The Alpha Course - In Baghdad
Iraq Update - January 26, 2009
Greetings and Blessings from Baghdad.
Church this weekend was wonderful as usual. The Alpha course was so well attended again that there was standing room only (nearly 1000 people). We cannot function like a normal Alpha course as it is impossible to break into small groups. I therefore have to take the questions from everybody. This is working and not causing any problems.
The questions are great and really deal with the issue of the day. What's more, everybody says that they enjoy the questions so much. Yesterday we were dealing with the session "Why did Jesus die?" The questions were so relevant to us here in Iraq. Before the talk, I was engaging with people about why and how long they had loved Jesus. They all said that they had always loved him - so different from a Western audience. Suddenly I realized that almost all had the same experience as me. The fact is that I have always loved the Lord and had no conversion experience. So the whole day was great. Saturday also went very well with both the St George's Congregation and the coalition congregation.
On Saturday we were told that our next Pentagon conference had to happen by 11th February. Miraculously we managed to organize everything for next week in Jordan. This was all done yesterday. This morning the Chaplain came to see us and explained that the money was still not available even if we did it early.
These conferences usually cost in the region of $150,000. We will have to go ahead with this even without their money. So despite this problem we will still move forward. If we were to cancel the meeting at this stage it could seriously affect the level of violence. I do not think that these people have any idea of the significance and power of the religious leaders.
We will not stop this work.
With every blessing from Baghdad,
Canon Andrew White
President of FRRME & Rector of St George's Baghdad
The Vicar of Baghdad: Fighting for Peace in the Middle East (Paperback)
By Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White, 1/30/2009