and Jordan are working hard to find ways to provide even more help to people, despite the challenges of travel restrictions. In Jordan we have found ways to distribute food relief under police guard, despite the restrictions. Working with partners in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq we will be distributing hygiene packages to the elderly and vulnerable in refugee camps, including the Sunni Muslims and Yazidis there. In Baghdad we continue to provide much needed funding to St George’s Church.
Through these means and many others we will continue to express the Christian compassion of our donors and supporters. We are simply channels of that love to you dear brothers and sisters.
The Apostle Paul put it like this at the end of 1 Corinthians chapter 13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
May the Lord bless you this Easter with the experience of faith, hope and love, in Christ’s name. Amen.
on behalf of all the FRRME family