Middle East Monday: Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube

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Me, Andrew, and Lina in Baghdad in 2011

 

Andrew White is a dear friend of mine. He is the person who invited me to go to Baghdad with him in 2011, and we went! We share a deep love for Iraq, the Middle East, hope for the nations, peacemaking, absurdity, and revolutionary risk-taking (otherwise known as “faith”).

If you would like to see him speak in person, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

 

Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube.

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The Chief Rabbi, Me, and the House of Lords : World WReligion Wednesday

One December day in 2011, I met Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; the Archbishop of Canterbury; and Lord Carey of Clifton, chairman of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.  I was at a meeting in the House of Lords in London, England. The topic was, “Christians in the Middle East.” I went as the honorary guest of my friend Canon Andrew White, who was an invitee. It was an incredible blessing to meet such world-changers. My heart was floating. 

A favorite quote of mine that day came from Lord Sacks, who is wonderfully benevolent of heart and kind of conversation. He noted that Christians in the Middle East have felt more fear since the Arab Spring. He went on to say, “The fate of Christians in the Middle East today is the litmus test of the Arab spring. Freedom is indivisible, and those who deny it to others will never gain it for themselves.” It was a sterling observation. 

Moreover, his heart handed out well-watered compassion for those suffering anywhere. Sometimes, when I think about what healthy interfaith dialogue looks like, I think of that day in the House of Lords. I wholeheartedly believe in truth, mind you. I’m not interested in compromising or changing one’s beliefs in order to “come together” or create a superficial sense of unity. However, I am extremely interested in finding commonalities- goals, values, and dreams amongst varying groups, to discover how we can cooperate to bring hope and healing to nations. 

Additionally, love can do what nothing else can. When we choose to love those of other faiths- we hear them, we appreciate them, and we acknowledge their freedom to be themselves. Such love has the timbre and mettle to bring solutions to global problems. Yes, love can do this. 

So, on this World WReligion Wednesday, I’m purposing to lean in to the Holy Spirit and discover how to love those of different beliefs and backgrounds better. About this, I am very hopeful and eager to see what develops. 

What’s an example of a time you set aside a difference with someone and through unity accomplished great things? 

 

 

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(If you’d like to know more about the House of Lords, click the image to go to the tour page. Have fun!)

See the church I was at in Baghdad!

This new video narrated by my friend Nick, the director of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East displays the compound in Baghdad I stayed in. It also demonstrates the powerful and varied work of FRRME. Hope is rising in Iraq and Saint George’s Church is a central part of that. Iraq will shine.

It would be doubly helpful if you “liked” the video and commented. Let’s encourage hopeful dialogue about precious Baghdad. Thanks.

Vicar of Baghdad Interview

Canon Andrew White is the man I went to Baghdad, Iraq with for three weeks in November. These videos give great insight into my journey as well as life in Baghdad. I’m expectant to return to Baghdad this year to work with Andrew. There is beauty stirring and spouting and shouting and churning and living and believing from beneath the rubble of Baghdad. Hope is alive.

“Faith Under Fire”

Well folks, I finished reading “Faith Under Fire” by Canon Andrew White. It was great. It’s a stunning blend of sleeping with one’s hiking boots on while clutching one’s teddy bear: bravery and innocence at rest. Since I am planning to relocate to Baghdad next year to work with Andrew it is particularly evocative and insightful. I really believe HOPE is hope is against all odds – this is the nature of hope. And this is the nature of God. This truth is well-reflected in Andrew’s life and it gives my heart much joy. The things we will see in fullness of life, flourishing, and prosperity in the Middle East this decade will be far beyond anyone’s imaginings. “Shock and awe” will take on a spiritual connotation as the world is shocked and awed by the glory of God manifest in Iraq.

If you want to read Andrew’s book it’s here:

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Under-Fire-Middle-Conflict/dp/1854249622/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311889886&sr=1-1

If you want to celebrate his International First Freedom Award, read about it here:

http://keithpp.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/canon-andrew-white-awarded-international-first-freedom-award/

If you want to buy an “”I ♥ Baghdad” shirt, do so here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/74711519/i-heart-baghdad-t-shirt-in-black?ref=pr_shop

If you want to have a good, happy, drunken laugh due to God’s goodness, read this:

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.

(Proverbs 3:21-26)

Baghdad, THERE I come!!! (hee hee hee!)

Sometimes I feel I’ve been pregnant for 15 years. Other times I am sure of it.

The child is a vision, a passion, a calling. The vision is for the Middle East: to thrive, to be at peace, to be madly in love with the Savior.

Much of that vision centers on Iraq.

In 2001 I had a dream I was in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Iraq. I was leading a secret church meeting. I knew Saddam’s regime had fallen and he was dead. I knew it was a prophetic picture of a scene which would be fulfilled.

In 2003 Saddam’s regime fell. In 2006 he was killed. In 2008 I was told about a man named Canon Andrew White who was leading church meetings in one of Saddam’s former palaces, a mutual friend told him about me. We began emailing. On March 23, 2011 Andrew was in Redding and we had dinner. He invited me to work with him in Baghdad.

In 2012 I plan to semi-move to Baghdad to be part of rebuilding and transforming the nation.

For preparation and vision-casting, I’m going to visit Baghdad this November. I’ll spend 2 weeks in England and visit FRRME’s home office; then 2 weeks in Baghdad where I will get to know the land, the people at St George’s Church, the folks at FRRME’s medical clinic, the Tigris River. I will also deliver paintings to high-profile leaders in Iraq. 

To say I am excited would be to say the sun is handy or shoes are helpful for hiking; it is decidedly an understatement. Setting my feet upon Iraq is a moment I’ve burned for, lived for, prayed for with a zeal and a compassion that still electrifies my heart and beckons my soul. Iraq and I are a match made in heaven.

For my trip this fall I need $4,000.

If you’d like to contribute toward transforming this nation, do so here:

http://dawnrichardson.chipin.com/dawns-trip-to-baghdad                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

THANK YOU! / ! شكر